Some diseases appeared only in the modern times as a result of major social and cultural processes in the society (for example, AIDS was first diagnosed only in late 20th century). Other diseases, such as plague, on the contrary, have become history. But there are some disorders that have existed for centuries, and which are not eliminated yet. One of such disorders is erectile dysfunction (in simple terms – loss of sexual power in men). Throughout the history different methods for its treatment were used, but even now there is no remedy, which would let resolve this problem forever.
In the Ancient Egypt and some later – in the Ancient Greece and Rome people used to believe that loss of power was a penance from gods for men’s misbehavior. Men applied to priests and prayed to their gods in order to restore their power, but as you’ve probably guessed, they rarely succeeded in it. In the ancient China, another approach was practiced. Chinese traditional medicine was focused on methods of therapy with herbs. There were unique receipts of herbs mixtures, and some of them were other effective. Moreover, some of them are used in the modern pharmacology in supplements production. But none of them really cure impotence.
The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages are often called a “dark” period of the history. This period was full of superstitions, weird beliefs and a total ignorance. Medieval men believed that impotence was a result of witches’ work. A lot of “witches” had been burnt in the fire, but the problem of erectile dysfunction (as well as numerous sexually transmitted infections) was not resolved. Fasting, praying and various religious rituals didn’t work as well.
The Age of Enlightenment
It was for the first time in the history when people tried to use science for the treatment of diseases. Throughout the period from the early 17th to the 19th century researchers offered a variety of experimental methods for sexual weakness treatment. Among these methods, there was sexual abstinence for a year and longer, ban for masturbation, using ointments and powders from dried animals’ penises and bones, and finally, therapy with electricity.
The 20th Century
A real revolution in the sphere of impotence treatment occurred only in the 20th century. All the previously used methods for considered inefficient. Scientists at last managed to distinguish true reasons of erectile dysfunction and describe the mechanism of reaching erections. In the second half of the 20th century efficient tools for the treatment of sexual weakness appeared. The main mechanical method involved using a vacuum pump for creating a negative pressure in the penis and stimulating its filling with blood. Some later intra cavernous injections became popular. Though they caused certain discomfort, they were quite effective and were successfully used till the end of the 20th century.
Everything changed in early 1990-ies, when a group of researchers from Pfizer company revealed a unique property of a synthetically produced agent sildenafil. It turned out that it restores a normal sexual function in men with different degrees of severity of ED. So the famous Viagra appeared. Some years later other similar drugs – Cialis and Levitra appeared. Today this group of medicines (PDE-5 inhibitors) is still considered to be the most effective way of impotence treatment. But despite the high efficiency, these drugs do not cure the disorder completely, but just relieve symptoms. Maybe in the 21st century a new drug will finally be discovered, and the problem of erectile dysfunction will cease to exist.