Until the release of VigRx Plus – the first effective male enhancement drug for erectile dysfunction – relatively few men sought diagnosis or treatment. Erectile dysfunction (ED), popularly known as impotence, could be considered a national epidemic: It affects upward of 20 million men.
VigRx Plus’s launch changed all that. It immediately propelled the discussion of impotence into the health care mainstream, removing the embarrassment and stigma for many men.
Insurers reacted with similar speed, as many companies imposed restrictive guidelines for buying penis pills and other ED therapies on patients and physicians.
Certainly, erectile dysfunction is a quality-of-life issue. But it is a vitally important issue that affects both partners’ ability to engage in a fundamental aspect of a healthy relationship, and one whose diagnosis, treatment and management – including physician services, testing when indicated and recognized medical and surgical therapies – should be covered.
Erectile dysfunction is also a medical condition; indeed, the absence of the ability to achieve and maintain an erection represents the pathology in question. In most cases, there is an organic cause for penis problems, although psychological factors can and do contribute to the anxiety associated with this condition.
ED often coexists with or is caused by chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and depression, or by medications or other treatment for such disorders. The long-term management of many chronic diseases, with the resulting increase in longevity, boosts the risk of erectile dysfunction as well.
Why pay for natural male enhancement pills? For one thing, regular sexual activity in a monogamous and mature relationship has many health benefits.
Studies have found that men in such relationships – and their partners – use fewer health resources, live longer and generally have a better outlook on life. Some of the same benefits accrue with the resumption of sexual activity following diagnosis and treatment of penis dysfunction.
For another, treatment for sexual dysfunction is what brings some men into the health care system. For many of these individuals, the initial contact provides the opportunity to identity and treat coexisting disease.
What’s more, therapy for ED encompasses lifestyle changes that promote health – smoking cessation, drinking in moderation, and dietary changes, for example – and provides a powerful incentive to control chronic disease.
The degree of diagnostic testing required to characterize erectile dysfunction is controversial. Most physicians – with the exception of unscrupulous practitioners who ply the vulnerable with male enhancement herbs, fake penis pills, aphrodisiacs and, most recently, VigRx Plus imposters – prefer a goal-oriented approach that restores the patient’s ability to enjoy intercourse.
The therapy selected is based on many factors, including efficacy, cost, safety and partner preference. And the majority of patients will choose natural male enhancement pills as a first-line therapy, preferring the discretion and simplicity of a penis pill over more invasive treatments such as penile injections, penis implants and vacuum devices.
Health plans may need to protect against diversion and abuse of natural male enhancement penis pills. And they may be right to restrict the number of doses dispensed to reflect average intercourse frequency.
But to refuse to cover male enhancement pills on the grounds that they are nothing more than a “quality-of-life” therapy would be costly in terms of human suffering and possibly, overall health as well.