Natural products a real cure for male sexual problems?

In recent years there has been a surge in natural supplements for all manner of ills, including sexual problems. At the same time, the pharmaceutical industry has made enormous strides in the development of prescription drugs for problems such as erectile dysfunction: the most famous being of course Viagra. But which are better, prescription drugs or natural supplements? That's the subject of a debate being held in Prague on Tuesday at a congress of the European Federation of Sexology.

Erectile dysfunction was once a taboo subject, one that caused embarrassment and frustration for the adult males who suffered from it, but today they have a multitude of drugs and natural supplements to choose from. The question is, which should they choose? Here in the Czech Republic, supplements such as ViaMax Power tabs are advertised as a natural, more holistic approach to solving the problem. The argument they and other producers of over-the-counter alternatives make is that you must restore balance to the body. This, they say, is accomplished through a mixture of ingredients such as Gingko, Maca, Cnidium, and Horny Goat Weed. I had the chance to ask Czech sexologist Petr Weiss his thoughts on the debate.

"You see we are the first generation in the whole history of human kind who can have erection on demand because we are the first who have real medicine, really helpful medicine for erectile dysfunction, so why buy these food supplements we know that there is nothing that is really working when you can buy for the same price real drug, helpful drug, why do that? I see no sense in that."

But why do some people find these natural alternatives so effective if they don't, in fact, actually do anything?

"There is so called placebo effect, and it really works placebo effect, because it works on the basis of suggestion and if you believe that something will work there is certain probability that it will work but this probability is only 20% and if you will drink water it will be the same when someone will tell you that it works."

Experts such as Dr. Weiss would go against the arguments of the over-the-counter medications and recommend use of prescription drugs such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis which go to the root of the problem, quite literally, by targeting the penis itself in order to correct the dysfunction.