What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse.  While most often associated with older men, Erectile Dysfunction is a common problem for men of all ages.  The term impotence was once loosely used to imply the same condition.

Why Treat Erectile Dysfunction Early?

As with any medical condition, erectile dysfunction is often best treated promptly. The sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome, for the following reasons:

First, identifying and correcting the underlying problem often helps prevent further deterioration, a natural progression of the condition.

Second, disuse of an organ can cause progressive loss of function via progressive loss of healthy tissue. This condition is called “disuse atrophy” and is particularly important in the case of penile health.

Third, ED is more than just a sexual problem. A fulfilling sex life can lead to greater satisfaction in many other aspects of life, including social, family and work environments.

What are Signs of Erectile Dysfunction?

  • Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection occurring at least once in every three times of attempting sexual intercourse, and persisting for more than one month.
  • Achieving an erection takes longer than usual or becomes more difficult in certain sexual positions.
  • Sexual erection becoming weaker or less rigid over time.
  • Maintaining an erection takes more of a conscious effort and/or takes more “work”
  • Morning erections becoming less frequent or less rigid.
  • Climaxing or ejaculating more rapidly or with an incomplete erection.

How Common is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction is very common.  Although most often seen in men over the age of 40, ED can affect men of all ages.  According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, which was the largest-ever survey of male erectile dysfunction, is even more common than once thought.  For example:

  • 52% of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 have some degree of erectile dysfunction (classified as mild, moderate or severe).
  • At least 1 in 10 men cannot get an erection at all (complete ED).
  • The majority of causes of erectile dysfunction are physical in nature.
  • There is a strong association between age and ED – that is, the prevalence of ED increases with age.
  • While 39% of men at the age of 40 are affected by ED, 67% of men at the age of 70 are affected.

What are the Effects of Erectile Dysfunction on Quality of Life?

Erectile dysfunction may cause or exacerbate psychological problems and as a result of the following, personal, family and business relationships may be adversely affected:

  • Poor Motivation or Drive
  • Feelings of Inadequacy and Worthlessness
  • Anger and Frustration
  • Denial and Low Self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Alcoholism and Drug Use