Impotence - Erection dysfunction

Impotence or erectile dysfunction is characterized by an inability to develop and / or maintain an erection firm enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Trouble in getting erection  from time to time is not a cause for concern. However, persistent inability to develop or maintain an erection becomes a  problem when it causes stress, or relationship problems or affects self-confidence.

Symptoms related to erectile dysfunction may include:

  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Reduced sexual desire

Risk Factors:

As you get older, underlying health problems, or taking medications, which are more common as men age, may result in erectile dysfunction, and it may be necessary to touch and manipulate your penis to get and keep an erection.

A variety of risk factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction. They include:

  • Medical disorders, particularly diabetes or heart problems, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes etc.
  • Certain medical treatments including antidepressants, antihistamines and medications to treat high blood pressure, pain or prostate cancer.
  • Mental health disorders such as stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Smoking, which restricts blood flow to veins and arteries.
  • Drug and alcohol use, especially if it is heavy or long term
  • Metabolic syndrome, a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol

Complications resulting from erectile dysfunction can include:

  • An unsatisfactory sex life
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Marital or relationship problems
  • The inability to get your partner pregnant

Causes of Impotence:

Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Similarly, stress and mental health problems can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues cause erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical problem that slows your sexual response may cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction
In most cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by a physical disorder. Common causes include:

  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Low testosterone
  • Peyronie’s disease (development of scar tissue inside the penis)
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
  • Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction
The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual excitement. A number of things can interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. These include:

  • Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns