What Is Erectile Dysfunction? What Is Impotence?

Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence or ED, refers to a man’s inability to sustain an erection which is sufficient for sexual intercourse. Most men go through brief periods of erectile difficulties which are not necessarily anything to be worried about. If the inability to reach or maintain an erection persists for more than a few weeks or months, medical help should be sought. Erectile dysfunction can cause stress and self-confidence problems which can impact on some relationships.

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What are the signs and symptoms of erectile dysfunction?

A sign is something the doctor, nurse, or somebody else may notice, such as a rash or swelling, while a symptom is something only the patient feels and describes, such as pain or dizziness.

Signs and symptoms of impotence may include:

  • Difficulty in achieving an erection
  • Inability in sustaining an erection
  • Reduced libido Hormonal – hormone levels are not right
    • Neurogenic – the nervous system is affected (brain, nerves and spinal cord)
    • Vasculogenic – the blood flow to the penis is affected

    Examples of physical causes may include:

    • Alcohol
    •  (clogged blood vessels)
    • Diabetes
    • Enlarged prostate treatment
    • Heart disease
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Injuries to the pelvic area or spinal cord
    • Hormonal problems – hypogonadism (low testosterone), (overactive thyroid),(underactive thyroid), Cushing’s syndrome (production of cortisol is affected)
    • Kidney disease – researchers from California University’s San Diego School of Medicine reported in theBritish Journal of Urology that 
    • Metabolic syndrom

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