Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Written by eHealth Navigator

What is erectile dysfuntion?

Erectile dysfunction is when a man can't get an erection to have sex or can't keep an erection long enough to finish having sex. (It used to be called impotence). Erectile dysfunction can occur at any age, but it is more common in men older than 75 years of age.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by:
•  Diabetes (high blood sugar)
•  Hypertension (high blood pressure)
•  Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
•  Stress, anxiety or depression
•  Alcohol and tobacco use
•  Some prescription medications, such as antidepressants, pain medicine and medicine for high blood pressure
•  Fatigue
•  Brain or spinal-cord injuries
•  Hypogonadism (which leads to lower testosterone levels)
•  Multiple sclerosis
•  Parkinson's disease
•  Radiation therapy to the testicles
•  Stroke
•  Some types of prostate or bladder surgery

If you can't keep your blood sugar or your blood pressure under control, you can get erectile dysfunction. It's important that you take your medicines for these problems just the way your doctor tells you.

Hormones sometimes get out of balance and this causes erectile dysfunction. Your doctor will decide if you need blood tests to check your hormones.

Some medicines can cause erectile dysfunction. If this is true for you, your doctor may take you off that medicine or give you a different one.

Drinking too much alcohol, smoking too much and abusing drugs can also cause erectile dysfunction.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 12:46PM