Erectile dysfunction, former known as impotence, is the inability to maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual activity. The definition does not specify a time frame for how long one must have suffered from this condition, although some argue that it should have lasted for at least 6 months to be considered a condition.
The causes behind erectile dysfunction are almost always multifactorial (resulting from multiple causes together), and possible causes can be categorized as follows:
When talking about hormonal causes of erectile dysfunction, testosterone deficiency is usually the main focus.
Vascular disease/vascular conditions
Vascular conditions as a cause of erectile dysfunction can be divided into two subcategories of problems:
Issues with blood flow to the penis
Issues with blood flow from the penis
Since nerves play a clear and obvious role in the sensations that give rise to arousal and desire, it is not difficult to imagine that nerve damage, for example, leading to reduced sensitivity, can cause erectile dysfunction.
Psychogenic or psychological causes of erectile dysfunction/impotence can either be the sole cause or coexist with other causes of erection problems.
Suspected Psychogenic Causes of Erectile Dysfunction commonly arise when the individual:
Reports varying sexual ability
Often experiences less difficulty with masturbation than with intercourse
Maintains erections during the night/morning.
Medications can cause erection problems. If erection problems occur in connection with the introduction or change of a medication, it is not uncommon for the medication to contribute to the problem.
If you suspect erectile dysfunction as a direct result of medication, you should contact the doctor who prescribed the medication.
Common groups of medications that can cause erectile dysfunction and ejaculatory problems include:
Blood pressure medications
The exact number of people who suffer from erectile dysfunction is difficult to determine with certainty, but there are studies suggesting that approximately 5-20% of all men exhibit moderate to severe erectile dysfunction/impotence, while other studies suggest that about 50% of all men over 40 years of age experience some degree of erectile dysfunction.