Erectile dysfunction 52

What is ED?

3 min read

Simon Körösi

Reviewed by: Gustav Grippe

What is erectile dysfunction?


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.


Why do people get erectile dysfunction?


The causes behind erectile dysfunction are almost always multifactorial (resulting from multiple causes together), and possible causes can be categorized as follows:



Hormonal diseases

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

Neurological dysfunction

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 causes

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:

Is young


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:


Antidepressant medications


Neuroleptic medications


Blood pressure medications

How common is erectile dysfunction?


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.