Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex.
Having erection trouble from time to time isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. If erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue, however, it can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems.
Problems getting or keeping an erection can also be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment and a risk factor for heart disease.
If you’re concerned about erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor — even if you’re embarrassed. Sometimes, treating an underlying condition (infection) is enough to reverse erectile dysfunction. In other cases, medications or other direct treatments might be needed.
Symptoms Erectile dysfunction symptoms might include persistent:
Trouble getting an erection
Trouble keeping an erection
Reduced sexual desire
A family doctor is a good place to start when you have erectile problems. See your doctor if:
You have concerns about your erections or you’re experiencing other sexual problems such as premature or delayed ejaculation.
You have diabetes, heart disease or another known health condition that might be linked to erectile dysfunction.
You have other symptoms along with erectile dysfunction.
Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves Brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunctioninclude:
Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
High blood pressure
Metabolic syndrome — a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist