Impotence or erectile dysfunction is a condition where the person lacks in his ability to maintain an erection sufficient enough for a sexual intercourse.

Erectile dysfunction is also known to be very common in old men. The causes for erectile dysfunction can be either physical, psychological or both. The physical causes may be

heart diseases

hypertension or high blood pressure and
Hormonal problems.

The psychological causes for erectile dysfunction are:

  • anxiety
  • stress
  • relationship problems and
  • depression.


Erectile dysfunction may occur only at times. A person may obtain erection while masturbating. At times, the person may wake up due to an erection. But the same person may no have erection while having sexual intercourse with his partner.

In these cases, the cause of such a condition is purely physical.

If a person experiences erectile dysfunction, then he must visit a doctor for medication.


When a person gets aroused sexually, the nerves of the penis receive signals from the brain. This causes an increased flow of blood into the penis which in turn causes the expansion and hardening of the tissues.

So if the nervous system comes across any interference it will cause erectile dysfunction.

The physical causes of erectile dysfunction fall into two categories. They are the
the health condition and
medicinal causes

The health conditions can again be subdivided into four conditions. They are:

Vasculogenic where the blood flow to the penis is affected. They are:

  • arteriosclerosis
  • heart diseases
  • hypertension
  • diabetes

Neurogenic conditions like

  • multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal disorders and
  • Tumours

hormonal conditions like

  • hypogonadism where the production of testosterone is affected
  • hyperthyroidism
  • hypothyroidism
  • Cushing’s syndrome where the production of cortisol is affected.

Anatomical conditions like

Peyronie’s disease affecting the penis’ tissues
Hypospadias causing the abnormal development of urethra

The medical causes of erectile dysfunction are:

  • use of diuretics
  • using Antihypertensives
  • using fibrates
  • using antipsychotics
  • using antidepressants
  • using steroids
  • using immunosuppresants
  • using H2-antagonists
  • using anticonvulsants.

The psychological causes for erectile dysfunction are:

  • anxiety
  • problems in relationships that have not been solved
  • stress and
  • depression.

The other causes of erectile dysfunction are:

  • smoking
  • use of alcohol
  • obesity
  • use of illegal drugs like cocaine
  • tiredness and
  • in very cases, cycling


The following self help techniques can be used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction:

  • reducing the weight in case of obesity
  • avoid smoking
  • the use of alcohol should be reduced
  • avoid using illegal drugs
  • do exercises regularly.

The PDE-5 inhibitors can be use in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The pills help to increase the flow of blood to the penis for a temporary period of time. But use of the PDE-5 inhibitors can cause the following side effects:

  • hot flushes
  • headaches
  • indigestion
  • blocked or running nose
  • back aches and
  • disturbed vision.

Other treatments for this condition are:

  • hormonal therapy
  • use of penis pump
  • use of Alprostadil
  • performing surgery to remove the block of the blood vessels

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