Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction is not a disease, but a symptom of some other problem – physical, psychological or a mixture of both.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
What are the signs of Erectile Dysfunction?
You may have ED if you regularly have:
Trouble getting an erection
Difficulty maintaining an erection during sex
Reduced interest in sex
What are the causes of Erectile Dysfunction?
Physical erectile dysfunction happens over a period of months or years, and is often a gradual loss of function. If erections still occur spontaneously overnight or in the morning, the problem may be psychological.
The causes of erectile dysfunction may be due to:
Physical illness – conditions that affect blood flow in the penis e.g. diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and multiple sclerosis
Psychological factors – stress
Psychiatric conditions - depression, anxiety
Medications – prescribed medicines to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression and psychiatric disorders, and prostate disease
Excessive alcohol intake
How do I know if I have Erectile Dysfunction?
To diagnose erectile dysfunction, your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical history, perform a physical exam or request the following tests:
Full blood count (FBC)
Male hormone profile