Impotence is also known as erectile dysfunction; it is estimated that at least 1 in 4 men over the age of 40 will experience at least one incidence of erectile dysfunction. Impotence occurs when a man cannot achieve and sustain an erection and therefore cannot perform during sexual intercourse.
Causes of impotence
Impotence can be caused by a number of different psychological and physiological factors; the most common causes are listed below:
- Heart disease
- Hypertension (raised blood pressure)
- Neurological illnesses (such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis)
- Hormonal imbalance and thyroid issues
- Stress and anxiety
- Social problems (commonly this refers to relationship issues)
- Poor self-esteem
- Some medications
- Excessive drinking
- Drug abuse
Treatment for impotence
Treatment usually depends on the cause of erectile dysfunction; if the cause is diagnosed as a health condition, this will usually be treated first. In some cases, a change in lifestyle can make a big difference and doctors may recommend regular exercise, a change in diet and cutting down on smoking and drinking. In some cases, medication may be prescribed; this usually takes the form of PDE-5 inhibitors. This type of medication increases blood flow to the penis and works for a short period of time; they are not suitable for everyone but your doctor will be able to recommend which treatment is best for you.