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)
  • Diabetes
  • Neurological illnesses (such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis)
  • Hormonal imbalance and thyroid issues
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Social problems (commonly this refers to relationship issues)
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Some medications
  • Exhaustion
  • Obesity
  • Excessive drinking
  • Smoking
  • 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.

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