Often suffered, less often reported, erectile dysfunction can be a taboo subject for many men.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) means that you cannot get a proper erection. This can be due to a physical or psychological cause. Cases may be due to narrowing of the arteries that take blood to the penis. This is due to a build-up of fatty deposits (atheroma) in these arteries in the same way that heart arteries are affected in people with heart disease. ED is usually treatable, most commonly by a tablet taken before sex. You may also receive lifestyle advice and treatments to minimise your risk of heart disease. Referral to local urology colleagues for more interventional treatments can also be facilitated.
Formerly called impotence, ED has traditionally been regarded as an inevitability of the aging process. But, thanks to a better understanding of the processes involved, better treatment options and changing attitudes many ED myths can be debunked. Indeed men can and do remain sexually active into their twilight years.
We now know there are many different causes of ED so management of the problem is dependent on the root cause.