What is ED?

Diagnosing ED
To determine if you have ED, you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor may either conduct a brief consultation or a thorough physical exam including diagnostic tests depending on your medical history.

Erection Dysfunction (ED) :
“Erectile Dysfunction” means the inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or the ability to achieve only brief erections. Different men may experience varying degrees of erection dysfunction. This could be the result of under lying conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension. By seeing your doctor, you can improve your overall health and can learn about how to improve your erection quality (EQ).

How does an Erection Occur?
The penis contains two chambers, called the corpora cavernosa, which run the length of the organ. A spongy tissue fills the chambers. The corpora cavernosa are surrounded by a membrane, called the tunica albuginea. The spongy tissue contains smooth muscles, fibrous tissues, spaces, veins, and arteries. The urethra, which is the channel for urine and ejaculate, runs along the underside of the corpora cavernosa

Erection begins with sensory and mental stimulation. Impulses from the brain and local nerves cause the muscles of the corpora cavernosa to relax, allowing blood to flow in and fill the open spaces. The blood creates pressure in the corpora cavernosa, making the penis expand. The tunica albuginea helps to trap the blood in the corpora cavernosa, thereby sustaining erection. Erection is reversed when muscles in the penis contract, stopping the inflow of blood and opening outflow channels.

How common is ED?
ED is much more common than you may realize, and also highly treatable. An estimated 152 million men worldwide suffer from ED. In America , alone 30 million men suffer from it.

Does is it vary from men to men?
The degree to which men are afflicted varies from occasional to recurrent or consistent inability to attain or maintain an erection.

What are the causes of Sexual Impotence?


Impotence is not a disease, but a side effect of other underlying causes.

The causes of impotence or erectile dysfunction can be classified into two major groups:

  • 10 % of all causes are due to purely psychological factors
  • Whereas 90% of all causes are due to physical or organic factors

Psychological / Non -Organic Causes Sexual impotence induced due to a purely psychological, or non-organic cause can be due to many reasons. Impotence can either start abruptly after a major psychological trauma or gradually as a result of depression, anxiety and chronic stress. Potency can also be affected due to other mental disorders. Occasional impotency can be due to the stress to perform or fear of failure known as “Performance Anxiety “when a man is expected to assume an aggressive part in the sexual relationship. It could also be due to lack of compatibility with the sexual partner, temporary decrease in libido , tiredness , anxiety, insecurity of an illicit relationship or disturbing elements in the immediate environment like noise. Physical / Organic Causes

Physical or organic causes for temporary or chronic impotence range from the easily avoidable or curable, to very severe causes, which cannot be cured without radical measures, such as surgeries.

These causes are:

Peripheral Vascular Disease: (Insufficient blood supply to the penis )
This is the most common cause of Erectile Dysfunction. It is the failure to supply adequate blood to the penis resulting in less rigid erections or the inability to maintain them. Erection occurs when blood carried by the supply arteries of the penis, fills the erectile bodies made of spongeous tissue.

This is correlated with many systematic diseases which affect the blood vessels of the genital region, directly or indirectly. Chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, renal failure, heart disease, and others, lead to the destruction of the contractile walls of the veins or provoke hardening, narrowing or blockages of the arteries leading to the penis.

Vascular insufficiency may be due to aging. It starts slowly, first causing a decrease in the firmness of erections, and then becoming more intense.

Side Effects of Medications and Drugs
Did You Know That More than 200 prescription and non-prescription medicines are known to affect erectile function in man?

While some drugs promote impotence by acting on the central nervous system, others affect the intensity of blood supply to the penis, or promote relaxation of the blood vessels.

Medications & Drugs

  • Medications used to treat high blood pressure (arterial hypertension), such as spironolactone and thiazide diuretics, and beta-blockers
  • Medications used to treat depression (antidepressives) and anxiety (anxiolytics), such as phenotiazine
  • Medications used to treat neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and others
  • Medications used to treat gastrointestinal ailments, such as cimetidine
  • Medications used to treat allergies

Substance Abuse
Did You Know That More than 80 % or chronic alcoholics suffer from chronic impotence? Scientific studies have also shown that heavy smokers have important damage to their genital blood supply.

Another major cause of impotence is substance abuse due to chronic abuse or high dosages of Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana (cannabis), cocaine and other recreational drugs.

Neurological Damage : Disorders of the nervous system
Impotence is caused by Nervous diseases or damage to the nerves which control the erection process.Some nervous diseases like Parkinson’s disease and other diseases of the motor system, stroke, multiple sclerosis, neurosyphilis, hypothalamo-hypophysiary disease, some tumors of the brain and of the pituitary gland, and epilepsy affect potency. These diseases affect the brain structures which are responsible for the central control of sexual drive and performance . Among these are :Injuries to the spinal cord or nerves leading or coming from the genital area,

Prostate cancer is one of the major causes of impotency.Prostate surgery damages the nerves in more than 80 % of the cases. Few patients recover sexual function, completely or partially, after a year or so, but the majority remains impotent for life. Radiation therapy of prostate cancer, also affects sexual potency too. Other pelvic surgeries may have a detrimental effect of erection.

Another significant cause of impotence is trauma to the groin. This is more common in some sports. Recent studies prove that biking may be a major cause of impotence, because strong blows of the perineum (the triangle between the anus and the base of the scrotum) against the front bar are very damaging.

Structural Damage to the Penis
Structural damage to the penis may be due to: Fibrosis of the penis tissues, caused by scarring or organic diseases; Peyronie’s disease (which lead to an abnormal curving of the penis); the painful retraction of the penis’ foreskin; genital herpes; cysts and tumors.

Hormonal Disorders
About 5 to 10 % of men suffer from some kind of hormonal disorder. The most common, which is related with aging , is a constant decrease in the levels of testosterone , the main sexual hormone of man. It is due to a decrease in the capacity of the testicular cells to synthesize testosterone. It is male equivalent to female “menopause”.

Decrease in testosterone leads to decrease in sexual libido and performance because the brain circuits and the penis tissues are dependent on this hormone’s levels

Low levels of testosterone affect the primary and secondary sexual characteristics in man like body hair , atrophy of the testes and penis, an enlargement of the breasts, called gynecomastia and hypogonadism (from gonads, or sexual glands).