Erectile Dysfunction




Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is the inability to get or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity. It is a very common problem particularly in older men with approximately half of men between the ages of 40 and 70 suffer from the condition.


Erectile dysfunction could be an early sign of more serious conditions such as heart disease; therefore, if you suffer from erectile dysfunction you should see your GP for a general check up.



What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?

Physical causes (in 90% of cases):


  • Narrowing of the blood vessels that are going to the penis. This can be seen in men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smokers.


  • Certain hormonal problems such as low testosterone.


  • Conditions that affect the nerves going to the penis such as stroke, diabetes or multiple sclerosis.


  • Injury to the nerves going to the penis. This could be from trauma to the pelvis or the spine, major surgery in the pelvis or radiotherapy to the genital areas.


  • Certain medications including drugs to treat high blood pressure and depression


  • Alcohol and drug abuse.


  • Kidney failure.


Psychological causes (in 10% of cases):


  • Anxiety and stress.


  • Relationship problems.


  • Depression.



Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction

This includes a full medical history, physical examination and certain tests depending on the symptoms and the likely cause of erectile dysfunction.



Treatment of erectile dysfunction

  • Life style changes. This may include - depending on your circumstances - weight loss, regular exercise, healthy diet, stopping smoking and less alcohol consumption.


  • Medications include:

    • Tablets (phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors).

    • Injection into the penis.

    • Pellet into the urethra (water pipe).

    • Cream to the tip of the penis.


  • Vacuum devices.


  • Surgery (prosthesis).


  • Sexual counselling (to treat men with psychological problems).






Send Us a Message

Private Secretary Contact

Debbie Coleman

KIMS Hospital

Newnham Court Way



ME14 5FT

Tel: 01622 538173


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