Impotence is a common problem in men and is characterized by the constant inability to maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse or the inability to achieve ejaculation, or both.
- The primary symptom of ED is the inability to achieve an adequate erection to have sex when you desire it.
- You can get an erection, but you quickly find it doesn’t last long enough to complete sex or truly enjoy it.
- Some men may have trouble getting an erection at all, which may lead to feelings of distress, guilt, embarrassment, shame, or other difficult emotions.
- Reduced libido or sex drive.
- A dysfunction in the muscles of the pelvic floor.
- Trauma to the pelvis, such as pelvic fractures
- Failure to become aroused after sufficient stimulation, which is a condition known as anorgasmia.
- Low levels of the hormone testosterone.
- Relationship troubles and lack of intimacy
- Difficulty getting your partner pregnant5
- Increased stress
- Low self-esteem or low self-worth
- Feeling discouraged by an unsatisfying sex life
The degree of ED is measured on the basis of several factors:
- How you rate your confidence that you can get and keep an erection.
- How often your erections are hard enough for you to penetrate your partner following sexual stimulation.
- How often you can keep your erection after penetrating your partner.
- How hard it is for you to maintain your erection to complete sex.
- How often sexual intercourse is satisfactory for you.
- Like in other parts of the body, the arteries which take blood to the penis can become narrowed. The blood flow may then not be enough to cause an erection. Risk factors can increase your chance of narrowing of the arteries.
- Diabetes can affect blood vessels and nerves.
- A head injury can sometimes affect the function of the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland makes a hormone that stimulates the testicle to make testosterone.
- Spinal injury, following surgery to nearby structures, fractured pelvis, radiotherapy to the genital area, etc.
- Alcohol and drug abuse.
- ED after long-distance cycling is thought to be common. It is probably due to pressure on the nerves going to the penis, from sitting on the saddle for long periods. This may affect the function of the nerve after the ride.