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Erectile dysfunction is the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection that is sufficient to complete sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction, also referred to as ED or impotence, is a common condition that may temporarily affect most men at some time in their lives. If the condition is short-lived and does not recur frequently, it is generally considered normal. If erectile persists, it can result in complications, such as male infertility and mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
Achieving and maintaining an erection is a complex process that involves a complex interplay of psychological elements as well as processes of the nervous system and the circulatory system. In a normal erection, sexual stimulation or arousal triggers nerves to increase the blood flow in the penis. This extra blood flows in the corpus cavernosum of the penis. The corpus cavernosum are spongy structures that absorb the blood and expand, causing the penis to enlarge, strengthen, and become hard. Normally, the penis will maintain the erection until after ejaculation or when sexual excitement has ended.
There are various conditions that can affect one or more of these elements or processes and result in erectile dysfunction. These include having certain diseases that impede normal circulation to the penis, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, alcoholism, kidney disease, and multiple sclerosis. Conditions that can interfere with normal nerve impulse transmission to the penis include neurologic disease and some types of spinal cord trauma. Psychological causes, such as depression, anxiety, guilt, and low self esteem, can also result in or aggravate erectile dysfunction.
Other causes of erectile dysfunction include obesity, testicular trauma, and some surgical procedures, such as those for prostate or bladder cancer. Certain medications, such as some high blood pressure medications, may also cause erectile dysfunction in some men.
The primary symptom of erectile dysfunction is an inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient to complete sexual intercourse at least 25 percent of the time. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Making a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination and neurological evaluation. It also includes performing blood and urine tests and other tests that check blood flow to the penis. These tests help diagnosis the cause and/or any other conditions, such as diabetes, that may underlie erectile dysfunction.
A diagnosis of erectile dysfunction can easily be missed or delayed due to a variety of factors. For more details on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of erectile dysfunction.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction varies depending on the specific cause of the condition, a patient's goals, and the individual case. Treatment may include medications, the use of special devices, psychotherapy and sex therapy, addressing underlying causes of the condition, and/or surgery. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of erectile dysfunction....more »
Fear, embarrassment, and shame are key reasons that a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction can be missed or delayed. Many men may not seek medical care for a diagnosis and treatment because they assume that erectile dysfunction is a normal part of aging. It is important to understand that erectile dysfunction is not a natural part of getting older and that it often can be ...more misdiagnosis »
The following medical conditions are some of the possible
causes of Erectile dysfunction.
There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor
about your symptoms.
» Review Causes of Erectile dysfunction: Causes
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Although erectile dysfunction is more common in older and elderly men, it should not be considered a normal part of aging. Erectile dysfunction can often be treated successfully in men of all ages.
The first step in treating the development of erectile dysfunction is prevention early in life. Prevention measures include getting regular medical care so that disease that can cause ...Erectile dysfunction Treatments
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Erectile dysfunction may include:
Review further information on Erectile dysfunction Treatments.
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The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible
causes of Erectile dysfunction as a symptom.
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Read more about causes and Erectile dysfunction deaths.
Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might be Alzheimer's, whereas there are...read more »
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Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible
causes of Erectile dysfunction as a symptom include:
Impotence is a consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Medical professionals often use the term "erectile dysfunction" to describe this disorder and to differentiate it from other problems that interfere with sexual intercourse, such as lack of sexual desire and problems with ejaculation and orgasm. (Source: excerpt from Impotence: NIDDK)
Impotence is a consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Medical... (Source: excerpt from Impotence: NIDDK)
The inability to perform sexual intercourse.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
An inability to have an erection of the penis adequate for sexual intercourse. Also called impotence.
- (Source - National Cancer Institute)
The list below shows some of the causes of Erectile dysfunction mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Erectile dysfunction. Of the 112 causes of Erectile dysfunction that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Erectile dysfunction' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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The following list of medical conditions have Erectile dysfunction or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Erectile dysfunction based
on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:
Medical Conditions associated with Erectile dysfunction:
Impotence (203 causes), Penis symptoms (346 causes), Intercourse symptoms (258 causes), Male sexual symptoms (471 causes), Genital symptoms (986 causes), Male Genital symptoms (427 causes), Men's health symptoms (291 causes), Sexual intercourse symptoms (258 causes), Fertility symptoms (370 causes), Sexual symptoms (1838 causes), Women's health symptoms (1177 causes), Libido symptoms (122 causes), Male reproductive symptoms (577 causes)
Symptoms related to Erectile dysfunction:
Impotence (203 causes), Low libido (75 causes), Sexual symptoms (1838 causes), Male infertility (125 causes), Premature ejaculation (17 causes), Sexual disorders, Fertility, Infertility (241 causes), Depression (629 causes)
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