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Impotence is the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection that is sufficient to complete sexual intercourse. Impotence is a common condition that may temporarily affect most men at some time in their lives. If impotence is short-lived and does not recur frequently, it is generally considered normal. If impotence persists, impotence 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, which enlarges, strengthens, and becomes hard. Normally, the penis will maintain the erection until after ejaculation or when sexual excitement has ended.
Impotence, also called erectile dysfunction or ED, can result from diseases that impede normal circulation to the penis, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, alcoholism, kidney disease, and multiple sclerosis. Impotence can also be due to conditions that interfere with normal nerve impulse transmission to the penis. These include neurologic diseases and some types of spinal cord trauma. Impotence can also be caused or worsened by psychological causes, such as depression, anxiety, guilt, and low self esteem.
Other causes of impotence include testosterone deficiency, obesity, testicular trauma, and some surgical procedures, such as those for prostate cancer or bladder cancer. Certain medications, such as some high blood pressure medications, may also cause impotence in some men.
The primary symptom of impotence 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 impotence.
Making a diagnosis of impotence 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 impotence.
A diagnosis of impotence can easily be missed or delayed due to a variety of factors. For more details on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of impotence.
Treatment of impotence 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, sex therapy, addressing underlying causes of the condition, and/or surgery. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of impotence....more »
Fear, embarrassment, and shame are key reasons that a diagnosis of impotence can be missed or delayed. In addition, many men do not seek medical care for a diagnosis and treatment because they assume that impotence is a normal part of aging. It is important to understand that impotence 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 Impotence.
There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor
about your symptoms.
Home medical tests possibly related to Impotence:
Review the causes of these more specific types of Impotence:
Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Impotence, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.
Although impotence is more common in older and elderly men, it should not be considered a normal part of aging. Impotence can often be treated successfully in men of all ages.
The first step in treating the development of impotence is prevention early in life. Prevention measures include getting regular medical care so that diseases that can cause ...Impotence Treatments
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Impotence may include:
Review further information on Impotence Treatments.
Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Impotence may include:
Real-life user stories relating to Impotence:
Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Impotence or relevant symptoms:
Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Impotence. Some of these are listed below :
The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible
causes of Impotence as a symptom.
Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using,
including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.
Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Impotence may include these symptoms:
Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:
Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Impotence:
During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Impotence. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.
It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.
Create your printable checklist here.
Read more about causes and Impotence deaths.
Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for a patient to show mental decline to dementia. Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions, such as...read more »
Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's. The disease Fragile X disorder can show only mild symptoms in the early years, and...read more »
Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:
Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Impotence:
Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:
Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:
Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible
causes of Impotence as a symptom include:
Impotence is a consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient ... (Source: excerpt from Impotence: NIDDK)
The inability to perform sexual intercourse.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
An inability (usually of a male) to copulate
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
Inability to perform sexual intercourse.
- (Source - CRISP)
In medicine, refers to the inability to have an erection of the penis adequate for sexual intercourse. Also called erectile dysfunction.
- (Source - National Cancer Institute)
The list of organs typically affected by Impotence may include, but is not limited to:
The list below shows some of the causes of Impotence 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 Impotence. Of the 203 causes of Impotence that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Impotence' 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.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Impotence or choose View All.
The following list of medical conditions have Impotence 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.
Ask or answer a question about symptoms or diseases at one of our free interactive user forums.
Medical story forums: If you have a medical story then we want to hear it.
This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Impotence based
on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:
Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Impotence, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.
Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :
Subtypes of Impotence:
Erectile dysfunction (112 causes)
Medical Conditions associated with Impotence:
Intercourse symptoms (258 causes), Male sexual symptoms (471 causes), Penis symptoms (346 causes), Sexual symptoms (1838 causes), Genital symptoms (986 causes), Sexual intercourse symptoms (258 causes), Libido symptoms (122 causes), Male genital symptoms (427 causes), Fertility symptoms (370 causes), Women's health symptoms (1177 causes), Mens health symptoms (291 causes), Male reproductive symptoms (577 causes)
Symptoms related to Impotence:
Erectile disorders, Penis symptoms (346 causes), Sexual symptoms (1838 causes), Kidney disease, Alcoholism, Liver disease, Hormonal abnormalities, Testosterone deficiency, Testicle disorder, Pituitary disorder
Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:
These general medical articles may be of interest:
Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Impotence and many other medical conditions:
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