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Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction: Introduction

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 »

Erectile dysfunction: Misdiagnosis

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 successfully ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Erectile dysfunction:

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

Home Diagnostic Testing and Erectile dysfunction

Home medical tests possibly related to Erectile dysfunction:

Erectile dysfunction Treatments

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 ...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.

Stories from Users for Erectile dysfunction

Real-life user stories relating to Erectile dysfunction:

Medications or substances causing Erectile dysfunction:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Erectile dysfunction 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.

Causes of General Symptom Types

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Causes of Similar Symptoms to Erectile dysfunction

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Erectile dysfunction:

Erectile dysfunction: Deaths

Read more about causes and Erectile dysfunction deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Erectile dysfunction

Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any more »

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 a stroke or more »

Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease. The 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 more »

Erectile dysfunction: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Erectile dysfunction

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Erectile dysfunction: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Erectile dysfunction: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Causes of Erectile dysfunction listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Erectile dysfunction as a symptom include:

Article Excerpts about Erectile dysfunction

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... (Source: excerpt from Impotence: NIDDK)

Definitions of Erectile dysfunction:

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)

Detailed list of causes of Erectile dysfunction

The list below shows some of the causes of Erectile dysfunction mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Erectile dysfunction?

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:

  • 5 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 5 causes are "common" diseases
  • 3 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 5 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 106 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Erectile dysfunction:

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.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Erectile dysfunction or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Erectile dysfunction:

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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Causes of Erectile dysfunction Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Erectile dysfunction based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    What are the alternative names for Erectile dysfunction:

    - (Source - Diseases Database)

    Classifications of Erectile dysfunction:

    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)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Erectile dysfunction

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Erectile dysfunction and many other medical conditions:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Erectile dysfunction

    Medical research papers related to Erectile dysfunction include:

    Research More Evidence-Based Medicine at

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Impotence:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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