People have this general notion that impotence, or more appropriately termed as erectile dysfunction, is only for older men. This is partly true. Statistics show that most American men between ages 40 and 70 experience impotence to some degree each year. An estimated 15 million to 30 million men in the U.S. experience erectile dysfunction. However, impotence can also afflict younger people due to external causes such as surgery, injury and medications. Moreover, it can also be attributed to psychological factors. Thus, impotence is not inevitable with age. In fact, in a survey of men over 60 years old, 61% reported being sexually active, and nearly half derived as much if not more emotional benefit from their sex lives as they did in their 40s.
It is interesting to know that severe erectile dysfunction in older men may be caused more by serious illness than by aging. Obviously, older men are more prone to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure than younger men. These conditions and some of the treatments involved are considered major risk factors for erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction, sometimes called impotence, is a male sexual health problem characterized by the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm and sufficient enough for sexual intercourse. The word “impotence” may also be used to describe a variety of sexual health problems that may hinder sexual intercourse and reproduction, such as lack of sexual drive, desire or interest, and difficulty with ejaculation or orgasm.
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, may be classified into mild, moderate and severe. Mild ED is the tendency to sustain brief erections. Moderate ED is an irregular ability to sustain erection while severe ED is a complete or total inability to achieve erection which can be crippling and cause emotional and relationship damages.
Although ED is nothing new in the field of medicine or human experience, it is something that is not easily or openly discussed by men in general. Social stigma as well as cultural expectations of male sexuality inhibit most men from seeking help for a disorder that can, in most cases, benefit from medical treatment.
Brief periods of impotence experienced by most men from time to time are considered normal. Physical and psychological impotence are caused by different situations. Only when the condition persists that men may start seeking help from health care professionals. Always remember that impotence or erectile dysfunction is usually treatable or could be a symptom of another illness.
Physical Impotence, on the other hand, is caused by internal medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Or it can also be due to external causes like surgery, injury and medications. Physical impotence usually develops gradually but continuously over a period of time. The patient is advised to seek medical attention by a urologist specializing in impotence. The patient's inability to have an erection is circumstancial and experiencing and/or maintaining an erection upon waking up in the morning may suggest that the condition is a psychological impotence rather than physical.
Whether a patient's ED is caused by physical problems or psychological impotence, behavioral therapy can be of great help before, during, and after completion of treatment. Involving the patient's partner is beneficial during this process in order to gradually develop intimacy and stimulation. Maintaining a healthy diet, a regular exercise program to stay fit and being sexually active can also help prevent impotence.