Erectile Dysfunction FAQs
Stephen W Leslie, MD, FACS
Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
What is erectile dysfunction (ED)?
Erectile dysfunction (or ED), also called male impotence, describes a man's inability to achieve and maintain an erection of his penis sufficient for mutually satisfactory sexual intercourse with his partner. By itself, ED is not a disease but more of a signal that something else may be a problem. Erectile dysfunction is a common condition affecting over 50% of men to some degree. Half of men ages 40% to 70% have experienced this condition to some degree, yet only a small number seek help from their doctors.
Sexual dysfunction can sometimes be caused by disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease, heart disease, nervous system disorders, and depression as well as an unwanted side effect from some medications. Male sexual dysfunction may be the symptom of such disorders that brings them to the doctor's office in the first place.
Sexual health and function are important in determining a man's quality of life. As Americans age, disorders such as erectile dysfunction (ED) are becoming increasingly apparent. Because this subject is discussed widely in the media, men and women of all ages are seeking guidance in an effort to improve their relationships and experience satisfying sex lives.
The successful treatment of ED has been shown to improve sexual intimacy and satisfaction, improve sexual aspects of quality of life as well as overall quality of life, and relieve symptoms of depression.
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