Symptoms and Signs of Impotence/Erectile Dysfunction

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 9/29/2021

Doctor's Notes on Impotence/Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (impotence or ED) is defined as the inability of a male to achieve and/or maintain a hard enough erection sufficient for satisfactory completion of sexual activity. Signs and symptoms are described in the definition. Other signs and symptoms may include

ED may be considered a potential symptom and sign of other problems like coronary artery disease.

In general, causes of ED are divided into organic (physical) and psychogenic (mental). Many men have both general causes. Organic causes of ED may include arterial vascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, angina, high blood pressure, tobacco use, diabetes, prostate enlargement, scleroderma, cirrhosis, cancers, COPD, thyroid problems, pituitary problems, low testosterone and other diseases, and trauma to the male sex organs. Psychological conditions include depression, anxiety, and widower syndrome (grief due to loss of spouse). Many men with ED have several contributing specific causes.

What Are the Treatments for Impotence/Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Treatments of erectile dysfunction (ED) can be psychological, medical, and/or surgical. In some patients, treatments may be combined.

You, your partner, and your doctor should determine the best therapy for your ED.

Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence) : Causes & Treatment Quiz

Impotence Quiz

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is…

See Answer

Must Read Articles:


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.