About Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects several million men in the UK,1 and is potentially caused by an underlying physical or psychological problem.3

ED affects the daily lives of many men, from maintaining relationships to psychological problems, such as depression.3 That is why it is important to find the right treatment to fit into your lifestyle, and help improve your sexual experiences.

Understanding Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is the technical term for not being able to get and keep an erection. It’s also known as impotence and may be shortened to ED (pronounced ee-dee).3

If you’re occasionally unable to achieve a satisfactory erection, it doesn’t mean you have ED.3 Most men will experience an erection problem at least once. If the problem persists however, then it may be ED.3

ED can potentially result in relationship issues, poor self-esteem, anxiety and even depression.3 It is also a risk factor for potentially life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease 2,4, so it is important that men suffering with erection problems see a healthcare professional.5

How Common is ED?

ED is far more common than most people think. It is estimated that ED affects several million men in the UK, with around half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 experiencing some form of ED.1,5

Despite being so common, ED is rarely talked about – meaning you can be left thinking no one else you know is affected, when the chances are that plenty of other men are going through the same thing. While everyone deals with ED differently, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. As well as being able to discuss treatment options with you, a doctor will also be able to screen you for any related conditions.

 

Potential causes

ED can be a sign of an underlying problem, or a combination of problems, that can be psychological or physical.3,4

 

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1
Sexual Advice Association (2016). Erectile dysfunction. Available at: http://sexualadviceassociation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Men-9.-Erectile-dysfunction-V4.pdf. Date accessed: July 2017.
2
Hackett G, et al. J Sex Med 2008;5(8):1841-65. Available at: http://www.bssm.org.uk/downloads/BSSM_ED_Management_Guidelines_2007.pdf. Date accessed: July 2017.
3
Patient.co.uk (2016). Erectile dysfunction. Available at: https://patient.info/health/erectile-dysfunction-impotence. Date accessed: July 2017.
4
NHS Choices. Erectile dysfunction (impotence) – Causes (2014). Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Erectile-dysfunction/Pages/Causes.aspx. Date accessed: July 2017.
5
NHS Choices (2014). Erectile dysfunction (impotence) – Introduction. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Erectile-dysfunction/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Date accessed: July 2017.
6
NHS Choices (2014). Erectile dysfunction (impotence) – Treatment. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Erectile-dysfunction/Pages/Treatment.aspx. Date accessed: July 2017.
7
Vardi Y. J Urol 2000;163(2):467–470.
8
Yeager J and Beihn RM. Int J Impot Res 2005;17:91–95.
9
Steidle C, et al. Urology 2002;60:1077–1082.
10
Viagra (sildenafil) Summary of Product Characteristics 2016. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/1474. Date accessed: July 2017.
11
Cialis (tadalafil) Summary of Product Characteristics 2017. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/11363. Date accessed: July 2017.
12
Levitra (vardenafil) Summary of Product Characteristics 2016. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/24374. Date accessed: July 2017.

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