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If you’re worried about your erection hardness, if you feel nervous or embarrassed talking about it – that’s okay. By visiting this website you’ve already taken a positive step in dealing with your erectile dysfunction (sometimes referred to as ED). This site is designed to help men with erection problems only. If you are worried about your libido, or suffer from premature or delayed ejaculation, then, just as with ED, we recommend you talk to your doctor.

What is erectile dysfunction? 

Erectile dysfunction is a common condition – one study showed that at least half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 were affected by ED to some degree. This is a medical condition and, as such, it requires the attention of a doctor. One of the most important reasons to talk to a doctor is that ED can be linked to other serious health conditions.

When you become sexually aroused, your penis normally becomes hard and erect quickly. This is due to messages passing from the brain, via nerves, to the blood vessels that supply blood to the penis. These messages cause the blood vessels to relax leading to an increase in the amount of blood flowing into the penis, which then swells and becomes erect. This increased volume of blood is trapped in the penis which allows the erection to be maintained until orgasm. After orgasm the process is reversed and the penis becomes soft again.

The definition of an erection problem is 'the inability to get and maintain an erection sufficient for satisfying sex'.  It is a medical condition. And like most other medical conditions, there are causes for it and treatments that could help you get over it. But unlike most other medical conditions, it can be difficult for men to face up to.

For example, if you associate the ability to have an erection with feeling complete as a man, then ED can have a negative effect on your self-image. But the more you understand the scientific reasons for what's happening – that not enough blood is flowing into or staying in your penis when you are sexually aroused – then the less embarrassing it can seem.

The condition used to be referred to as 'impotence' – but it's a term that can sometimes be used to describe sexual problems in general. Doctors prefer to refer to 'erectile dysfunction' or 'ED'. You may also hear people referring to 'penile dysfunction' or 'erection problems'.

It’s essential to make that visit to your doctor, if left untreated, erectile dysfunction (ED) can become a major source of misunderstanding and emotional stress, but can also be linked to other serious health conditions such as heart disease.

Erectile dysfunction: True or False? 

False. ED can be caused by physical factors (diabetes, or high blood pressure, for instance) or in some cases the causes can be psychological. But the truth is most erection problems are due to a combination of causes that can vary from person to person.

False. Erectile dysfunction does become more common as men get older. But it is by no means exclusively an 'old man's problem'. If you think you are quite young to be having erection problems remember this – men of all ages can get ED and there are treatments that could help you. And if you are among the older age group, you shouldn't be disheartened either. Men in their 90's have been successfully treated for ED.

True. ED is a medical condition and, as such, it requires the attention of a doctor. One of the most important reasons to talk to a doctor is that ED can be linked to other serious conditions - such as heart disease.

False. It's natural to feel embarrassed about talking to someone about a problem as intimate as ED. But do you want to learn to live with an erection problem? Or do you want to take action and try to get your erection hardness back?  Many men with ED can be treated very successfully with the range of treatment options available today.

False. In most cases, men still want sex and can still have an orgasm. ED simply relates to a difficulty with getting and maintaining an erection.

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SHS170 - January 2015