Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is defined as a persistent or ongoing problem getting an erection, or keeping the erection for long enough to complete satisfactory sexual activity.
Most men will experience a problem getting or keeping an erection at some point. This can be due to fatigue, stress, drinking heavily or guilt if you are cheating on your partner. However, if the problem occurs regularly then you need to see a medical doctor. You can see your general practitioner or a sexual health physician.
All men with ED should be evaluated by a medical doctor. Sexual health is a part of overall health so there is no need for men to be embarrassed when discussing the problem with their doctor.
ED can be classified as organic, which means that the causes are predominantly due to physical problems, or psychogenic, which means that the causes are predominantly due to psychological issues.
ED can be a warning sign of serious cardiovascular disease which is why it is so important to see a medical doctor if you are experiencing problems. Research has shown that men with ED are likely to have a cardiovascular event (that’s a heart attack or stroke) within 3 to 5 years from the time of onset of ED if they are not assessed and treated.
Adapted from: The SASHA Guide to Erections and Erection Problems. Smart D. © Ronin-Do (Pty) Ltd 2004 and Know your manhood. Lissoos I. KYB Pocket Books 1984
Used with permission from the publishers