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Erectile Dysfunction (Male impotence)

You may find it embarrassing if you are having difficulty maintaining an erection, or finding it hard to ejaculate, but you are not alone. Many men have the same problem. As many as two and a half million men around the UK may have some sort of sexual dysfunction at any one time. And although it may not be something you want to discuss with your friends, it is important that you get some advice if you are worried about it.

Young Men
The most common cause of erectile dysfunction for young men is anxiety. This may include concerns about getting someone pregnant, not wanting to appear inexperienced, or worrying about using a condom without embarrassment or losing your erection while putting a condom on. Read: bpas advice on putting on a condom.

Middle Aged Men
Common causes of erectile dysfunction for middle aged men may include stress, guilt, or having sex with a new partner after many years of monogamy. Other causes may include diabetes.

Older Men
Although 70% of men over the age of 70 are still sexually active, erectile dysfunction does get more likely as you get older. This may be linked to the deterioration to the blood vessels that carry blood to the penis, and also to the deterioration of heart or brain arteries.

Both men and women can – and do - have problems that affect their sex lives. You may have lost interest in sex, or been unable to maintain an erection, or have difficulty with premature ejaculation, or be having difficulty having an orgasm. There are many reasons why men may experience sexual problems.

Physical reasons for erectile dysfunction may include:

  • Side effects from medication (mainly medication for blood pressure or depression)
  • Other illness or infection
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking and or excessive drinking
  • Being unfit or overweight
  • Deterioration of the arteries, common in older men especially those with high blood pressure
  • Use of recreational drugs such as cocaine

Psychological reasons for erectile dysfunction may include:

  • Stress, which may be related to sex and or other parts of your life
  • Concerns about your current sexual relationship(s)
  • Depression and related fatigue
  • Any feelings of guilt about your sexual performance or your sexual health

Erectile dysfunction is no laughing matter. And although it is not an easy thing to talk about, there are trained professionals who can give you good advice about what may be the cause of your current predicament. Many men like to talk about sex, but like women, they may find it harder to talk about sex when it is not going well. You won’t be judged or talked about at bpas. We are here to help you with some of the more private things in life.

And be aware that the vast majority of physical or psychological causes of erectile dysfunction are temporary. They may go away as quickly as they occurred. But if anything is bothering you or your partner, you should seek out confidential, professional advice. There is no point in worrying and not doing anything about it. It may just make the situation worse.

Treatment for erectile dysfunction has improved a great deal over the last 10 years. The vast majority of men – and women – can look forward to a return to sexual activity after advice and or treatment. Indeed many men say that treatment has transformed their lives.

bpas partner Dr Fox offers counselling and treatment for erectile dysfunction through its online sexual health clinic Dr Fox.