Impotence  also known as Erectile Dysfunction:  it is a male reproductive disorder.  A man with this disorder cannot attain or maintain penile erection sufficient to complete intercourse.  The patient with primary impotence has never achieved a sufficient erection; secondary impotence, more common and less serious, implies that, despite present inability, the patient has succeeded in completing intercourse in the past.  Transient periods of impotence are not considered dysfunctional and probably occur in half of adult males.  Erectile dysfunction affects all age groups but increases in frequency with age.  This prognosis depends on the severity and duration of impotence and on the underlying cause.

Cause:  May be caused by Psychogenic or Organic factors.  Psychogenic factors may be intrapersonal  (such as: depression, feelings of inadequacy) or interpersonal (such as: lack of communication) . Organic factors may include chronic disorders, such as MS or diabetes or drug or alcohol induced dysfunction. Impotence, though rarely may stem from genital anomalies or CNS defects.


Secondary erectile dysfunction is classified as follows:

Partial:  the patient cannot achieve a full erection.
Intermittent:  the patient is sometimes potent with the same partner.
Selective:  the patient is potent only with certain partners.

Some patients lose erectile function suddenly; others lose it gradually. If the cause is not organic, erection may still be achieved through masturbation.

Patients with psychogenic impotence may appear anxious, with sweating and palpitations, or they may become totally disinterested in sexual activity.

Patients with psychogenic or drug induce impotence may suffer extreme depression, which may cause the impotence or result from it.


Sex therapy may be helpful

Treatment of organic impotence focuses on reversing the cause, if possible.

Certain patients suffering from organic impotence may benefit from surgically inserted inflatable or non inflatable penile implants.

Patients with low testosterone levels may benefit from testosterone injections.

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