Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Nevertheless, having troubles with your erection isn’t always necessarily a cause for concern. But if ED is a persistent issue, it can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and intimacy and significantly impact your relationship.
And last but not least, difficulties getting or keeping an erection can also be a sign and a regular early warning of an underlying health condition that needs treatment, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
Up to 150 million men worldwide suffer from ED and this figure is likely to double by the year 2025.¹ It is estimated that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 suffer from Erectile Dysfunction to some degree. This includes 5% of 40 year old men and 15% – 25% of 65 year old men who suffer the condition on a long-term basis.²
If you have difficulties — getting or keeping an erection, have less of a desire for sex or other issues that keep you from enjoying sex—, talk to your doctor. Treatment for ED will always depend on the underlying cause. In some cases, you may also need a combination of treatments, including medication, lifestyle changes, or therapy.
¹ Ayta IA, McKinlay JB, Krane RJ. The likely worldwide increase in Erectile Dysfunction between 1995 and 2025 and some possible policy consequences. BJU Int 1999; 84: 50–56.
² Feldman HA, Goldstein I, Hatzichristou DG, et al. Impotence and its medical and psychosocial correlates: Results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. J Urol 1994; 151: 54–61.