What is Impotence ?

Firstly and most importantly, let’s understand the definition of impotence. Impotence means an inability to get an erection hard enough to achieve satisfactory intercourse.

Some men are unable to achieve an erection at all; others get erection but it isn’t strong enough for vaginal penetration; and others can manage penetration for some time, but then lose it without any reason.

What are the causes of impotence ?

Impotence can be caused by either physical, psychological or lifestyle factors.

Physical factors known to set off impotence consist of the following:

  • an imbalance in the hormonal system resulting in reduction of production of testosterone causes impotence in most men in middle age
  • use of certain drugs, particularly diuretics and beta-blockers for the treatment of high blood pressure is a major contributor
  • nervous system diseases and disorders such as multiple sclerosis; structural abnormalities of the penis; injury to the penis; and malfunctioning of the circulatory system, too can cause it
  • vascular problems (including those from diabetes) may also cause male sexual dysfunction

Certain psychological problems may also trigger impotence; there may be single or multiple causes of impotence like:

  • performance anxiety
  • guilt – notably if you’re trying to have sex with someone you are not supposed to
  • relationship problems – especially if you’re no longer dedicated to your partner
  • depression
  • exhaustion
  • stress
  • fear of causing pregnancy
  • unresolved conflicts about sexuality
  • fear of sex after a heart attack or major surgery

Lifestyle factors like drug and alcohol abuse, smoking and excess weight are also among the leading causes of impotence.

How to diagnose impotence ?

Several tests can help diagnose the cause of impotence.

  • A blood test will show if you have inadequate levels of testosterone which cause male sexual dysfunction
  • A blood pressure checking device specifically designed to be wrapped around the penis and an ultrasound study helps determine blood vessel problems in the penis leading to erectile dysfunction.
  • One more test records the size of erections naturally occurring in sleep; if erections do not occur during sleep, a physical cause of impotence, rather than an emotional one, is likely.

What treatment is available for impotence ?

If impotence has a physical basis, a number of treatments are available.

  • Changing your prescription drugs if they are the cause of impotence – determine if certain medications are responsible for it, prescription drugs may be replaced
  • Psychotherapy and counselling
  • Oral anti-impotence pills such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra
  • External vacuum devices to create blood flow
  • Injections
  • Hormone therapy
  • Penile prosthetic implants and surgeries

If your impotence is brought about by emotional problems, counselling by a psychologist or trained sex therapist may be recommended. Counselling may also help men with physical disorders learn to deal with impotence.

How to prevent impotence?

Start living healthy today to prevent impotence!

Avoid smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, lose weight, eliminate or cope with stress – this should help prevent at least some incidences of secondary impotence.