Erectile Dysfunction

Impotence can be frustrating and embarrassing. We can help.


The current popular name for male sexual failure is “erectile dysfunction”. But for most men who live with this condition, the historical term “impotence” is much more meaningful because it better describes the depression, frustration, hopelessness, and loss of power. There is an enormous mental burden, and it often produces enough despair to prevent men from seeking an appropriate solution.

The term erectile dysfunction is used to distinguish erection failure from other male sexual problems, such as loss of sexual drive, infertility, and problems with ejaculation and orgasm. All men at every age experience occasional sexual failure because of stress, fatigue, acute illness, alcohol, or discordant relationships. While this is momentarily alarming and distressing, it’s also transient and usually doesn’t require any medical intervention. On the other hand, the persistent inability to get and keep an erection adequate to initiate and complete satisfactory sexual intercourse is a problem that should be evaluated by a health professional.

Erectile dysfunction syndrome (EDS) is very common, affecting half of all men over age 50 and many men under age 50, particularly those with early vascular disease, diabetes, years of cigarette smoking or alcohol abuse. The onset of EDS is almost always gradual and the early indicators are often subtle and unrecognized. Early in this process, loss of early morning erections may occur. Then, getting an erection may begin to take longer, and occasionally the erection won’t last throughout intercourse. The ability to get a second erection becomes more difficult. Fatigue, stress, or any distraction makes intercourse more difficult. More and more stimulation is required to get and keep the erection. The occasional failure becomes more common, and it’s at this point that the man usually realizes that there is a problem.

While there are many causes of erectile dysfunction, it’s most important to understand that EDS is a condition, not a specific illness. EDS is commonly a symptom arising from one or several different medical illnesses. Treating the medical condition may or may not reverse the impotence. On many occasions the sexual dysfunction can be treated directly and concurrently with the underlying illness.

Current treatments include:

  • Oral Medications
  • Vacuum erection devices
  • Urethral suppositories
  • Penile injection therapy
  • Penile prosthesis