Written by Dr David Delvin, GP and family planning specialist
The outlook for men with erectile dysfunction (ED) has improved enormously in the first seven years of this century – so much so that almost all patients nowadays can be assured of a return to successful intercourse.
First, let’s define the problem. ED means an inability to get a good enough erection to achieve satisfactory intercourse.
Teenagers and young men
You may be surprised to see that I have not listed ‘lack of hormones’ as a common cause of ED. In fact, lack of male hormone is pretty rare.
Common psychological causes of erection difficulties include:
In a lot of cases, ED turns out to be due to a mixture of psychological and physical causes.
Less common physical causes include:
What should I do if I'm having potency problems?
Also, don’t hide it from your partner. A lot of guys behave like this, and very often the result is that the other person decides that she is being scorned, or that ‘he doesn’t love me any more'.
What will happen when I see a doctor or therapist?
Personally, I feel that in some cases of psychologically-induced ED, it’s worth trying erection-inducing drugs to help ‘kick-start’ the man back into action and boost his confidence. Not all doctors agree with me.
The above three drugs are supposed to be ‘prescription-only’ in the
What other drug treatments for ED are there?
These methods have become less popular since the increasing availability of oral drugs, but they suit a minority of men. You have to be quite brave to give yourself a jab in the penis. For details of side-effects, consult your GP.
What about surgery?