What is Erectile Dysfunction?


Erectile Dysfunction ("impotence") is the persistent inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. It can be a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections.


Erectile Dysfunction may be caused by a physical condition or by a psychological condition (such as stress or depression). However, the most common cause of Erectile Dysfunction is a physical condition. Physical causes include:

  • Reduced blood flow to the penis (Vascular-Based Erectile Dysfunction)

  • Diseases or injury which affect the nerves going to the penis (neurologic-based ED)

  • Certain hormonal conditions

  • Side effect of certain medications

  • Alcohol or drug abuse


Treatment Options


  • Oral drug therapy (medication taken by mouth) – oral drugs temporarily increase the blood flow to the penis, (such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and other medications).

  • Urethral therapy - a small pellet is inserted into the urethral opening of the penis.  This helps stimulate blood flow to the penis.

  • Injection therapy - a medication is injected to the base of the penis. This helps stimulate blood flow to the penis.

  • Vacuum Devices - a plastic container is placed around the penis. A pump then sucks out the air from the container to create a vacuum, which causes blood to be drawn into the penis and cause an erection. When erect, a rubber band is placed at the base of the penis to maintain the erection.

  • Surgery - a rod-shaped prosthesis is implanted into the penis. Some types can be inflated with an inbuilt pump to cause an erection. Other types keeps the penis rigid all the time.