Also known as impotence
Erectile function is the result of a complex interplay between vascular, neurologic, hormonal, and psychologic factors.
At one point or another, most adult men will have trouble getting or keeping an erection long enough to have sex. This usually resolves on its own with little or no treatment. However, when it becomes an ongoing problem, it is called erectile dysfunction (ED).
ED can be caused by a physical problem, an emotional problem, or a combination of both. Many men are hesitant to see a doctor for their ED. However, when it happens regularly it can affect your personal life and overall health.
It is not ED when it happens on occasion, for example, after a night of several drinks or even during a week when you are experiencing severe stress. However, it may be erectile dysfunction when it happens 25% of the time or more.
For many men, ED also causes emotional and psychological distress. ED can affect your relationships and your self-esteem, and may lead to feelings of guilt, embarrassment, shame, or other difficult emotions.