Graphic showing erectile dysfunction


Erectile dysfunction or impotence is a problem that affects 1 in 2 men at some point in their life. It is an issue that makes it difficult to either experience an erection or maintain one. This can lead to a wide range of issues such as psychological issues, self-confidence and the inability to have sexual intercourse. As erectile dysfunction manifests in many different ways, it requires specialist advice and guidance to diagnose and treat correctly.



  • Vascular disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hormone abnormalities such as hyperprolactinaemia
  • Certain prescribed drugs
  • Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)
  • Diseases affecting the erectile tissue of the penis
  • Neurological diseases
  • Severe chronic diseases such as kidney and liver failure
  • Alcoholism and drug abuse
  • Surgery (especially radical prostate and bladder surgery)
  • Injury to the penis, spinal cord, pelvis, prostate or bladder
  • Pelvic fractures
  • Heavy smoking
  • Being overweight

Drug-induced causes

  • Alcohol
  • Antihypertensives (medication for high blood pressure) e.g. diuretics, beta blockers, methyldopa
  • Cimetidine
  • Marijuana, heroin, methadone
  • Major tranquillisers
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Digoxin
  • Glucocorticosteroids
  • Oestrogen, anti-androgens

Psychological causes of Erectile Dysfunction

  • Stress and anxiety from work or home
  • Relationship conflicts and dissatisfaction
  • Depression and other psychiatric conditions and their medications
  • Sexual boredom or unresolved sexual orientation


There are several symptoms that indicate that erectile dysfunction is present which includes the inability or difficulty in achieving an erection, problems maintaining an erection right through to a lack of sexual desire. If you are experiencing these symptoms and believe that you are suffering from erectile dysfunction then seeing a specialist can help you to find the right treatment.

Erectile dysfunction can be linked to a number of other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and many others and so, a specialist will be able to determine whether the conditions are linked to erectile dysfunction in each case.


Fortunately, erectile dysfunction is something that can be treated. Through specialist advice and guidance, something as simple as making a change to your lifestyle or through addressing psychological issues such as workplace stress can help to alleviate the symptoms and remove the problem. However, if these changes are found to be unsuccessful then there are medications available as well as injections and surgical implants available, all of which are provided based on the root cause of the problem and the correct solution in each specific case.

It’s always best to seek professional advice before commencing any treatment for erectile dysfunction, however, to ensure underlying causes have been adequately investigated, and that the treatment is appropriate and won’t interact negatively with any other drugs you’re taking.