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What is Impotence?

Impotence, also called "erectile dysfunction" is a consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.

Impotence can be a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections.

What causes Impotence?

An erection requires a sequence of events. Impotence can be a result of a disruption in one of the events. The sequence involves nerve impulses in the brain, spinal column, and area of the penis, and response in muscles, fibrous tissues, veins, and arteries in and near the corpora cavernosa.

Other cause of impotence are: injury to the penis, prostate surgery, medication, psychological factors, and injury to the bladder. Diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, and vascular disease account for a large percentage of cases of impotence.

How Is Impotence Diagnosed?

Impotence can be diagnosed by patient history, physical examination, laboratory tests and a psychosocial examination.

How Is Impotence Treated?

Impotence is treatable in all age groups. Some of the most common treatments for impotence are: psychotherapy, drug therapy, vacuum devices, and surgery.

Impotence Statistics

Researchers believe impotence affects between 10 and 15 million American men.

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