Erectile dysfunction occurs when a male cannot persistently achieve and sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. ED affects about 50 % of all men. ED can be mild, moderate or severe with the tendency to increase with age. There are several types of erectile dysfunction, but all they can be classified into two main groups: organic characterized by a gradual loss of erectile function and psychological.
Organic or physiological erectile dysfunction is the decreased quality of erection or absolute inability to achieve an erection. An erection comes from a series of reactions in the body and nerve impulse transmissions, which start with sexual stimulation. Any problem in the process can cause erectile dysfunction. Many diseases affecting the neurological or vascular systems can lead to erectile dysfunction. The most common causes are atherosclerosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and multiple sclerosis. About 35-50% of men with diabetes have symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Psychological erectile dysfunction may be caused by different mental and emotional problems (depression, chronic stress, physical fatigue, problems at work or family problems, stressful situations resulting in the uncomfortable condition of a man).
Another type of impotence is known as ED caused by an injury including injuries from an accident or surgery. Cancer of the prostate or bladder surgery often leads to ED by damaging blood vessels and nerves near the penis. Other causes are traumatic injuries to the penis, pelvis, spinal cord and prostate.
Erectile dysfunction caused by medications is a very common type of the condition. Patients taking many drugs for different conditions often experience ED induced by medications. Psychiatric medications, blood pressure drugs, tranquilizers and the anti-ulcer medication cimetidine often cause erectile difficulties and other sexual disorders in men.