Date Posted: 1st November 2017
Most men have occasional problems achieving a sustainable erection. Persistence of the problem can cause stress, a reduction in self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems. It is a condition that should not be ignored, as it can be a sign of an underlying health problem.
An erection requires a co-ordinated mechanism between the brain, hormones, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Some 8 out of 10 cases are due to a physical cause and sex drive remains unaffected.
The most common cause is a reduction in the blood supply to the penis from narrowing of the arteries. Smoking, increasing age, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are all risk factors. Other causes include certain medication, diabetes, alcohol and drug use as well as problems with the nerves that supply the penis. Low testosterone levels can cause erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and tiredness. Mental health problems including anxiety and depression can also cause erectile dysfunction and this is seen very commonly. In these cases, men can achieve erections on waking in the morning and when masturbating. Erectile dysfunction is likely to come on suddenly for those with a psychological contributing factor.
At St Joseph’s Hospital, we have experienced male and female GPs who will be able to assess your case and suggest further investigation if appropriate, and discuss treatment options. We recognise that despite being a common condition, affecting half of men aged between 40 and 70 years at some time, men can be embarrassed to discuss their problems with their doctor. We can arrange confidential face-to-face appointments or telephone appointments at your discretion.
Repeat prescriptions can be arranged via our in-house pharmacy.