Erectile Dysfunction (ED) | Impotence

Are you having erectile dysfunction? You’re not alone. Up to half of men over 40 have ED at some time in their lives. At MaineHealth, we evaluate and treat the underlying conditions that may be causing erectile dysfunction.

What is erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects more than three million men each year. It also is called impotence. With erectile dysfunction, a man has trouble getting an erection or keeping an erection. Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of another health condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated. The condition may be physical or psychological.

Erectile dysfunction causes

Sometimes a man has erectile dysfunction because of an underlying problem. ED causes can include:

  • Physical health problems such as diabetes

  • Depression, stress or relationship problems

  • Smoking

  • Drinking too much alcohol

  • Medication side effects

Erectile dysfunction symptoms

The main symptom of erectile dysfunction is being unable to have or keep an erection. Other symptoms include:

  • Lower sex drive

  • Worry and anxiety about ED

  • Having a soft erection

Talk to your primary care doctor or healthcare provider if you are having trouble with erections. Your doctor may talk to you about your medical history, health, medications, and stressors. Your doctor also may refer you to a urologist or another specialist for further evaluation.

Screening for erectile dysfunction (ED)

  • Physical exam

  • Blood test

  • Urine test

  • Ultrasound

  • Overnight erection test (measures erections during sleep)

Erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment

Treatment for erectile dysfunction can include medication prescribed by your doctor and assistive devices, such as pumps. Sometimes surgery is an option.