Treatment of Impotence

Content provided by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School

Welcome to this Decision Guide on Treatment of Impotence.

Impotence is when a man has difficulty getting or keeping an erection. Impotence is also known as erectile dysfunction, or E.D. Recent studies show that impotence is a much more common problem than once believed. Many younger men may experience difficulty with erections, and as many as two-thirds of men will develop impotence at some point in their life.

Recent studies are also changing our understanding about why men develop impotence. While it was once believed that psychological problems were the main cause, we now understand that medical factors -- such as poor blood flow, nerve damage, and medication side effects -- play a significant role in most men.

More importantly, several new drugs for impotence have been developed over the past decade. These drugs offer men a variety of ways to improve erectile function.

This guide is intended to help you understand what treatments are available for impotence, and to help you figure out which treatment may work best for you. Keep in mind that men with impotence deserve an evaluation by a health care professional. Our goal is to provide useful information while you are awaiting further evaluation, or that adds to what you may have already learned at your visit with a doctor. Remember that this guide is not intended to substitute for the advice of your doctor.

You also may want to visit these Health Decision Guides - Causes of Impotence and Sexual Problems in Men.

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Medical Reviewer: Faculty of Harvard Medical School Last Annual Review Date: 2006-06-15T00:00:00-06:00


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