Most men, myself included, are embarrassed to admit they have a problem in the ‘meat and two veg’ department. This really shouldn’t be the case as around half of all men aged over 40 will experience erectile dysfunction at some time or another. I used to function quite happily until about ten years after my initial diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis. Since then even sildenafil (Viagra) struggles to raise the issue. Speaking of issues, I have sired three healthy boys, so I guess its purpose has been served and it ought to be redundant.

There can be a number of reasons for being unable to achieve or maintain an erection. Most are to do with problems in the blood supply to the penis. An erection occurs when sexual arousal causes the brain to signal the genitals and the blood vessels to the penis open allowing the two chambers, corpora cavernus, to fill. A valve prevents the flow of blood back from the penis until after coitus is complete.

Impotence or Erectile Dysfunction

Conditions of the nervous system can prevent the arousal signals from reaching the genital region and include multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s Disease.

Physical problems with the blood supply getting to the penis include diabetes and vascular disease.

Other causes include psychological aspects; anxiety, guilt or difficulties within the relationships can all cause sexual problems.


There are a number of drugs that can help with the physical or nervous system issues. Psychological problems are best dealt with by talking; taking counselling where necessary.

The weapon is disarmed
The weapon is disarmed
  • Stop Smoking
  • Moderate your Alcohol Intake
  • Take regular, gentle exercise
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)
  • apomorphine (Uprima)

External vacuum pumps may be obtained privately or from hospital clinics. Constriction rings which trap blood in the penis might help where maintaining the erection is the problem.


BUPA Health Information

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