Do most men experience impotence at some time in their life?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Even if you never develop persistent impotence (also called erectile dysfunction, or ED), there's a good chance you will experience a power outage in the bedroom at one time or another in your life.

Having an erection may seem like it takes no effort at all. Yet the biological process required to produce one involves a complex interplay between the brain, hormones, and blood vessels. A baffling array of chemical messengers have to communicate with one another in order to get and sustain an erection. So it's little wonder that sometimes the process doesn't quite work. Feeling stressed out or fatigued can produce temporary erectile dysfunction. So can drinking too much alcohol. If you find that you can't become aroused with your partner, it could also be due to tension or problems in your relationship.

An occasional problem getting an erection is probably not a big concern. But if the problem becomes persistent, see your doctor.

More than 30 million men in the U.S. have erectile dysfunction (ED), according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Erectile dysfunction can be the result of health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis. Or ED may be linked to unhealthy lifestyle habits, stress and anxiety, or the result or depression and the medications used to treat depression.

No matter what the cause, there is treatment for ED. Drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis) can help many men achieve or sustain an adequate erection. Changing some medications and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can also help end ED.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.