If I had an erection six months ago, can I still get it again?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If you had an erection six months ago--but haven't had one since--you may still be able to have erections again. But you are long overdue for a conversation with your doctor. The inability to get or sustain an erection, known as erectile dysfunction (ED), can do more than mess up your love life. The condition can be a symptom of other underlying diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. You need to be evaluated, soon.

By the way, one question your doctor will likely want to answer is: Have you really gone a half year without an erection? After all, you may have had them all along, but were unaware--because you were asleep. Most healthy men experience erections as a normal part of slumber time. Your doctor may send you home with a special tape that you wrap around the penis before turning in. If the tape is broken when you awake, that's evidence that your machinery still works. In that case, some psychological problem may be causing your erectile dysfunction.
Many men have occasional problems getting an erection. These problems don't necessarily mean you have erectile dysfunction (ED), as the problem may be occasional or temporary. Erectile dysfunction happens when you have problems sustaining an erection 75% of the time during sex. Sometimes unhealthy lifestyle habits such as drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or cigarette smoking may cause occasional ED. Certain medications may cause occasional ED. When you go off of the medication or change the drug, the ED goes away.

It's important to talk to your doctor if you worry about ED. Your doctor will evaluate your health and lifestyle habits and develop a plan to treat the ED and the cause of the ED, so you can enjoy sexual relationships again. 

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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.