Simply put, impotence means the inability to achieve erection. It could happen all the time (total or primary) or only under certain circumstances (selective or secondary). What you may not know is that 9 out of 10 cases of impotence are of the secondary type. Secondary impotence tends to occur in a specific situation during sex, but the man may be able to achieve an erection in other situations including during sleep, on waking up, sexual fantasising, during masturbation, or with different sexual partners.

 

What causes it?

Primary impotence may be due to a lack of male hormones (hypogonadism), underlying diseases like diabetes that cause nerve damage or reduced blood flow to the penis. Anaemia, tuberculosis and cancer may also cause primary impotence. Secondary impotence is largely due to psychological factors including tiredness, alcohol and/or drug abuse, and the use of high blood pressure and anti-psychotic medicines. Ageing on its own does not cause impotence in men. Impotence that occurs in an otherwise good relationship will need further examination and can be helped by some modification of the couple’s sexual techniques.

 

Problems of impotence

Problems that arise from impotence include sexual frustration, relationship difficulties and infertility. It might create low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy in you or your partner. Don’t worry, there are a variety of treatments for impotence, depending on the cause.

 

Treatment of impotence

Male dysfunction causes are best investigated and treated in a clinic with experienced specialists, who understand the mental and physical effects they can have on a man and their relationships.

Primary impotence will usually be resolved following treatment of the core problem. Psychotherapy and counselling for secondary impotence will help to resolve the psychological reasons behind the impotence.

 

Medicines for impotence

The treatment of male impotence has been revolutionised in recent times by the use of medicines such as Viagra. Viagra works by improving the blood flow pattern of the penis to such an extent that it does not only improve the flow but also helps retain the blood in the penis. It has shown to be successful for both primary and secondary impotence, with 3 in 4 men treated achieving erection. Use of Viagra must be supervised, as it can cause side effects for people with certain diseases (especially of the heart and lungs).

If this kind of male dysfunction causes prolonged infertility, surgical sperm retrieval is one of the options you can explore.