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Love Counselling - Erectile dysfunction is when a man is unable to get and/or keep an erection that allows sexual activity with penetration. It is not a disease, but a symptom of some other problem, either physical or psychological or a mixture of both.
How common is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is very common and becomes more common as men age. An Australian survey showed that at least one in five men over the age of 40 years has erectile problems and about one in ten men are completely unable to have erections. With each increasing decade of age, the chance of having erectile problems increases.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
Many factors can affect a man€™s ability to get and keep an erection and several factors may be present at one time. Commonly there is a combination of physical and psychological factors. Sometimes there is no clear reason for the erectile dysfunction; however, most cases of erectile dysfunction have a physical cause.
How does an erection happen?
Getting an erection is a complicated process. There are two tubes of spongy tissue that run along the length of the penis. A tough fibrous, partially elastic outer casing surrounds this spongy material. When stimulated by the nerves, the spongy tissue arranges itself in such a way that more blood can be stored in the penis. The veins running through the outer sheath of the penis then compress which stops the blood from leaving the penis. As the blood is stopped from flowing out, the penis fills with blood and stretches within the outer casing, giving an erection. In both the spongy tissue and blood vessels, muscle cells react to chemicals in the body; some make an erection happen and some make the penis flaccid (soft). The balance of these chemicals controls whether the penis is hard or soft.