Characteristics of impotence

This article was endorsed by Iolanda Miró i Vinaixa - Doctor of Medicine and Surgery

Male genital tract impotence

What is sexual impotence?

Drawing of male genital apparatus
Drawing of male genital apparatus. The blue arrow points to the cavernous body that must be filled with blood so that the penis becomes erect.

The absence of an erection, known as sexual impotence or erectile dysfunction, is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain a firm erection that allows a satisfactory sexual relationship.

How does an erection occur?

The erection of the penis is produced, generally by sexual excitement, when blood fills the corpora cavernosa, resulting in a lengthening and hardening of the penis.

Problems of lack of erection or impotence can prevent penetration into the vagina and the subsequent ejaculation of semen inside it, which can cause infertility.

Who is affected by impotence?

Impotence is a problem that can affect all men at some point in their lives, especially when they are tired, stressed, have abused alcohol or have some systemic disease (high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, etc.). With age, its frequency increases.

Causes of impotence or erectile dysfunction

The causes of erectile dysfunction can be divided mainly into two groups:

  • Psychological: stress or conflicts with the environment can cause sexual arousal problems.
  • Physical: Any problem that affects the nerves, veins, or tissues of the penis can prevent an erection, causing impotence. A clear case is advanced diabetes, in which nerves and blood vessels are damaged.

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction

The psychological causes are the most abundant and affect 90% of men at some point in their lives. The socially accepted obligation that a man has to “perform a good role in bed” can generate emotional tension that, in some cases, ends up causing impotence.

Other personal causes, such as the shame of showing the body naturally, social or religious obstacles, or the lack of communication in the couple, could influence.

Stress, tiredness, anxiety could be the cause of this manifestation.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction

Tumors, polyps, urethral or testicular malformations, ataxia, thyroid problems, diabetes mellitus, a lack of testosterone or multiple sclerosis could be some of the physical causes of impotence.

Traumatic injuries to the nerves of the penis, the corpora cavernosa, or the arteries, as well as certain operations of areas near the penis, such as prostate or bladder operations in the event that the nerves are damaged, could also cause dysfunction.

Other causes of impotence

Some factors that can cause impotence are:

  • Toxic substances such as tobacco, alcohol or drugs such as cocaine or amphetamines.
  • Medicines, especially determinate prescriptions for hypertension or heart problems.
  • Poor circulation, such as thrombus in the arteries which impede blood to get into the veins of the penis. In people over 60 years old, arteriosclerosis problems or hardening of the veins are the main cause of male impotence.

Symptoms of sexual impotence

  • Inability of erection
  • flaccidity of the penis that does not allow penetration.

Diagnosis and treatment for sexual impotence

Problems related to impotence require the intervention of the doctor who, through a series of forms and tests, must rule out the presence of any psychological or physical illness that could produce the problem.

In the event of any physical anomaly, its treatment can solve the problem of impotence. Among the most widely used tests are blood tests, which allow checking the levels of male hormones, sugar, homocysteine, and physical examinations, to detect any possible tumor or genital abnormality.

The doctor may consider the administration of medications necessary to prolong the erection.

punto rojo More information on impotence.

Editorial
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

17 July, 2020

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