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HealthInfo Canterbury

Erection problems (erectile dysfunction)

older couple walkingErectile dysfunction, or ED, is when you can't achieve or maintain satisfactory erections. It's common and becomes more common as men get older. Around 25% of men aged 65 will have some amount of ED. It can be very distressing and frustrating for both men and their partners.

Erection dysfunction may be caused by non-medical problems such as tiredness, too much alcohol or recreational drug use, stress, depression or relationship problems.

Medical causes include problems with blood flow to your penis, diabetes, prostate problems or surgery and some medications.

Your GP can check if you have a condition causing your ED.

Tablets to treat ED are available through your GP and some trained pharmacists. They work for most men but aren't suitable for everyone.

If you have a heart or other health condition you need to discuss with your doctor to see if you can safely take these tablets.

There are other treatments for ED including injections and implants that you can discuss with your GP.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2019.

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Page reference: 47980

Review key: HIERD-47980