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Erectile dysfunction (ED) means that in more than two-thirds of cases, a man can not get or maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse. The penis does not become hard enough or relaxes prematurely. These problems persist for at least six months. So, if it does not work out every now and then, it is not necessarily a disorder in need of treatment.
With age, erectile dysfunction becomes more common. Almost one in ten people is affected by the 40- to 49-year-olds, and one in three of the 60- to 69-year-olds. This was shown by a study by the University of Cologne in the year 2000. Many further investigations in numerous countries came to comparable results. Experts suggest that there is a large number of unreported cases. The actual numbers could be even higher.
Erectile dysfunction is colloquially called also potency disorder or "impotence". The latter term was formerly used in medicine, but is rarely used today. Because he "throws together" various disorders that do not necessarily belong together: on the one hand erectile dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, on the other hand infertility, ie the inability to produce children (sterility).
Erectile dysfunction is often the first warning sign of vascular disease and thus a potential harbinger of heart attack or stroke. If an arteriosclerosis is detected and treated early, bad consequences can often be avoided. Not least for this reason, it is advisable to have a potency problems clarified by a doctor.
With increasing age, the testosterone level in the blood drops slightly in almost all men. This is nothing unusual and no reason for a therapy. However, a man suffering from erectile problems, a testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism) could play a crucial role. In this case, the doctor will advise to balance the hormone deficiency. Maybe this will already improve the potency problems. Often, erectile dysfunction medications (PDE-5 inhibitors, see below) are better or first-time in conjunction with hormone therapy.