An erection involves the brain, nerves, hormones, muscles, and circulatory system. These systems work together to fill the erectile tissue in the penis with blood. A man with erectile dysfunction ED has trouble getting or maintaining an erection for sexual intercourse. Some men with ED are completely unable to get an erection. Others have trouble maintaining an erection for more than a short time.
Men suffering from sexual dysfunction can be successful at reversing their problem, by focusing on lifestyle factors and not just relying on medication, according to research at the University of Adelaide. In a new paper published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine , researchers highlight the incidence of erectile dysfunction and lack of sexual desire among Australian men aged years. From a clinical point of view, the inability of some men to perform sexually can also be linked to a range of other health problems, many of which can be debilitating or potentially fatal," says Professor Gary Wittert, Head of the Discipline of Medicine at the University of Adelaide and Director of the University's Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health. The major risk factors for this are typically physical conditions rather than psychological ones, such as being overweight or obese, a higher level of alcohol intake, having sleeping difficulties or obstructive sleep apnoea, and age. This shows that many of these factors affecting men are modifiable, offering them an opportunity to do something about their condition," Professor Wittert says. The lead author of the paper, Dr Sean Martin from the University of Adelaide's Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health, says: "Even when medication to help with erectile function is required, it is likely to be considerably more effective if lifestyle factors are also addressed.
You may find it embarrassing if you are having difficulty maintaining an erection, or finding it hard to ejaculate, but you are not alone. Many men have the same problem. As many as two and a half million men around the UK may have some sort of sexual dysfunction at any one time. Although it may not be something you want to discuss with your friends, it is important that you get some advice if you are worried about it. The most common cause of erectile dysfunction for young men is anxiety.
Back to Health A to Z. Erection problems impotence are very common, particularly in men over It's usually nothing to worry about, but you should see a GP if it keeps happening. This is usually due to stress, tiredness, anxiety or drinking too much alcohol, and it's nothing to worry about.