Impotence

Published by Sarah Horrocks
Published on 13 August 2008

Impotence is the inability to penetrate a partner or other hollow orifice with the penis, often accompanied with ejaculation problems. Why and how does this happen?

Impotence is the inability to penetrate a partner or other hollow orifice with the penis, often accompanied with ejaculation problems. Why and how does this happen?

What is impotence?
It’s an inability to obtain a rigid enough erection for penetration without the manual aid of a partner. This also translates as the inability to maintain a rigid and stable erection during penetration or position change. There are several stages of impotence, from total absence of erection to an unstable erection.

The causes of impotence
Organic causes
- Impotence can be due to underlying illnesses such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and depression.
- An unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, drinking and using cannabis).
- Certain types of medication (make sure you read the leaflet!).
- Ageing.

Psychological causes
- Stress, conflict (arguments etc) and lack of self-confidence can all cause impotence. Men who suffer from impotence for psychological reasons usually still have nightly erections.

The most common causes
Most often impotence is caused by:
- Fear of not measuring up to expectations with a new partner, even/especially if he really likes her.
- Lack of arousal.
- Stress, tiredness, professional/work concerns can also have an influence.
- If the problem has already happened, the fear of it happening again could cause problems. This anxiety leads to the secretion of adrenalin, a substance that inhibits erection. Also, the man may be so concerned with his performance that he stops his brain from receiving erotic messages from his partner.
Note: the mechanism of erection is uncontrollable, which means that in order to achieve a good erection it’s better not to think and just let yourself go!

How to fix it
If the cause is organic, there are solutions, the best known of which is the little blue pill called Viagra, usually prescribed for age-related dysfunction. Pumps and vacuums also exist as well as rigid prostheses with or without a pump. Some men also resort to local injections; doctors can prescribe other medication as well if there is an illness that is causing the problem. Speak to your GP about possible options.
If the cause is psychological (80% of cases), first talk to your partner, then if needs be see a sexologist who will be able to help you or your partner achieve a fulfilled sex life.

Can men who suffer from impotence still orgasm?
Men who suffer from impotence can still have orgasms. A limp penis does not mean no orgasm or ejaculation, but obviously the man's partner will be unsatisfied...which is why it’s important to talk about impotence right from the beginning.

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