Erectile Dysfunction

Robert Sterling Hollabaugh, Jr. M.D., FACS

The term erectile dysfunction is technically used to distinguish erection failure from other male sexual problems such as loss of sexual drive, infertility, and problems with ejaculation and orgasm.

Erectile dysfunction syndrome (EDS) is very common, affecting half of all men over age 50 and many men under age 50, particularly those with early vascular disease, diabetes, years of cigarette smoking or alcohol abuse.

The onset of EDS is almost always gradual and the early indicators are often subtle and unrecognized. Early in this process, loss of early morning erections may occur. Then, getting an erection may begin to take longer, and occasionally the erection won’t last throughout intercourse. The ability to get a second erection becomes more difficult. Fatigue, stress, or any distraction makes intercourse more difficult. More and more stimulation is required to get and keep the erection. The occasional failure becomes more common, and it’s at this point that the man usually realizes that there is a problem.