Erectile dysfunction is when a man cannot achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse. Having ED once in a while is normal, but if you experience ED for more than three months, talk to your doctor.
The most common cause of erectile dysfunction is a cardiovascular problem. The blood vessels in the penis are among the smallest in the body and are often the first to exhibit symptoms of high blood pressure (hypertension) or arthersclerosis (hardening of the arteries), or diabetes.
Other causes of erectile dysfunction include surgery, such as prostate cancer surgery, that affects the nerves or blood vessels that play a role in getting erections. Side effects from medications such as antidepressants or antihistamines, emotional or mental stress, and lifestyle choices including smoking and alcohol and drug abuse can also cause ED.