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Erections: Erectile Dysfunction and Impotence

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Erections: Erectile Dysfunction and Impotence


Erectile dysfunction (ED) used to be called impotence and refers to the inability to have or maintain an erection. Symptoms of ED are straightforward: when having sex, your penis doesn’t become or stay erect.

It is important to determine whether there really is a problem, since experiencing occasional difficulties having an erection doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong (and can be caused more often by emotional problems with your partner rather than by health problems).

However, if you are having difficulties more than 50% of the time you have sex, then you should talk to your doctor.


What causes erectile dysfunction? 

Erectile dysfunction has various causes, the most common of which are the following:

  • Arterial blood circulation problems that restrict blood flow to the penis (can be associated to being overweight)
  • Diabetes (affects peripheral nerves and blood circulation)
  • Certain medications that can affect certain hormones
  • Smoking
  • Recreational drugs
  • Other health problems such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, liver or kidney problems


To reduce your risk of experiencing ED you should:

  • Quit smoking
  • Watch how much you drink
  • Exercise regularly


There are several effective treatments including psychotherapy, medication or even surgery.


Couples therapy


Sometimes, there is no physical cause for erectile dysfunction. Personal factors can cause impotence including performance anxiety or problems with your partner. Sex therapists or other therapists specialised in relationship issues can be helpful in such situations.



Pharmacy services


Don’t hesitate to ask your Accès Pharma affiliated-pharmacist for advice. They will respect your privacy and be able to assist you.


To download the PDF brochure, click here. 

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