Although many men would deny it, impotence is a problem that affects most men at some point in their lives. Generally, causes for temporary impotence can be related to stress or illness and the occasional bout of impotence should not cause a couple alarm. However, if the problem develops into permanent impotence, it is likely time to make an appointment with a fertility specialist.
What is Impotence?
Also known as erectile dysfunction, impotence refers to a man’s inability to achieve and maintain an erection. While a man experiencing erectile dysfunction may think he is the only one having this type of problem, the reality is that an estimated 25 to 30 million men will encounter impotence during their lifetime. Despite the fact that impotence can make it nearly impossible to conceive a child, erectile dysfunction is generally not credited as a cause of infertility. This is because impotence causes are normally the result of underlying factors that need to be addressed.
Causes of Impotence
With age, the quality of a man’s erection and orgasm will change. It is not uncommon for older men to find it harder to achieve an erection and therefore rely on impotence medications, like Viagra™, for a little bit of assistance in the bedroom. In younger men, though, sustaining an erection should generally not be difficult. While stress or illness may cause a man to experience temporary impotence, this type of erectile dysfunction should not last for too long. However, if impotence seems to be becoming a permanent problem, then it is necessary for the problem to be medically assessed.
In the past, as much as 80% of impotence causes were credited to psychological problems, such as fears and inhibitions. Nowadays, though, psychological causes, including stress, depression and anxiety, are seen to account for only 10% to 20% of erectile dysfunction cases. A further 70% of chronic impotence cases can be traced back to diseases, like kidney disease, alcoholism and diabetes, which can restrict blood flow to the penis. Other erectile dysfunction causes include the use of illicit and prescription drugs, including certain antidepressants and high blood pressure medications.
Men with spinal cord or brain injuries or some other type of nerve disorder may also find that maintaining or even achieving an erection is difficult. This is because their nerve impulses may be impaired thereby preventing the brain and penis from communicating properly. Radiation therapy, pelvic injury and surgery can also cause a man to be confronted with chronic impotence.