What does having an erection problem mean?
An erection problem is where a man is unable to get or maintain an erection hard enough for satisfactory sex. They can happen to men at any stage of life and can be experienced in different ways, including:
- Not being able to achieve an erection at all
- Achieving an erection that isn’t hard enough for sex
- Achieving an erection but not being able to sustain it long enough for sex
For some men, it’s difficult to achieve or keep an erection every time they try to have sex, and other men may find it happens occasionally. Although EPs can be complex and multifactorial, what may differentiate persistent from occasional EPs is the probable cause.
Long-term or regular erection problems
In men suffering from long-term or regular EPs, the cause may be something psychological or physical that is interfering with the normal erectile process; either through nerve stimulation or blood flow to the penis.
Infrequent or occasional erection problems
EPs can begin as something that happens infrequently. This may be caused by undiagnosed depression, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Anxiety can lead to EPs becoming more regular as men start worry more about their sexual performance. A loss of confidence and fear of failure creates a vicious cycle, where worsening anxiety exacerbates EP.2,3 Learn more about the possible causes of EPs.