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Erection problems: questions to ask yourself

Is it really an erection problem? Or is the actual problem premature ejaculation or a lack of sexual desire?
Can you achieve an erection by masturbation but not with your partner, and do you still sometimes wake with an erection? If the answers are ‘yes’, a psychological reason, such as stress or depression, is likely.
Did loss of erections come on suddenly, or have erections gradually been failing over a long period of time? Erectile failure which comes on suddenly is usually psychological; physical causes usually have a more gradual onset.
Have you been under extra stress lately? If so, is there any way you can lessen the stress in your life?
Are you taking any drugs that might be responsible? If so, ask your doctor for alternatives.
Are you drinking too much? Blood alcohol concentrations of up to about 25 mg/100 mL improve erections slightly, but when the level reaches about 40 mg/100 mL erection is inhibited. In some people, only one or two drinks is enough to raise the blood alcohol to this level. Heavy drinking over a long period can cause erectile failure because of nerve damage.
Have you noticed anything else wrong? For example: Peyronie’s disease, where the penis develops a lump and often kinks, can cause impotence; tightness of the foreskin can prevent full erections; and enlargement of the breasts or loss of body hair might mean a hormonal problem.
Who is really bothered by the problem – you or your partner? Talk to your partner about what each of you wants from sex. As sex counsellor Susie Hayman says, “It’s amazing how many people just lie there wishing their partner was a mind reader.
Are you a smoker? If so, can you stop? Stopping smoking will not reverse the problem, but may stop it getting worse. Also, impotence is often a sign that your arteries are unhealthy, so stopping smoking is important to lessen the risk of a heart attack.
Have you had your blood pressure checked recently and been tested for diabetes? Many men with impotence have unhealthy arteries and high blood pressure, so a check of your blood pressure and blood lipids (e.g. cholesterol) are necessary. Impotence can also be a symptom of diabetes

Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Saturday, September 3rd 2011


In part 3 of his penis trilogy, Dr Phil Hammond discusses penis size, shape and function, the causes of erection problems, and what you can do about erectile dysfunction. Click on the video below for more information.

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Comments on this article

Posted by Steve on 12/07/2013 at 12:57

Could you tell me why'll I am still hard after I have shot my load.

Posted by Optional on 09/04/2013 at 01:33

my husband and i are married for 14 years, and for the last month he all of a sudden gets hard and everything but as soon as we want to penetraid his penis goes soft and then he dont cum also. i dont know is it me???? he was never like that, i normally made a joke even him and said you a real sex machine hahaha. we normally have sex everyday of the week. but lately he doesnt want to get up or cum or anything. is it me?????

Posted by Optional on 02/03/2013 at 08:09

when ever i try to have sex with my girlfriend,i do have erection buh,after stroking it for sometime,it suddenlly reduces in size nd i lose interest in having sex..please wat can i do,am so worried...and i also do wake up wit an erection so i know i am perfectly ok,cos ido masturbate very well also..please helppp...

Posted by Optional on 09/10/2012 at 11:49

I have problem that Whenever I kiss my girl and we do foreplay I have always leakage and penis stays in normal(not erected). what should i do to overcome this problem. becuase i never got erected penis while kissing or foreplaying.

Posted by ranga on 20/07/2012 at 04:23

I Am marred now 12 i have a erection problems from last 4 month. it s not gating strong.i am using Medici n for epilepsy tegrritol CR 200 And velperrin so its happen from this medicin or any other problems. pleas help me.thanks.

Posted by Anonymous on 17/01/2011 at 03:39

This is so true - for me I was drinking and smoking too much and my doctor put me on to this hypnosis CD place to help quit these and then I came across another hypnosis CD actually for erections. Actually I think it worked or maybe it was because I quit the drink and smoke, but either way I'm happy to share the site - but the Erection CD was cheaper when I brought it - I think they out their prices up but still worth it I think.