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Erectile dysfunction is a relatively common condition that can affect men of all ages

What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED)?

If you cannot get or keep an erection hard enough for sex, you may have a medical condition called ED.

Men can experience symptoms in different ways:

  • Some men do not get an erection at all
  • Some men get an erection, but cannot keep it long enough for sex
  • Some men get an erection, but it is not hard enough for sex

For some men with ED, it can be difficult to get or keep an erection every time they try to have sex. For others, symptoms can happen just once in a while.

ED is a common medical condition that has nothing to do with masculinity. An estimated 4.3 million men in the UK experience symptoms*, so don't worry - if you're experiencing ED symptoms you are not alone. You can take action to get help.

Some men ignore their ED symptoms for years, because they are too embarrassed to see a healthcare professional, but the symptoms of ED can be treated in most cases.

*Prevalence based on men reporting occasional and frequent difficulty getting and maintaining an erection [ref. Kantar TNS Omnibus Survey Dec 2010 - in a survey of 1,033 men]

What causes erectile dysfunction?

A common physical cause of erectile dysfunction is reduced blood flow to the penis

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is generally due to physical causes, although psychological issues and some types of medication can also cause ED.

The main physical cause of ED is not enough blood flowing into the penis, so a man cannot get and keep an erection when he is sexually excited.

This happens because the small blood vessels that supply the penis during an erection become blocked or narrow.

Smoking, high cholesterol and lack of exercise can cause this problem, as can high blood pressure and diabetes.

ED can sometimes be an early warning sign of underlying health conditions even if you feel healthy.

While not all men with ED will have other health problems, it is always best to talk to a pharmacist or see your doctor who can fully assess your health and treat any condition you might have that could be causing ED symptoms.

Do not ignore ED symptoms - talk to your pharmacist or make an appointment with your doctor for a health check-up