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Impotence

Impotence or erectile dysfunction is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis for satisfactory sexual intercourse regardless of the capability of ejaculation. There are various underlying causes, such as diabetes, many of which are medically reversible.

The causes may be physiological or psychological. Psychological impotence can often be helped by almost anything that the patient believes in; there is a very strong placebo effect.  Due to its embarrassing nature and the shame felt by sufferers, the subject was taboo for a long time, and is the subject of many urban legends. Folk remedies have long been advocated, with some being advertised widely since the 1930s. The introduction of perhaps the first pharmacologically effective remedy for impotence, sildenafil  in the 1990s caused a wave of public attention, propelled in part by the news-worthiness of stories about it and heavy advertising.

The Latin term impotentia coeundi describes simple inability to insert the penis into the vagina. It is now mostly replaced by more precise terms

Medical symptoms

Erectile dysfunction is characterized by the inability to maintain erection. Normal erections during sleep and in the early morning suggest a psychogenic cause, while loss of these erections may signify underlying disease, often cardiovascular in origin. Other things leading to erectile dysfunction are diabetes mellitus (causing neuropathy) or hypogonadism (decreased testosterone levels due to disease affecting the testicles or the pituitary gland).

MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS

There are no formal tests to diagnose erectile dysfunction. Some blood tests are generally done to exclude underlying disease, such as diabetes, hypogonadism and prolactinoma.

A useful and simple way to distinguish between physiological and psychological impotence is to determine whether the patient ever has an erection. If never, the problem is likely to be physiological; if sometimes (however rarely), it is more likely to be psychological.

wikipedia.com