STI Clinic Dublin- Erectile Dysfunction
01, April 2016

Erectile Dysfunction is a broad term used to describe many different symptoms or difficulties a man may experience in his sex life.


The most common type of erectile dysfunction is an inability to get a n erection or maintain n erection “ I can’t get it up Doc“ “ I can’t keep it up Doc”


Other erectile problems include ejaculating too quickly after penetration or ejaculating before penetration happens and this is called premature ejaculation which I will talk about in my other blog post.

Other types of difficulties include: not having as hard an erection as before or feeling like there is a bend in the penis that is getting worse. Sometimes a reduction in desire or interest in sex is present.

80% of erection problems are due to a physical cause, approximately 20 % are due to psychological causes.

  • Physical causes of an inability to get or keep an erection include general poor health ( If you are suffering from any chronic illness), if you are diabetic, if you have vascular disease, if you are taking medication including hair replacement products (Prpecia), anabolic steroids( for body building ), general steroid based medication ,blood pressure tablets, anti -depressants, some pain killers, and anti-seizure medication ( there is a much longer list but your Dr. will advise you about this). Other physical illnesses that can affect your erections include hemochromatosis , spinal injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and any other neurological condition.


  • Excessive alcohol or recreational drugs like cocaine and ecstasy can also prevent you getting /keeping an erection and may also cause delayed ejaculation or an inability to ejaculate.


  • Psychological causes include anxiety, (sometimes specifically about your inability to get an erection and this can become a separate source of anxiety in its own right), depression, stress ( financial, relationship, health or anything at all!), body image issues or sexuality issues.

The great news is that erection difficulties are almost always treatable !

When you see me I will start by asking you a detailed sexual history including questions about your erections, when do you get them ? Are you lacking libido ( reduced desire ). I will also do a physical exam looking at your penis and testicles. I will also measure your blood pressure and your weight.

I will also take a general medical ,physical history and medication history .

Tests may include hormonal levels, cholesterol, a full blood count , iron studies and blood sugars. I may also measure your PSA (prostate specific antibody)These should all be done after at least 12 hours of fasting ( Only water , black tea or coffee should be drunk before attending me ).

Treatment will depend on the cause of your erection problems and may include specific advice, counselling and prescription meds or aids to help you improve your erections( e.g penile rings, pumps etc). Occasionally I may refer you to a psychologist or a sex therapist if I feel this would also help.

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