As is the case with most illnesses having to do with sex and sexuality, the ‘taboo’ topics and embarrassing conversations are still prevalent. A feeling of fear sometimes grips men suffering from health issues that has to deal with sex. Problems of infertility, erectile dysfunction, or impotence for men are usually shrouded in mystery. In most, if not all of these cases, there are solutions which have proven to be effective in both the short term and long term.

What’s on this page?

What is it?

Impotence is a form of erectile dysfunction but is somewhat broader in scope than ED. Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, impotence expands from just the inability to have and maintain an erection, to also include factors such as a low sex drive and problems with ejaculation.

“Impotence is a problem for 20% of the population in the UK – However, it is ignored by over half of the sufferers.”

Impotence is characterized by the poor blood supply to the penis and the inability for the retention of this blood supply long enough for one to engage in satisfactory intercourse.The poor blood supply may be due to various factors – which we would get into later-, however, as far as we’re concerned with the physical aspect, most likely there are problems with the blood vessel leading to the penis.

Possible causes?

In the case of most of these illnesses, and in this case impotence, finding out the causes of such health issues is the first step to effective treatment or prevention.


As one example of an of an endocrine disease, diabetes is one of those illnesses that could be at the source of numerous other illnesses, one of which is impotence. The endocrine system is a collection of glands which produce hormones that help regulate, among other things, sexual function. Diabetes can cause nerve damage which in turn could affect the penis.

Neurological & Nerve Disorders

Disorders or injuries caused to the brain can affect the nerves which communicate with the reproductive system. With this in mind, an accident to the brain or an injury, for example, stroke, multiple sclerosis, or a brain tumour can negatively affect arousal.

Taking Medication

Taking certain medications can affect blood flow through the body. For example, mental health drugs like Xanax, which act as central nerve system depressants can affect one’s sex drive. Other drugs like cocaine are also known to cause impotence.

Psychological Factors

A lack of confidence or low self-esteem can affect one’s ability to become aroused and perform during sex. Some observers have concluded that in many cases psychological factors are a large part of the problem as it concerns problems dealing with sexual performance.

Cardiac-Related Conditions

Illnesses or conditions which affect the heart and the ability to pump blood makes sexual activity problematic. Without sufficient blood flow to the penis, it’s impossible to have an erection.

The first step that you can independently take to improving your condition once diagnosed is to initiate a lifestyle change. Impotence in many cases is a by-product of an underlying condition, whether it be: lack of exercise, poor diet, or just unhealthy habits. Furthermore, have you ever heard the adage: ‘a used key is always bright’? That was Benjamin Franklin, and he was referring to something completely different, but in this case, it does apply. Having a safe but active sex life is important to keep the ‘machine’ well oiled and working.

On the other hand, too much of anything is good for nothing. And too much sex, like for example, multiple times per day on an abnormally consistent basis (say, not a honeymoon), may not directly lead to impotence but can certainly reduce performance and the quality of the experience. In such cases, some men become concerned as to their inability to perform when called upon. It could be a simple case of mere exhaustion – as rare as these instances do appear.

Treatment options

Depending on the extremity of your case, the doctor would recommend what is necessary. There are treatment options that range from mild – light dosage of medication ie. Cialis, Viagra etc, to more invasive surgeries.


  • Viagra (Sildenafil)
  • Levitra (Vardenafil)
  • Cialis (Tadalafil)


  • Penile implants
  • vascular reconstructive surgery
  • testosterone replacement therapy

Preventing impotence

As the old saying goes: ‘prevention is better than cure’. Ensuring that you take precaution by engaging in healthy living is critical.

It’s been noted that men with a higher level of education are less likely to experience impotence. This has largely been supported by the fact that more educated men usually live healthier lifestyles or maybe they’re just smart enough to answer ‘no’ on some of these surveys and questionnaires; whatever the case may be such a correlation does raise questions about lifestyle choices.

Lifestyle habits that may cause impotence:

  • Alcoholism
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Vitamin D deficiency

Is it preventable?

A simple answer to this question is a definitive yes. Ensuring good lifestyle choices, exercise, a healthy diet and good self-esteem are important. Having a comfortable relationship with your partner – in which communication is important-, will certainly put you in an ideal position to prevent this illness from affecting you even later on in life.