Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and maintain an erection firm enough for sex.
Having erectile trouble from time to time isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. If erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue; however, it can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems. Problems getting or keeping an erection can also be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment and a risk factor for heart disease.
If you’re concerned about erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor — even if you feel embarrassed. Sometimes, treating an underlying condition is enough to reverse erectile dysfunction. In other cases, medications or other direct treatments may be needed.