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Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Causes of Impotence

Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection is called impotence, or erectile dysfunction (ED). Impotence can include

  • not getting erections at all

  • getting erections some of the time, but not consistently or reliably

  • erections that are not firm enough for sexual enjoyment

  • erections that fade quickly (without orgasm or ejaculation).

Impotence has many different causes, including

  • vascular disease (narrowing or "hardening" of vessels that supply blood to the penis)

  • nerve or spinal cord problems

  • medication side effects

  • after effects of certain types of surgery

  • substance abuse

  • hormone problems

  • stress, anxiety or other psychological causes.

This guide is intended to help you figure out why you may be experiencing impotence. Since impotence in young men may have different causes than impotence in older men, let's start by finding out your age.

How old are you?

I am age 45 or older.

I am younger than 45 years old.

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