Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) are unable to achieve and maintain erections firm enough for penetrative sex. Nearly all men experience problems getting and keeping erections from time to time, but if the problem persists, you should seek medical advice to determine the cause and the treatments that might best help.

Overview of erectile dysfunction

Your risk of experiencing ED grows as you get older. About 5 percent of men experience erectile dysfunction by the time they turn 40. The rate of erectile dysfunction increases to between 15-25 percent after men turn 65.

The mechanics of normal erections are managed by chemicals that stimulate the flow of blood into the penis during sexual arousal. Your penis has two erection chambers composed of spongy muscle tissue that allows blood to accumulate, and that results in an erection. After ejaculation, the blood in your erection chambers leaves and your penis becomes flaccid again. However, if the flow of blood is insufficient, or if the blood leaves the penis too quickly, an erection will not happen.