Impotence or Erectile Dysfunction is the inability to get, or maintain, an erection for the purpose of satisfactory sexual intercourse. In some instances the penis may become erect for a short period of time, or become partly erect but not hard enough to have sex properly. This problem tends to be more common amongst older men, but can happen at any age.

The reasons for Impotence can be either physical or psychological. If the person with impotence can get a full erection at times (for example through masturbation or first thing in the morning), but not all of the time then they are more likely to have psychological reasons for their impotence.

Physical reasons can include diseases which affect the nerves for example Parkinsons, hormonal problems, or the side effect of some medications. Alcohol and substance abuse can also be a factor.

The psychological reasons are many and varied. They can include stress, anxiety, relationship difficulties and depression. The sufferer may have anxiety about their performance, a fear of sexual failure or low self-esteem causing them to believe that they are inadequate. The anxiety and worry about their performance, then causes the very thing that they fear will happen. With many psychological disorders sexual desire can wane, thus causing the persons inability to get an erection. Psychological Impotence tends to come on very suddenly.

Impotence tends to be more common amongst older men, but can happen at any age.