Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence) - Share Your Experience

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How common is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence) varies in severity; some men have a total inability to achieve an erection, others have an inconsistent ability to achieve an erection, and still others can sustain only brief erections. The variations in severity of erectile dysfunction make estimating its frequency difficult. Many men also are reluctant to discuss erectile dysfunction with their doctors due to embarrassment, and thus the condition is underdiagnosed. Nevertheless, experts have estimated that erectile dysfunction affects 30 million men in the United States.

While erectile dysfunction can occur at any age, it is uncommon among young men and more common in the elderly. By age 45, most men have experienced erectile dysfunction at least some of the time. According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, complete impotence increases from 5% among men 40 years of age to 15% among men 70 years and older. Population studies conducted in the Netherlands found that some degree of erectile dysfunction occurred in 20% of men between ages 50-54, and in 50% of men between ages 70-78. In 1999, the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey counted 1,520,000 doctor-office visits for erectile dysfunction. Other studies have noted that approximately 35% of men 40-70 years of age suffer from moderate to severe ED, and an additional 15% may have milder forms.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Barry, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 16

I felt my sex drive go away, well, I decided to do something about it. I do testosterone (1 mil) once a week and HGC (human chorionic gonadotropins) .20 mg once a week. You need to do your liver test and a blood test, it cost a lot but it's worth it. I am 58 going to be 59 in three months.

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Comment from: Wifey, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 31

I'm 42 and my husband is 57. Our problem began about six years ago. Pills worked for a while, but now they don't seem to. However, when you keep doing the same thing, you get the same results; taking it and expecting it to work too soon, not talking about it, not following up with the doctor. I'm frustrated in his lack of concern in doing something about this. ED (erectile dysfunction) is destroying our marriage. I'm trying to be understanding and supportive of him. I also feel humiliated with every failed attempt. I miss my old life and my husband.

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