Impotence is the absence of erections or when erections are too weak. There was a time when it was thought that most disorders of potency were the result of psychological problems. Today, with better diagnostic tests, it has been shown the majority of erectile problems are due to physical disorders. A narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the penis can cause the amount of blood flowing into the erectile bodies to be insufficient, causing lessening or even absence of erections. A 'leak' in the veins that lead out of the erectile bodies can have the same effect. If the nerves that control erections do not function properly, or are damaged (for example in patients with diabetes or after major surgery) erectile capability would be affected. Psychological factors, like problems at work or in marriage, may worsen physical problems and cause diminished erections or complete failure.
Treatments for impotence include:
Prescription Drugs (e.g. Viagra ®)
Surgical Implants: A penile prosthesis can be inserted surgically. There are two types, bendable and inflatable.
Priapism is the medical term for a penis that remains erect for prolonged periods of time with pain. This condition leads to damage to the erectile spongy tissue, because the persisting high pressures prevent fresh blood from entering the penis. Urgent medical treatment to drain the blood out of the penis will prevent the development of scarring.
Peyronie's Disease is a curvature of the penis resulting from scar tissue (plaque) that has formed inside the penis. This may make intercourse painful or difficult. No single treatment has proven effective in all men with Peyronie's disease. Because the plaque can disappear on its own, a period of conservative management is usually tried first.
Medications can help reduce pain and soften and reduce the size of the plaque. Surgery is generally used in severe cases of Peyronie's disease that do not resolve on their own and can not be treated by other means.