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Impotence -- also known as erectile dysfunction or ED -- is often used to refer to the inability to get or keep an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse. It usually doesn't occur on its own, but is the result of other medical conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, or clogged blood vessels.
 
While it might be embarrassing to talk to your healthcare provider about this, it's important to do so. For one thing, impotence is quite treatable. Second, because it can accompany other health conditions, ignoring this issue means you are ignoring the other underlying issue as well -- and this can have a serious impact on your health.
 
Impotence treatment can involve medication, certain devices, and counseling. At times, a combination of methods may be advised. What your healthcare provider recommends will depend on your specific situation.
 
(Click Impotence for more information on this condition, including what causes an erection and how ED interferes with this, factors that can lead to its development, and why treatment is so important.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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