Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to get and maintain an erection.
Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition, particularly in older men. It is estimated that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will have it to some degree.
When to see your GP
See your GP if you have erectile dysfunction for more than a few weeks. They will assess your general state of health because the condition can be the first sign of more serious health conditions, such as heart disease (when the heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted). If your GP believes you meet the appropriate criteria, they can make a referral to the Isis ED clinic using the form at the bottom of this page.
Why does erectile dysfunction happen?
Erectile dysfunction can have a range of causes, both physical and psychological. Physical causes include:
- narrowing of the blood vessels going to the penis commonly associated with high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol or diabetes
- hormonal problems
- surgery or injury
Psychological causes of ED include:
Sometimes erectile dysfunction only occurs in certain situations. For example, you may be able to get an erection during masturbation, or you may find that you sometimes wake up with an erection but you are unable to get an erection with your sexual partner.
If this is the case, it is likely the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction is psychological (stress related). If you are unable to get an erection under any circumstances, it is likely that the underlying cause is physical.
Erectile dysfunction can also be a side-effect of using certain medicines.
This service is by GP referral only. The referral form can be found in the Professions only button.