Symptoms of erectile dysfunction 

The main symptom of erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get and maintain an erection for satisfactory intercourse.

ED should not be confused with ejaculation problems such as premature ejaculation, which is a condition where the process of arousal, orgasm and ejaculation occurs very rapidly.

Inability to get an erection

Sometimes ED 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.

In these circumstances, it is likely that the underlying cause of ED is primarily psychological (stress related). However, if you are unable to get an erection under any circumstances, it is likely that the underlying cause is primarily physical.

Seek medical advice

See your GP if ED persists 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).

Many websites offer treatments for ED but their use is not recommended. The medications that are offered by these sites could be fake and may be dangerous. Even if the medications are genuine, they may not be suitable for you.

It is important that you only take medication for ED that your GP has prescribed for you.

Read more about treating erectile dysfunction.

Page last reviewed: 11/09/2012

Next review due: 11/09/2014