Erectile problems are a complex disorder that involves an inability to get or keep an erection sufficient for sex.

In addition, erectile problems are just one of several types of sexual problems that can affect a man at any time. According to a study from the Sexual Medicine journal , the prevalence of men with one sexual problem being affected by another sexual problem ranges from about 20% to 40%.

Frequency of Erectile Problems

The frequency of erectile problems can vary depending on the individual. It can develop over time and occur frequently, or can occur sporadically and for a short time. Erectile problems can be experienced in the following ways:

Difficulty getting an erection

Men with rrectile problems may experience trouble achieving an erection. They may struggle to get an erection that is firm enough for penetration and sexual activity.

Difficulty keeping an erection

Men with erectile problems may experience an inability to sustain an erection. They may be able to obtain an erection, but it won’t last long enough for sexual activity.

Associated Conditions

Erectile problems are associated with other sexual problems. There are different types of ejaculatory dysfunction that can accompany an inability to get or maintain an erection.

Types of ejaculatory dysfunction include :

Premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common sexual dysfunction in which a man ejaculates too quickly during sexual activity, often before he or his partner wants.

Delayed ejaculation

Delayed ejaculation (DE) is a type of ejaculatory dysfunction in which a man takes a prolonged time to reach orgasm or may not be able to reach an orgasm at all during sexual activity.

Retrogade ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation is a condition in which semen flows backward into the bladder instead of forward out of the penis during ejaculation.


Anejaculation is a condition in which a man is unable to ejaculate semen during sexual activity.


Erectile problems can have far-reaching effects on a man's personal and sexual life, causing emotional distress, relationship difficulties, and decreased sexual satisfaction.

Unfulfilled sex life

An unfulfilled sex life can be a source of frustration and disappointment for individuals and their partners. A lack of sexual satisfaction can lead to decreased intimacy, decreased self-esteem, and negative impacts on relationships. There can be many reasons for an unfulfilled sex life, including physical conditions such as erectile problems, other sexual problems such as reduced libido, or psychological conditions such as stress and anxiety.

Loss of intimacy with your partner

The loss of intimacy with a partner can be a challenging and emotional experience for individuals and their relationships. Intimacy is a crucial component of a healthy and fulfilling relationship, and its loss can lead to feelings of loneliness, frustration, and sadness.

Communication and seeking professional help can be key in addressing the root causes of intimacy loss and restoring a more intimate and satisfying connection with one's partner. Re-establishing intimacy requires effort from both partners, but the results can lead to improved relationship satisfaction and a stronger emotional bond.

A strained relationship with your partner

A strained relationship with a partner can be a difficult and challenging experience that affects individuals emotionally and physically. When relationships are strained, it can lead to feelings of frustration, sadness, and even anger.

The effects of a strained relationship can negatively impact a person’s sexual life. To overcome a strained relationship, it is important for both partners to engage in open and honest communication, seek outside help if necessary, and be willing to work together to find a resolution.

Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem

Depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem can often be associated with erectile problems. These mental health problems can also contribute to the development or exacerbation of erectile problems. They can cause stress and anxiety, which can lead to/result in symptoms of depression and low self-esteem. In turn, depression and low self-esteem can lead to decreased libido and sexual functioning,

In addition to these psychological impacts, erectile problems can also be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as cardiovascular disease, and can lead to more serious complications if left untreated. The embarrassment and shame associated with erectile problems can lead some men to avoid seeking medical attention, but prompt treatment can help prevent further complications and improve overall sexual health.

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  2. Otani T. Clinical review of ejaculatory dysfunction. Reprod Med Biol. 2019 Jul 24;18(4):331-343. doi: 10.1002/rmb2.12289. PMID: 31607793; PMCID: PMC6780042.
  3. Brotto L, Atallah S, Johnson-Agbakwu C, Rosenbaum T, Abdo C, Byers ES, Graham C, Nobre P, Wylie K. Psychological and Interpersonal Dimensions of Sexual Function and Dysfunction. J Sex Med. 2016 Apr;13(4):538-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.01.019. Epub 2016 Mar 25. PMID: 27045257.