Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to get and/or maintain an erection that is sufficient for satisfactory intercourse. It is a very common condition particularly in older men. It is estimated that over half of all men aged been 40 and 70 years old will experience erectile dysfunction to some degree.

Whilst the condition can be embarrassing and lead to feelings of low self esteem, anxiety and depression, it is important to see a GP as there are a range of treatments and lifestyle changes that can lead to improvements both physically and mentally.

In October talkhealth caried out a survey to find out more about just how commont this issue was and how it affects people in their day to day lives and the impact on their relationships.

Our findings show the perception that it's an issue for the old and that peoples' natural answer to say 'not an issue for us' is blown apart, with 68% of men finding they first experienced an issue before the age of 50 and 70% feeling totally under confident in being able to reach a full erection without some form of medication.

The most popular causes given for ED problems were cited as the side effect of taking another form of medication and following close behind psychological issues. The impact of suffering ED problems quickly transfers to the effect it has on personal relationships with the majority feeling (67%) that it had an immediate negative effect, with people finding it difficult to discuss with problems with a partner. This then translated in to over 60% finding having ED issues highly affected their general confidence levels.

In order to help the problem just less than half (48%) visited a doctor to discuss, with 60% finding the advice offered was of help, but that left obviously left a large 40% not feeling the advice they were offered helpful. Viagra was the most popular prescribed medication but only 21% of people bought this directly from the internet.

The most popular methods people used to tackle the problems themselves was to try to reduce levels of stress and to moderate the level of alcohol intake.

If you or your partner are experiecing, or have experienced erectial dysfunction issues, you may like to talk with our medical experts in our Online Clinic men's urology. You can post your questions now - our panel of experts will be in the clinic answering questions from 12-18th November 2014.

Source: talkhealth survey, October 2014

If you're interested in a detailed analysis of the results for these surveys please contact us.