Erectile dysfunction (also known as ED) is a common condition that affects many men. It may begin in the bedroom, but it can also get in the way of other areas of your life, from your relationships to your self-esteem.(1,2)

The technical definition for ED is the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.(3)In other words, the penis doesn't get hard (erect) enough to allow you to have sex.

An erection is a complex process that involves changes in the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in the penis. However, put simply, ED happens because not enough blood can get into or stay in the penis long enough to maintain an erection.(4)

If you have ED, you’re not alone

About 52% of men 40 to 70 years old have ED.(3)

So if you think you have it, you're not alone. Some erection problems don't last long or happen often, but if they continue or happen more frequently, it may be a sign that you have ED. Ignoring it isn’t the answer. It’s important to discuss the problem with your doctor.

Get it out of the way

Although your chances of experiencing ED increase as you age, it’s not an unavoidable part of aging.(3)The good news is that there’s a wide range of treatment options available, so talk with your doctor. You’ll be glad you got it out of the way.


  1. Costa P, Grivel T, Gehchan N. Tadalafil once daily in the management of erectile dysfunction: patient and partner perspectives. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2009;3:105-111.
  2. Wagner G, Fugl-Meyer KS, Fugl-Meyer AR. Impact of erectile dysfunction on quality of life: patient and partner perspectives. Int J Impot Res. 2000;12(suppl 4):S144-S146.
  3. Feldman HA, Goldstein I, Hatzichristou DG, Krane RJ, McKinlay JB. Impotence and its medical and psychosocial correlates: results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. J Urol. 1994;151:54-61.
  4. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Erectile Dysfunction. Bethesda, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health; 2009.