Here are some common myths about erectile dysfunction (ED) and some related facts so you can be better informed about this condition.

“I don’t have erection problems all the time, so it can’t be ED.”

FALSE. Men with ED can have many different kinds of symptoms, including any of the following(1,2):

  • You can't get an erection at all
  • You get an erection, but it's not hard enough to enter your partner
  • You get an erection, but you can't keep it until sex is over

“ED is a part of aging and will always get in the way.”

FALSE. Your chances of experiencing ED increase as you age but it’s definitely not unavoidable (3)And effective treatments are available to help you get it out of the way.

“ED isn’t serious, so there’s no need to see my doctor.”

FALSE. ED may be a sign of other medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure,(4)so it’s important to see your doctor for a proper medical assessment.


  1. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Erectile dysfunction.
  2. Rosen RC, Cappelleri JC, Smith MD, Lipsky J, Peña BM. Development and evaluation of an abridged, 5-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) as a diagnostic tool for erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res. 1999;11:319-326.
  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. Lue TF. Erectile dysfunction. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:1802-1813.