Posts Tagged ‘ED’

HOW COMMON IS IMPOTENCE?

// October 25th, 2010 // No Comments » // Impotence

It was not until the middle of the twentieth century that reliable information on the prevalence of impotence was available. As previously noted, Dr. Alfred Kinsey, in his Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, estimated that impotence occurred in less than 2 percent of men under the age of forty. The incidence increased gradually with age, so that, according to Kinsey, 6.7 percent of men were impotent by age fifty-five and almost 25 percent at seventy. Recent data suggest that Kinsey’s report significantly underestimated the total. Current surveys indicate that impotence plagues 30 million American men.

Part of the problem in collecting accurate data relates to men’s lack of candor when discussing sexual problems. Most men are more than willing to answer questions about their income, general health, smoking, and drinking habits. They are often disarmingly frank about their extramarital relationships, sexual preferences, and sex life. Still, the same men are recalcitrant when confronted with a questionnaire asking for truthful and accurate answers regarding sexual impairment. As noted, in a prior chapter, these times of extraordinary sexual enlightenment, impotence may be the only subject remaining in the closet.

Because it is important to have some estimate of the prevalence of impotence, investigators have devised a series of questionnaires with sufficient ingenuity to provide information that may have been overlooked in the past.

For example, two investigators, Drs. Anthony Reading and William Weist, recruited subjects in London, England, by proposing to examine attitudes relating to the development of a male contraceptive. During the course of the extensive interview, information was elicited relative to the volunteers’ current sexual function and dysfunction. The investigators found that among a group of presumably healthy, sexually active, heterosexual Englishmen (age twenty to thirty-five) involved in a stable relationship, 8.25 percent admitted having difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse, and 18.5 percent said that they did not achieve an erection satisfactory for masturbation.

Dr. Ellen Frank and her associates at the University of Southern California decided that the optimal way to verify descriptions of male sexual function was to direct the same questions to both husband and wife. Dr. Frank, like others, recognized that reliable descriptions of sexual function are most  likely to be obtained by using a subtle approach. Her extensive fifteen-page questionnaire, therefore, contained only one and one-half pages relating to sex. In her survey of one hundred married couples in their mid-thirties, Dr. Frank identified surprisingly high levels of sexual dysfunction reported by the men and confirmed by their wives. Sixteen percent of the men reported difficulty acquiring or sustaining an erection. In addition, 36 percent felt they ejaculated too quickly, and 4 percent were unable to ejaculate at all. This number is roughly twenty times Kinsey’s estimate for a similar age group.

Dr. Michael Slag of the Minneapolis Veterans Administration expanded on Frank’s observations, providing data from a different perspective. He interviewed men attending a Veterans Administration outpatient clinic for problems unrelated to sexual function and found that of 1,180 men, 401 (34 percent) complained of impotence. But this patient population differed in several respects from the couples studied by Dr. Frank.

The men in Dr. Slag’s study were older; the average age was fifty. In addition, all had some medical problem that prompted them to visit the clinic. In many cases the illness itself was the primary cause of sexual dysfunction. It is also worth noting that men attending any clinic can be expected to receive medication, and many medications can affect sexual function. In fact, Dr. Slag was able to incriminate medications as a direct cause of the impotence in 22 percent of the impotent men in his study.

Dr. Leslie Schover, a psychologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, surveyed 300 men with a mean age of 55 and reported that 21 percent of them complained of impotence.

erectile dysfunction help

// October 25th, 2010 // No Comments » // Impotence

You Are Not Alone

what is impotence

what is impotence

Whether he calls it impotence or ED — erectile dysfunction — the man experiencing a sexual problem often believes his predicament is unique to him. As we start to talk honestly about sex, it is becoming increasingly apparent that more and more men and women are having sexual difficulties. This chapter provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about male sexual dysfunction, or ED, including these: How common is it? Is aging a factor? Do common medical problems like hypertension, diabetes, and depression cause impotence, or is it the medications used to treat these conditions that disrupt a man’s sexual function? Can you do anything to prevent impotence?

When a man is unable to achieve an erection satisfactory for intercourse, he is considered impotent. Today the term “erectile dysfunction)” or “ED” has supplanted “impotence,” probably because ED is a less emotionally charged term. This is not surprising because the dictionary defines the word “impotent” as (1) lacking physical strength or vigor: weak, (2) powerless; ineffectual, (3) incapable of sexual intercourse. This definition is more than just demeaning, for it strikes at the very fabric of a man’s maleness.

Generally speaking, the phrase “erectile dysfunction,” or “ED,” has been promulgated by those who are frankly promoting different impotence treatments and are themselves more comfortable saying that they have a new product to correct ED than a novel impotence treatment. However, the individual man with sexual problems rarely comes to the doctor saying, “My primary problem is that I have ED” or “Doc, now that you’ve helped lower my blood pressure, I wonder if I could discuss my erectile dysfunction with you.” Men, if they discuss their sexual difficulties at all, either resort to euphemisms such as “I can’t get it up anymore” or fall back on the embarrassing admission “I guess I’ve become impotent.”

However you choose to label it, the truth is that many men, if not all men, have at one time or another experienced isolated episodes of ED, or impotence. Often this is transient, a result of fatigue, excessive drinking, or preoccupation with business or family problems. Under these circumstances, it would be inappropriate to saddle the man with a diagnosis of complete impotence; instead he is said to have experienced situational erectile dysfunction. Criteria established by Masters and Johnson indicate that a diagnosis of impotence is appropriate only when a man experiences failure more than 25 percent of the time during attempted intercourse.