What Is Male Impotence?

Impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction, is defined as a consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. In the United States, between 10 and 15 million men are affected by this disorder. Many are unaware that it can be treated, either medically or surgically, and cured.

Incidence of Impotence

While the incidence of the disorder increases with age - about 5% of men at the age of 40 and between 15% and 25%of men at the age of 65 experience impotence - erectile dysfunction is not inevitable.


The underlying causes of impotence may include:

When these conditions are managed or cured, impotence may disappear.

Relationship Between Surgery and Impotence

Surgery, including prostate surgery, may injure nerves and arteries located near the penis, causing erectile dysfunction. High blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants and other prescribed drugs may also contribute to impotence.


Treatments available at Memorial Hermann for impotence include:

  • Oral medication
  • Vacuum erectile devices
  • Penile injection therapy
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Penile prosthesis implantation