Erection difficulties explained


Erection problems are very common, most men can expect them to happen many times during their lifetime.  However, they can be distressing, and sometimes the sign of other health problems.

I am asked about erection problems a lot, so have written a guide called Erection Difficulties Explained (downloadable from this link) to help you or your partner understand why erection problems happen, how to try and fix them yourself, when to seek help, and what happens if you see a doctor or therapist.

If you have erection problems it can be reassuring to know that you are not alone, and you can hear men speaking frankly to me about living with erection difficulties in the documentary ‘Impotential’, created with Loftus Media for BBC Radio 4.  You can listen to this 30 minute programme here.

Or you might find this short piece I wrote on Six ways to cope with erection problems helpful (it contains audio clips of men and their partners discussing erection difficulties).

Background information

I used a number of resources to create the programme, many are listed in the guide above, along with the following books and papers:

Sexual function in Britain: findings from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) (full text)

Sexual Function in 16 to 21-Year-Olds in Britain (full text)

Reported reasons for breakdown of marriage and cohabitation in Britain: Findings from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) (full text)

More resources from the Natsal studies here

Improving the treatment of men’s sexual functioning in secondary care (scroll through document to find paper)

Problems with sexual function in people attending London general practitioners: cross sectional study (full text)

Life after prostate cancer: A systematic literature review and thematic synthesis of the post-treatment experiences of Black African and Black Caribbean men (abstract only)

Characteristics of patients with erectile dysfunction in a family physician-led erectile dysfunction clinic: Retrospective case series

Erectile Dysfunction (full text)

The role of the sexual partner in managing erectile dysfunction (abstract only)

 ABC of Sexual Health: Taking A Sexual History (full text)

ABC of Sexual Health: Examination of Patients with Sexual Problems

Impact of erectile dysfunction and its subsequent treatment with sildenafil: qualitative study (full text)

Bigger and Better: How Pfizer Redefined Erectile Dysfunction (full text)

Better dicks through drugs? The penis as a pharmaceutical target (full text)

A desire to be ‘normal’? A discursive and intersectional analysis of ‘penetration disorder’ (full text)

The Viagra Phenomenon (abstract only)

How Did Erectile Dysfunction Become“Natural”?A Review of the Critical Social Scientific Literature on Medical Treatment for Male Sexual Dysfunction (abstract only)

The papers of two recent studies summarised here by Justin Lehmiller about porn use and erectile dysfunction Is pornography use a risk factor for erectile dysfunction? and More Evidence That Pornography Use Is Not A General Risk Factor For Erectile Dysfunction

Male sexual dysfunction: a clinical guide (book)

A clinician’s guide to systematic sex therapy (2nd Ed) (book)

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Sex Therapy (book)



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