Read below about impotence, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your impotence from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

This symptom can also be referred to as:
Erectile dysfunction

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6 Potential Impotence Causes

  1. 1.Prolactinoma

    Prolactinomas are common non-cancerous pituitary tumors. This growth causes too much of the hormone prolactin to be produced.

    Treatment is dependent on size of growth as well as symptom severity.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, vision changes, decreased sex drive, impotence, milky fluid leaking from the breast
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Hemochromatosis

    Hemochromatosis is a disease in which too much iron builds up in the body. This can be hereditary or caused by another condition like liver failure.

    Lifelong

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), joint pain, decreased sex drive, frequent urination
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Cushing Syndrome

    Cushing Syndrome is a hormonal disorder. The cause is long-term exposure to too much cortisol, a hormone that the adrenal gland makes. Sometimes, taking synthetic hormone medicine like corticosteroids to treat an inflammatory disease leads to Cushing's syndrome.

    Recovery depends on treatment method

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, depressed mood, weight gain, back pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  4. 4.Adrenoleukodystrophy

    Adrenoleukodystrophy describes a family of closely related inherited disorders of fat metabolism. It is a condition that is passed down from parent to child and affects mostly males. People affected with the disease cannot break down certain large fats, which accumulate in the nervous system, adrenal gland, and testes as a result, disrupting normal activity.

    Adrenoleukodystrophy is a chronic genetic disease that requires lifelong management.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, vomiting, hearing loss, general weakness, involuntary defecation
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Cauda Equina Syndrome (Slow - Onset)

    Although leg pain is common and usually goes away without surgery, cauda equina syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the bundle of nerve roots (cauda equina) at the lower (lumbar) end of the spinal cord, is a surgical emergency.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, back pain that shoots down the leg, leg weakness, thigh numbness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  6. 6.Cauda Equina Syndrome (Rapid - Onset)

    Although leg pain is common and usually goes away without surgery, cauda equina syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the bundle of nerve roots (cauda equina) at the lower (lumbar) end of the spinal cord, is a surgical emergency.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, back pain that shoots down the leg, leg weakness, thigh numbness
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service

FAQs About Impotence

Here are some frequently asked questions about impotence.

Why do I have sudden erectile dysfunction?

Sudden erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a sign of impingement of a nerve in the spine that provides sensation or erection to the penis. If you have a sudden loss of sensation, or sudden erectile dysfunction following a blow to the body or particularly wild or jerky movement, you may have compressed a never in your spine and should seek medical attention immediately.

What causes erectile dysfunction in young men?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) in young men is more often psychological than functional. Data suggests that erectile dysfunction in young men may be increasing rapidly because of the abundance of internet pornography. Internet pornography can be addictive, and if one becomes accustomed to more severe or a wider variety of sexual acts through pornography, it may be difficult to maintain an erection with a physical partner.

What is the average age for erectile dysfunction?

The average age for erectile dysfunction (ED) has been reported at 40 years old. However, the most recent survey was before the internet era (1994) and so may not reflect changes in sexual appetites or behaviors over the last quarter-century. It is likely much lower.

Can erectile dysfunction be cured completely?

Yes, depending on the cause. It is possible that psychological erectile dysfunction can be cured, usually through either sexual therapy, couples counseling, or individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or some mixture of the three. Erectile dysfunction from damage to the nerve that the brain uses to communicate to the penis, or damage to the blood vessels that supply the erectile tissue of the penis may possibly be repairable using surgery.

Can you get pregnant from a man with erectile dysfunction?

Yes, it is possible as long as the man is capable of ejaculating for one to conceive. It is also possible to conceive using in-vitro insemination after harvesting and selecting healthy sperm from his testicles. It can either be inserted into the woman's uterus after she has taken a pill to cause ovulation, or the two can be united in a test tube outside of the mother and the fertilized egg can be inserted into the mother or an appropriate surrogate.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Impotence

  • Q.Do you currently smoke?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Are you sexually active?
  • Q.Do you feel pain when you urinate?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our impotence symptom checker to find out more.

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Impotence Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced impotence have also experienced:

    • 12% Fewer Erections
    • 4% Fatigue
    • 3% Decreased Sex Drive
  • People who have experienced impotence were most often matched with:

    • 21% Hemochromatosis
    • 6% Cushing Syndrome
    • 2% Prolactinoma
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

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