DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE

Viagra - Impotence Treatment Update

Sildenafil (Viagra) is approved for the treatment of impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction). It was the first oral medication for this purpose.

What are the causes of impotence? How does Viagra affect erection? Are there side effects and drug interactions? Read on...

Impotence is a consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Impotence can be a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. Incidence rises with age: about 5 percent of men at the age of 40 and between 15 and 25 percent of men at the age of 65 experience impotence. Yet, it is not an inevitable part of aging.

Medical professionals often use the term "erectile dysfunction" to describe impotence. Impotence and erectile dysfunction should be distinguished from other conditions that interfere with sexual intercourse, such as lack of sexual desire and problems with ejaculation and orgasm.

Damage to arteries, smooth muscles, and nerves of the penis can lead to impotence. One common cause of impotence is blood vessel and nerve damage due to diabetes mellitus. Other causes of impotence include low testosterone levels, kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, multiple sclerosis (a disease of the nervous system), atherosclerosis (leading to blood vessel hardening), surgical damage to nerves and blood vessels (for example, prostate surgery), and injury to the penis, bladder, pelvis and the spinal cord.