Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do I have a sexual dysfunction if I cannot maintain an erection?"
I get an erection and lose it after a minute. They come and go. What is wrong with me?
This type of sexual dysfunction is known as erectile dysfunction. The definition of erectile dysfunction is the inability to develop and/or maintain an erection long enough to complete sexual intercourse. This disease is actually extremely common. While there are usually multiple causes, one of them is that the blood vessels in the penis stop filling up with blood the way they are supposed to. This leads to the fear that one cannot keep an erection, which makes keeping an erection even more difficult. Medications available today such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis act to dilate those blood vessels in the penis allowing them to fill up with and hold blood so that an erection can be developed and maintained. In addition, there is a psychological boost from the knowledge that there is a medication helping you to keep that erection. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to a description of your problem and perform a thorough physical exam. If the doctor does not find any obvious reason why you are having erectile dysfunction, then it will probably be okay for you to try out one of those medications as long as you don't have any other medications you take that will interact with them (such as nitroglycerine for chest pain). Good luck.
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