Impotence is a man’s inability to get an erection. Often, this problem goes away without treatment; however, it is important for a man to visit his doctor if he has trouble keeping an erection more than 25% of the time. Impotence is not related to male infertility.

Getting and maintaining an erection involves many parts of the body other than the penis – specifically the brain, nerves, hormones, and blood vessels. Anything that interferes with these normal functions can lead to problems getting an erection, so there are a wide variety of possible causes of impotence.

Causes can range from diabetes, to nicotine or alcohol use, to stress or anxiety and more. Likewise, treatment for impotence may depend on the cause of the problem.

Talk to your doctor to identify possible causes and treatments, including surgery.

Learn more from the National Institute of Health online.