©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Whatever the nature of your erectile dysfunction or impotence, remember almost every man has difficulties with erection at some point in his life. You are not alone, and many home remedies are available to help your condition.

Impotence. The word somehow sounds like failure, weakness. If you feel that you are impotent, you may also feel that you have somehow lost part of your dignity, your masculinity, your wholeness. But you shouldn't feel that way -- impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction (ED), can almost always improve with treatment. In this article, we'll talk about the causes of impotence and some home remedies, including medical and non-medical solutions for the problem.

There are many degrees of erectile difficulties. Some men are able to achieve an erection but are not able to maintain it. Others become erect, but not extremely rigid. Still others only have problems when they are with a new partner or with a long-time partner. And there are those who cannot achieve an erection at all.

Do not despair. You may be suffering from a medical or emotional problem (or both) for which there are definite solutions. Behavior modification can help if your ED is the result of emotional issues. If it is caused by a medical condition -- and some 70 percent of ED cases are -- there are new therapies and home remedies that can help restore your sexual health.

Whatever the nature of your problem, remember that almost every man has difficulties with erection at some point in his life: About 5 percent of 40-year-old men and between 15 and 25 percent of 65-year-old men experience it. You are not abnormal, nor are you alone. There is no need to suffer in silence.

A variety of medical conditions can cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence. The most common diseases that cause ED are diabetes, kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and neurologic disease. These diseases account for about 70 percent of ED cases, according to the National Institutes of Health. Between 35 and 50 percent of men with diabetes experience ED. In younger men, accidents, such as gunshot wounds to the spinal cord, car crashes, and skiing wipeouts, are often responsible. Other problems can include hormonal imbalances.

Doctors treat ED with psychotherapy, behavior modification techniques, oral medications, locally injected drugs, vacuum devices, and surgically implanted devices. In rare cases, surgery of the blood vessels may be necessary, according to the NIH. (Keep in mind that even when a physical cause can be identified, emotional or psychological factors often play a role as well.)

Oral medications include Viagra (sildenafil) and Levitra (vardenafil), which work by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide, a chemical that increases blood flow in the penis. These drugs are taken about an hour before sexual activity. They should not be used more than once a day, and men who take nitrate-based drugs such as nitroglycerin for heart problems should not use them because they can cause a sudden drop in high blood pressure.

If you suspect your erection difficulties may be related to a disease, accident, or medication or if you're simply unsure of the cause, contact your doctor.

In our next section, we'll offer some home remedies for avoiding impotence or erectile dysfunction and non-medical remedies for this condition.

For more information about impotence and how to combat it, try the following links:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.