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Risk Factors for Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop erectile dysfunction with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing erectile dysfunction. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Risk factors include:

Age

The incidence of erectile dysfunction rises with age, with about 5% at age 40, to 15%-25% at age 65 and older.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can increase your risk of erectile dysfunction, including:

Traumatic Conditions

Trauma, whether through an accident or surgery, can increase your risk of erectile dysfunction. Trauma may result from:

Behaviors

Certain behaviors can increase your risk of erectile dysfunction, including:

Medications

Certain medications can increase your risk of erectile dysfunction, including:

  • Those to treat high blood pressure
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Tranquilizers
  • Antipsychotics
  • Histamine blockers
  • Nicotine

If you suspect a medication may be affecting your sexual functioning, talk with your doctor. Do not stop taking a medication without talking to your doctor first.

REFERENCES:

Definition & facts for erectile dysfunction. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts. Updated July 2017. Accessed March 9, 2018.

Erectile dysfunction. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113875/Erectile-dysfunction. Updated December 15, 2017. Accessed March 9, 2018.

Erectile dysfuntion. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/male-sexual-dysfunction/erectile-dysfunction. Updated June 2017. Accessed March 9, 2018.

Rew KT, Heidelbaugh JJ. Erectile dysfunction. Am Fam Physician. 2016;94(10):820-827.

What is erectile dysfunction? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/erectile-dysfunction. Accessed March 9, 2018.

Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD  Last Updated: 3/15/2015