Erection Problem Checklist

Medically Reviewed by Nazia Q Bandukwala, DO on September 09, 2023
3 min read

An occasional problem achieving an erection is nothing to worry about. But failure to do so more than half of the time at any age may indicate a condition that needs treatment. Are you at risk for erectile dysfunction (ED)? Take the following quiz and find out.

  1. Are you overweight? Yes or No
  2. Do you have any of the following conditions?
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol
    • Depression
    • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries from plaque)
    • Kidney disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Spinal cord or nervous system disorders
    • Any type of pelvic surgery
  3. Do you:
    • Smoke
    • Drink alcohol
    • Use recreational drugs
  4. How often do you exercise?
    • Daily
    • Once or twice a week
    • A couple of times a month
    • I never seem to get around to it
  5. How often do you feel stressed?
    • Much of the time
    • Sometimes
    • Rarely
  1. Overweight men are more likely to have ED.
  2. Common causes of ED include nerve diseases, psychological conditions, and diseases that affect blood flow. A number of prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs may also cause ED by affecting a man's hormones, nerves, or blood circulation.
  3. Tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs can all damage a man's blood vessels and/or restrict blood flow to the penis, causing ED.
  4. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of ED.
  5. Stress and anxiety are leading causes of temporary ED.
  • Does my erectile dysfunction stem from an underlying illness?
  • Could any of my medicines be causing this problem or making it worse?
  • Could stress or a psychological problem be to blame for my erection difficulties?
  • Are there medications I can take?
  • Misinformation about erectile dysfunction includes the notion that ED, also called impotence, is an unavoidable consequence of aging. ED is not considered normal at any age, nor is it normal for a man to lose erectile function completely as a result of being older.
  • Another myth is that tight underwear causes ED. While physical and psychological conditions can lead to ED, tight underwear is not to blame. Tight underwear may be a factor in producing a low sperm count.
  • ED can be treated with oral drugs, sex therapy, penile injections and surgery, such as penile implants.
  • Intracavernosal injection therapy is a medication injected directly into the penis to treat ED.
  • Intraurethral therapy is a suppository medication that is inserted into the tip of the penis to treat ED.
  • Urologists are doctors specially trained to treat problems of the male and female urinary systems and the male sex organs.

According to a study out of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, about 18 million men over age 20 in the U.S. report some degree of erectile dysfunction.

Of the more than 2,000 men who took part in the study, almost half who reported having ED also had diabetes. Other risk factors for ED included smoking, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. The men with erectile dysfunction were also less likely to have engaged in vigorous physical activity within the month prior to participation in the study.