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Penile erection is a complex interaction of both halves of your autonomic (automatic) nervous system, your blood circulation, and your emotions. Therefore, symptoms may suggest a psychological problem, such as
depression, and/or a medical problem, such as
diabetes. Any one of these conditions can lead to erectile dysfunction.
A less firm penis
Fewer spontaneous nighttime erections
Note that sensation in your penis comes from nerves other than the ones that cause erection. Those nerves may not be affected when the erectile nerves are, and those nerves are not damaged by prostate surgery. Therefore sensation is likely to be preserved. Orgasm is possible without erection. Restoring erections is sufficient to restore complete sexual function.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Erectile dysfunction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated July 25, 2012. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Erectile dysfunction. National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/ED/index.aspx. Updated March 28, 2012. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Erectile Dysfunction. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at:
Updated 2009. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Guay AT, Spark RF, et al. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists medical guidelines for clinical practice for the evaluation and treatment of male sexual dysfunction: a couple’s problem. 2003 update.
Sivalingam S, Hashim H, et al. An overview of the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Webber R. Erectile dysfunction.