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Men's Health Week: Erectile Dysfunction

Each day during Men’s Health Week, we’re posting articles to raise awareness of common health issues for men. Today: erectile dysfunction.

Erection problems (or impotence) are widespread, particularly in men over 40. Most men occasionally fail to get or keep an erection. This is usually caused by stress, tiredness, anxiety or drinking too much alcohol, and it’s nothing to worry about; you should see a GP if it keeps happening as it could be the sign of a more serious problem – if it happens often, it may be caused by physical health or emotional problems.

See a GP or go to a sexual health clinic if erection problems keep happening as it could be a sign of an underlying health condition such as diabetes. Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment, and they’ll often get test results quicker than GP practices. Find a sexual health clinic near you. (

Healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help erectile dysfunction; lose weight if you’re overweight; stop smoking, eat a healthy diet, exercise daily; try to reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, don’t cycle for a while (if you cycle for more than 3 hours a week), and do not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

The Sexual Advice Association has factsheets on erectile dysfunction and medicines you can download.


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