Understanding Erectile Dysfunction

Rocket Health’s Dr. Joachim Nsubuga Kikoyo shares insights on erectile dysfunction (ED) including causes and treatment.

Prevalence of ED

Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED is the persistent inability to acquire or sustain an erection of sufficient rigidity and duration for sexual intercourse. 

This is a sexual health disorder that affects a high percentage of men.

  • It is estimated that 1 in 10 men have ED. 
  • By the age of 40 years, 22% of men can get this illness. 
  • By the age of 70, there is a 49% risk of getting ED. 
  • Those below the age of 40 usually have a risk of about 5-10% of developing erectile dysfunction. 

Risk factors

The risk factors that can make someone get ED are in three different types; organic, psychogenic or both. 

Organic causes include vascular diseases, neurological diseases, local penile diseases, hormonal diseases and also drug-induced illnesses.

Psychogenic problems are those that are concerned with the mind, for example past traumatic experiences, depression, anxiety, stress and performance related stress. 

Management of ED

When someone contacts a medical facility like Rocket Health with ED concerns, the first step is taking medical history where questions about potential risk factors are asked to assist with diagnosis of your illness.

A physical examination and a series of tests will be conducted in order to find out the possible cause of the patient’s performance. 

Management of ED depends on the risk factor that was identified. For example, for a patient with high blood pressure, if it is managed, in most cases, their performance resumes.

For a patient with diabetes melitus, when they are started on drugs and managed accordingly, performance in most cases comes back.

Where the cause is not known, then medical treatment can be started. In such cases, a patient discusses with the doctor, the risks and benefits attached to starting medication.


Common medications that can be used to treat ED include Sildenafil, Tadalafil among others.

Care should be taken for those that are on hypertensive medication because use of medications like Tadalafil can lower the patient’s blood pressure further. 


ED is common in most men who seek different and almost desperate means of curing their condition.

As a medical personnel, I would advise you to first seek professional medical advice before you take on any medication.

There exist other treatment modules where medical management fails, for example use of vacuum devices, injectable medicine and surgical implantation of devices that can improve the performance of a patient with ED.

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