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Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)

Penile erection is a complex interaction of the nervous system, blood circulation, hormones, and emotion state. 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.
Symptoms include:
  • A less firm penis
  • Fewer erections
  • Fewer spontaneous nighttime erections
Nerves that cause sensation in the penis differ from those that cause erections, so it is possible to feel sensations without getting an erection. Also, orgasm is possible without erection.


Erectile dysfunction. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: . Updated December 15, 2017. Accessed March 9, 2018.
Erectile dysfuntion. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated June 2017. Accessed March 9, 2018.
Rew KT, Heidelbaugh JJ. Erectile dysfunction. Am Fam Physician. 2016;94(10):820-827.
Symptoms & causes of erectile dysfunction. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: Updated July 2017. Accessed March 9, 2018.
What are the symptoms of ED? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: Accessed March 9, 2018.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
  • Review Date: 03/2018
  • Update Date: 03/15/2015
Article written by Polsdorfer R