medrx-one-com articles

What is impotence and what is its difference from erectile dysfunction?  

Impotence. This word will give anyone the Blues and every man with the thought of it feels draught between the shoulder blades. And between the legs.

Actually, the meaning of this term is known, perhaps, to each Homo Sapiens male of more than 13 years old. Though there are many epithets more sonorous, characterizing the significance of this term (“man’s weakness”, “sexual frustration”, etc) – the subject matter is the only one – the function laying in the basis of the continuation of the Human Race becomes inaccessible to this man.

According to the definition of the Big Medicine Encyclopedia – impotence (latine Impotentia – weakness) – is an absence of erection of the penis in man, resulting to impossibility of a sexual intercourse. It is difficult to find more precise and laconic definition. It characterizes the extreme grade of an erection impairment – when a sexual act is in principle inaccessible for a man. For a rather long time the diagnosis “Impotence” was set in to absolutely all men who complain for decrease of duration and intensity of erection of the penis. But there were (and there are) the patients whose erections were in principle preserved, but they have not enough strength to carry out a valid sexual act. In other words, these people would be not impotents, but from the other hand, they are not fully healthy. And in the medical science an inaccurate diagnosis, as it is known, leads to an invalid treatment. Moreover, in the run of special sociologic studies there have been revealed that the number of people with a decreased quality of erections is much more than the one with its full absence. In this respect several years ago at a joint European meeting of anthologists, urologists, sexuality consultants and other specialists, engaged in the treatment of ailments of the men’s genital sphere, there was proposed a new term, which characterized an impairment of erection – “Erectile dysfunction”. Nowadays it is practically impossible to meet the term “Impotence” in a scientific press. With less frequency this term one can find in the pages of a popular-scientific literature.

What is the difference of erectile dysfunction from impotence? Under the term of “erectile dysfunction” it is assumed to understand a pathologic state, characterized by the decrease of the quality of erections in men, and, consequently, the absence of possibility to carry out a valid sexual act (i.e. to introduce the penis into vagina and retain a normal strength of the erection during the time necessary for the finish of a valid sexual act). Thus, it is clear that impotence is not other that an extreme form of erectile dysfunction. In other words – the term “Erectile dysfunction” is a broader concept than impotence, and it unites in itself all the impairments (i.e. dysfunctions) of erectile abilities of the penis in men.

Close Menu