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Most men experience occasional difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection, often because of stress, tiredness, drinking too much alcohol or a recent illness. Temporary impotence is unlikely to be a cause for concern if you are still able to achieve an erection by masturbating or if you sometimes wake with an erection. Long term impotence can be due to illness, such as diabetes and circulatory diseases or drugs, such as diuretics and antidepressants. It may also be caused by anxiety, depression or relationship problems. As you get older, it may take longer to get an erection and it may get less firm.

Self Help Tips

  1. Don’t judge yourself harshly! If you are feeling stressed or tired, due to money worries, work or recent illness, tackle the underlying problem.
  2. To help relieve anxiety, try meditation and exercises to relax the muscles.
  3. Reduce your alcohol intake or better yet, avoid it altogether. Drinking too much alcohol can cause difficulty in getting an erection; recreational drugs have a similar effect.
  4. Stop smoking or at least cut down if you smoke heavily. Young men who smoke, double their risk of long term impotence in later life.
  5. If you are in a long term relationship, talk to your partner. Share your worries and work together to solve the problem. It may help if there is less pressure to ‘perform’, so if impotence is making you nervous about sexual intercourse, try ways of sharing intimacy that will reduce sexual anxiety.
  6. Take the pressure off! Take turns to explore your partner’s body using stroking and massage. You should agree to no touching of the genitals or breasts at this stage. This will help you both to relax.
  7. Complete several of these sessions, then allow stimulation of the genitals and breasts but refrain from intercourse.
  8. Spend plenty of time touching and stroking your partner’s body…take things slow and learn to relax, until you begin to get erections again and feel comfortable about proceeding to intercourse


  • Arrange to see your doctor if you think your impotence is due to a physical cause or the self help tips above are not helping, alternatively you can seek counselling by clicking here