ASK DR.K: What's (Not) Up, Doc?

Updated: Mar 11

Dear Dr. K, I've been hearing a lot about ED. What exactly is ED?


Clinically, Erectile Dysfunction or ED is defined as the inability to get and/or maintain an erection firm enough and long enough for sexual intercourse. ED is not the occasional difficulty that may occur with stress, anxiety, illness or too much alcohol. ED is the persistent and often worsening of a man's inability to get and keep a firm and lasting erection that leads to a satisfying sexual experience for both partners.


Until recently ED was a topic that was usually discussed in the privacy of a doctor's office. Nowadays, ads for ED treatments are popping up in all sorts of magazines and printed material and fill the airways, both radio and TV. It is becoming more acceptable and less embarrassing to talk about this subject in public. However, all these treatment options only address the symptom-weak or non-existent erections-but do not address its cause.