Impotence vs ED

A common question involving men’s health is “What’s the difference between impotence and erectile dysfunction?” The short answer is: There is no difference.  The prevalence of such inept and unprofessional consultation has led to medical terms being either misconstrued or misused. A perfect example is the major confusion reigning over the terms “erectile dysfunction” and “impotence”. Many unreliable sources have tried to distinguish between both terms but only served to add on to the confusion. 

While many men believe ED is a temporary inability to achieve an erection, and impotence is a permanent inability to achieve one, the reality is that both words mean the same thing: an inability to achieve or sustain an erection. Both terms are synonymous in terms of the severity or length of the condition.

Impotence is a more dated term, and the modern, typically used word is erectile dysfunction. Today’s commercials for medications such as Cialis and Viagra have further brought erectile dysfunction and ED into the modern vernacular.  / It is time to settle the debate and put the matter to rest once and for all. Both erectile dysfunction and impotence stands for the same thing; inability to achieve an erection for sexual intercourse. Impotence is an inadequate and outdated term used to describe male sexual issues. Erectile dysfunction has replaced it as an appropriate term to represent the failure to achieve an erection.

Impotent – not infertile

Another reason for the confusion may be that impotence is similar in sound and appearance to the term infertile. While they may be related in certain circumstances, the terms indicate two different conditions. Impotence – or ED – is the lack of ability to achieve or maintain an erection. And infertility is the lack of ability to achieve pregnancy.

Having prostate cancer can cause a change in hormone levels and reduce testosterone. This can result in ED, which can lead to fertility issues, according to cancer sources. However, the terms mean different things and cannot be used interchangeably.

Impotence or ED – Solutions are out there

Using the term impotence or ED is simply a matter of preference. Some men might be more comfortable talking about ED as it is a common term now. However, using the term impotent might be a better descriptor for how they feel about the severity of the problem.

Regardless of the term one uses, it’s important to talk about the issue. If you are having difficulties achieving or maintaining an erection, it can be a sign of impotence or ED. Left ignored, it can wreak havoc on self esteem, relationships, and overall sexual health. Erectile dysfunction also often coincides with issues such as stress, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Based on this, if you’re experiencing ED, it could be a sign that something else is going on and you should consult your doctor.