WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

NHS Choices Condition

Content supplied by NHS Choices

Sometimes, erectile dysfunction (ED) only occurs in certain situations.

For example, you may be able to obtain an erection during masturbation, or you may find that you sometimes wake up with an erection. However, you may be unable to obtain an erection when you are with your sexual partner.

In these circumstances, it is likely that the underlying cause of ED is primarily psychological. However, if you are unable to obtain an erection under any circumstances, it is likely that the underlying cause is primarily physical.

When to seek medical advice

It is recommended that you see your GP if ED persists for more than several weeks. Although many websites offer treatments for ED, their use is not recommended. This is because many of the medications that are offered by these sites are counterfeit and could be dangerous.

Even if the medications that are offered by websites are genuine, such as sildenafil (Viagra), these tablets are not suitable for everyone. Therefore, you should only take medication for ED that has been specifically prescribed for you by your GP.

If you have ED, your GP should assess your general state of health because the condition can be the first sign of more serious health conditions, such as heart disease.

view information about Erectile Dysfunction on www.nhs.co.uk »

Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here