What is impotence?
Impotent is a form of erectile dysfunction in which a person can’t get adequate penile erection necessary to complete sexual activity or intercourse.
It is one of the common men’s health disorders affected 1 in 10 men worldwide under the age of 40, half of the men between the ages of 40 to 70 years, and 70 in 10 or 70% of men aged 70 or above. In America there are 18 to 30 million men affected with impotence or some other form of erectile dysfunction. Although it is an estimated incidence of Impotence; the exact incidence rate of impotence in not known as many countries and cultures don’t report if they have impotence.
How Erection occurs. The Physiology of Erection
Before understating the pathophysiology or occurrence of impotence, we must know the anatomy and normal physiology of Erection.
Penis is composed or erectile and spongy tissues. Main structures in penis include Corpora Cavernosa; two cylindrical shape structure made up of erectile tissues run along the shaft of penis, Corpus Spongiosum; made up of spongy tissues, lies under the Corpora Cavernosa contain urethra, the Glans penis made Corpus Spongiosum and Tunica Albuginea; a stretchy membrane which is a covers the above discussed structures. These structures have rich blood supply through arteries, special venous drainage system, all under control of nerves supply from spinal cord.
Erection occurs when corpora cavernosa become engorged with blood as a result of sexual stimulation, both visual and tactile. In the presence of sexual stimulation, parasympathetic nervous release acetylcholine, which, in turn release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells. Nitric oxide acting as vasodilating agent cause dilation of the smooth muscle of the arteries. This results in filling the corpora spongiosum and cavernosa with blood. The ischiocavernosus and bulbospongiosus muscles also compress the veins of the corpora cavernosa, limiting the venous drainage of blood. Both the rich blood supply and blockage of veins drainage results in increase pressure in Penis which leads to Erection.