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More like guidelines and a lot less like definitions.

Erectile Function

The penis is an erectile organ made of porous cartilage: in some situations, this cartilage becomes engorged with blood and the penis increases in size and becomes rigid. This process is called an erection and is associated with sexual arousal for most people with a penis. During sleep, the penis usually becomes erect and then flaccid again a few times. This behavior is completely normal and associated with good vascular health.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction or "impotence" is the lack of ability of the penis to become erect (hard), even in presence of sexual arousal.

Though usually caused by cardio-vascular issues or hormonal imbalances, it may sometimes also be caused by anxiety, stress, trauma, medication, STD's (sexual transmitted dieses), or old age.

The removal of the prostate (e.g: due to cancer) may also cause the penis to function differently.

There are some medications that induce erections by increasing the blood flow to the groin, however you should not take them without seeing a doctor or pharmacist, since they may increase the risk of stroke or heart attack, especially in older people.

Erectile dysfunction does not always prevent orgasm and ejaculation.


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