A description of the medical terms used in this impotence guide.


Addison ’s disease A rare disorder which affects the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands fail to produce enough cortisol and other hormones which increases the risk of auto-immune diseases such as thyroid problems and pernicious anaemia.

Alprostadil A medication used to treat impotence. This is injected into the penis to help dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow. There is also a tablet (pellet) version which is inserted into the tip of the penis.

Anxiety A psychological condition in which the sufferer experiences feelings of apprehension and dread, often for no apparent reason.

Arteriosclerosis The medical term for hardening of the arteries: these arteries stiffen and lose elasticity over a period of time.

Asthma A chronic disease of the airways which is characterised by coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Sufferers carry an inhaler which helps to open up the airways and prevent an asthma attack.

Atherosclerosis A common form of arteriosclerosis: fatty deposits (plaques) build up in the arteries over time which causes them to narrow. This restricts blood flow through that artery and may eventually lead to a blockage.


None at present.


Cardiomyopathy A serious disease of the heart muscle. This weakens the muscle and causes the heart to be less efficient at pumping blood around the body.

Cialis A form of impotence medication which ensures that blood vessels within the penis stay dilated for longer. This increases blood flow to that area. Also known as tadalafil.

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia A group of genetic disorders which affect the adrenal glands. These glands are unable to produce sufficient amounts of the hormone cortisol.

Corpus cavernosum Two cylinders of spongy tissue on either side of the penis which fill with blood during an erection.

Crohn’s disease

A chronic, progressive disease which causes an inflammation of the digestive tract.


None at present.


Ejaculation The process in which semen is expelled from the penis.

Erectile dysfunction Another name for impotence. This is a recurring or persist inability to achieve or sustain an erection.

Erection Changes within the nerves, blood vessels and muscles in the penis cause an increase in blood flow to that part of the body. The penis then becomes stiff and erect as a result of this increased blood flow.


Friedreich’s ataxia A genetic disorder which causes progressive damage to the nervous system. This manifests itself as clumsiness and problems with vision and speech.

Glans The medical name for the tip of the penis.


Hypertension Medical term for high blood pressure.

Hypotension Medical term for low blood pressure.



Also known as erectile dysfunction. A common condition where a man is unable to get and/or sustain an erection.


None at present.


None at present.


Left ventricular hypertrophy The medical name for an enlarged heart. Often caused by high blood pressure, the left side of the heart thickens and increases in size. This causes the heart to work much harder than before which can lead to heart failure.

Levitra Also known as vardenafil: a form of medication for impotence which opens up blood vessels within the penis to improve blood flow. This causes an erection.

Libido Another name for the sex drive. This is present in both men and women.

Lupus An auto-imimmune condition in which the body’s immune system turns on itself. It attacks healthy tissues and cells within the body causing an inflammation.


None at present.


Nitrate A chemical used in some types of medication which opens up blood vessels to the heart.


None at present.


Peptic ulcer The medical term for damage caused to the inside of the stomach caused by gastric acid. This acid corrodes a small section of the stomach lining which causes an ulcer.

Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitor

Known as PDE-5 for short. A type of enzyme used in impotence medication which helps to dilate blood vessels within the penis to increase blood flow.

Priapism A state in which an erection continues for several hours, without sexual stimulation and after ejaculation. This causes pain and tenderness.


None at present.


Rheumatoid arthritis A chronic disease which attacks the joints within the body, causing them to become inflamed.


The base of the penis.


Shaft The cylindrical shaped body of the penis.


Testosterone Male hormone which is responsible for characteristics such as muscle mass, bone mass and libido.


Ulcerative colitis Inflammation of the large intestine which causes pain and bleeding.


Valvular heart disease A disease of one or more valves of the heart which is either genetic or acquired later on in life.

Viagra Also known as sildenafil. A popular form of medication for impotence which enables the blood vessels in the penis to dilate which increases blood flow.


None at present.


None at present.


None at present.


None at present.

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