Conditions Often Mistaken For Erectile Dysfunction

Other conditions often are mistaken for erectile dysfunction, but they have very different causes and different treatments. They include:

  • Premature ejaculation
  • Delayed or inhibited ejaculation
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Lack of desire
  • Infertility

Premature Ejaculation

This is the inability to control or delay ejaculation. This condition is easily mistaken for erectile dysfunction in two ways:

  • A man may ejaculate as soon as his penis enters the vagina and then immediately lose his erection.
  • A man may ejaculate as soon as he gets an erection and then is unable to get another.

Delayed Or Inhibited Ejaculation

This is a condition where a man is able to get an erection but is unable to ejaculate.

Retrograde Ejaculation

Surgery on the bladder and some medicines for an enlarged prostate may force ejaculation back into the bladder. While this condition is not harmful, it may be of concern to men when it first occurs.

Lack Of Desire

Some men believe they should always be interested in sex and ready for it. But the human body doesn’t always work that way. A man who has temporarily lost interest in sex – because of personal stress, depression, a relationship issue, or another reason – may not be able to get an erection because he is not aroused enough for it to happen. He also may get an erection but lose it before ejaculation, because he is too preoccupied with other issues.


Infertility in a man means that he has been unable to father a child after 12 months of regular sexual intercourse without birth control. The ability or inability to achieve an erection is not linked to fertility or infertility.

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