What are the Most Common Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms?

Difficulty getting an erection

As well as softer erections, reduced sensitivity, and erections that aren't as "vertical"

Next Question

6 Common Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms

The six most common erectile dysfunction symptoms are:

  1. Difficulty getting an erection
  2. Softer erections
  3. Erections that don’t last long enough for “satisfactory” sex
  4. Change in the angle of your erection
  5. Less girthy erections
  6. Reduced penile sensitivity

What are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction isn’t just about not being able to achieve an erection. Often times men can get an erection and still suffer from some of the early symptoms of erectile dysfunction. ED is more about the inability to get and maintain an erection that’s strong enough to have “satisfactory” sex. Satisfaction is the key word in that definition. And it encompasses a lot.

ED Symptoms and Your Partner

When the strength and frequency of your erections change enough to affect the pleasure you or your partner experience from sexual activity, that’s ED. In fact, relationship expert Dr. Pepper Schwartz notes that the first signs of a man’s diminished capacity are often noted by his partner.

“Sex often feels different for your partner when you experience ED,” warns Dr. Schwarts. “Men may not notice gradual changes to the girth or angle of his erection. But his partner does.” If you or your partner notice a persistent change in your erections that affects your sexual intimacy, you may have erectile dysfunction—even if you’re still able to get an erection.

Why is Erectile Dysfunction So Important?

Like everything else in your body, erections decline as guys age. Maybe your erections aren’t as strong or as frequent as they used to be. Or your erections are softer or don’t last as long. Erectile dysfunction symptoms vary depending on your health, age, sexual activity, lifestyle, and habits.

It’s also normal to have times when sex isn’t the most important thing on your mind. Stress, financial worries, disruptions to your routine, illness, or even relationship problems can decrease desire and erections. Not being able to get an erection from time to time isn’t erectile dysfunction.

But when you or your partner notice a change in your erections, it’s important to talk to a doctor to discover the underlying cause of your ED. Erectile dysfunction is often an early warning sign of serious health conditions, like heart disease. High blood pressure, diabetes, low testosterone, and high cholesterol are all causes of ED in otherwise healthy men. Don’t assume that it’ll pass—especially if symptoms get worse over time.

Was this answer helpful?