Dear Dr Miriam.
I'm a 42-year-old man with a healthy lifestyle and a sex life but, like all other men, my biggest fear is impotence. Could you explain why it happens?
Dr Miriam says: Despite the fact that one in 10 men over the age of 21 suffers from impotence, very few understand why it happens.
It can be a side effect of accidents, diseases and most importantly, of prescription drugs. In addition, a quarter of all cases of impotence arise as an unfortunate side effect of drugs given to treat other conditions. This latter cause would fall into the category of medically induced, or "iatrogenic" impotence.
Impotence can be a feature of medical conditions that are more common the older we get and include high blood pressure, heart disease such as angina, liver disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.