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July 7, 1993

Impotence: NIH Consensus Development Panel on Impotence

JAMA. 1993;270(1):83-90. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510010089036

THE TERM impotence, as it has been applied to the title of this conference, has traditionally been used to signify the inability of the male to attain and maintain erection of the penis sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual intercourse. However, this use has often led to confusing and uninterpretable results in clinical and basic science investigations. This, together with its pejorative implications, suggests that the more precise term erectile dysfunction be used instead to signify an inability of the male to achieve an erect penis as part of the overall multifaceted process of male sexual function. This process comprises a variety of physical aspects with important psychological and behavioral overtones. In an effort to be precise in the analysis of the material discussed at this conference, this consensus report addresses issues of male erectile dysfunction as implied by use of the term impotence in the reports that have been presented.

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