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When little Johnny won't just get up

 What is erectile dysfunction? (Photo: iStock)

Picture this, you are a man. You have spotted this beautiful sexy girl staring at you, and there is blatant sexual attraction.

You get to know her, and because you are a tax-paying and non-corruptible citizen, the stars align. She is also attracted to you. So, after a few sexts here and there, as a form of marination, you decide to invite her over.

When she comes, you finish the final stages of marination by preparing a hot meal as you look forward to making her hot and leave her speaking in tongues.

But the only tongues spoken are by you in your head, when your manhood refuses to riot (erect) and the reputation of four generations before you and four after you is at stake.

This is the story of Peter, a 56-year-old divorced father of four.

“I was shocked; it had never happened before. I have an image to uphold and then my manhood let me down at the hour of need. Luckily, it was an older woman, she was 48, if it were this 30-year-olds, I don’t know what I could have done. Street cred is gone,” he adds laughing

Peter says the lady was his colleague and after flirting, he decided to move from sexting to real-life action, then his machine gun was like “nah, not today.” The Swahili people say “Jongoo alishindwa kupanda mtungi, loosely translated to the millipede could not climb the pot.

Unfortunately for Peter, that was the beginning of his millipede refusing to climb several pots until he decided to seek professional help.

“I had hypertension and diabetes. This was hugely contributed by my lifestyle. Drinking, eating unhealthy food, and not working out. I was 110kgs (kilogrammes) and my ideal weight is around 85kgs. It’s getting better but I do not last like my younger years,” he adds

The story is a bit similar for the 41-year-old James, a father of three, whose millipede had refused to climb the pot but after persuasion, it climbed but dropped before reaching the quarter way.

“So, I had this girl over. I think when you have been chasing it for too long, sometimes you get over-excited and you become a 30 seconds man. So, she’s there and “my guy” refuses to rise. I use my hands to tell him “yoh! bro, don’t do this to me”. So “he” listens. Maaaan! Let me tell you I didn’t even last a minute. So to cover my shame, I told the girl, “you know you are so tight,” he adds laughing

James adds that it is taboo to talk about erectile dysfunction with his fellow men. “We do not discuss openly about these things, even with our boys, we don’t. How do you just tell your boys you know my bazooka doesn’t function, ati it does not rise to the occasion,” he says

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. It’s also sometimes referred to as impotence.

According to Junior Mukudi, a health systems and reproductive health specialist, erectile dysfunction can occur at any age, but it’s more common in men older than 75 years of age.

“There are many possible causes of ED, including medications, chronic illnesses, poor blood flow to the penis, drinking too much alcohol, or being too tired. Treatment for ED depends on the underlying cause. It may include lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery,” he says


According to Mukudi, male infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that makes a person unable to have children. It can affect a man, a woman, or both. Male infertility means that a man has a problem with his reproductive system.

Mukudi says there are many biological and environmental factors that can impact male fertility. Possibilities include:

- Azoospermia: Your infertility can be related to your inability to produce sperm cells.

- Oligospermia: The production of low or poor-quality sperm.

- Varicocele: A varicocele is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle. It’s the most common reversible cause of male infertility.

- Infections: Infections such as epididymitis and orchitis can cause testicular damage and affect fertility.

- Ejaculation issues: Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of emerging out through the penis.

Just like any other health issue, male infertility has its symptoms.

“Problems with sexual function, for example, difficulty with ejaculation or small volumes of fluid ejaculated, reduced sexual desire or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction),” says Mukudi.

Other symptoms include pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area, and recurrent respiratory infections. Inability to smell. Abnormal breast growth (gynecomastia).


Mukudi says that the treatment depends on the cause.

“If a specific reason for infertility is discovered, it sometimes is possible to treat. A variety of treatment options are available and include hormonal therapy, surgery to correct blocked tubes and treatment of infections or underlying medical conditions,” he says

Another cause of infertility is low sperm count, which refers to the number of sperm in semen.

According to Mukudi, low sperm count can be treated through surgery. For example, a varicocele can often be surgically corrected.

A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins that transport oxygen-depleted blood away from the testicle.

He says that obstructed vas deferens (duct which conveys sperm from the testicle to the urethra) can also be repaired. 

Prior vasectomies can be reversed. “Certain medications can improve sperm count and motility. Hormone replacement or medications in cases where infertility is caused by high or low levels of certain hormones,” he says

He adds that assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments involve obtaining sperm through normal ejaculation, surgical extraction or from donor individuals, depending on your specific case and wishes.


Fertility advocate, Faith Kemunto says the normal count is 15,000,000 per millilitre and so any parameter that is less than 15,000,000 then is considered low sperm count.


Faith says that the procedure is called semen analysis, which tests the man’s sperm and the semen.

“We do not have a new technology of extracting the sperms other than masturbation. After the man masturbates in our labs, the fluid is what is put in the test tube and various parameters are checked,” she says.

“We will look at the motility-the sperm should be able to move very fast, and the morphology of the sperm should have all the parts the head, neck and tail. Volume, density is all about the number of sperms expected in that fluid.”


“Penis-enlargement products and procedures are everywhere. A vast number of pumps, pills, weights, exercises and surgeries claim to increase the length and width of your penis. However, there’s little scientific support for nonsurgical methods to enlarge the penis,” says Mukudi

Several surgical procedures can be done to make your penis appear bigger. These procedures include:

Surgery to make your penis longer (increase its length).

Surgery to make your penis wider (increase its girth or circumference around the shaft).

Liposuction to make your stomach smaller so your penis looks larger.

Cutting the suspensory ligament that attaches the penis to the pubic bone.

Fat injection: A procedure to make the penis thicker involves taking fat from a fleshy part of the body and injecting it into the penis shaft.

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