A study has found that more than 26 percent of Chinese men suffer from erectile dysfunction.
The study by researchers from the Chinese Medical Association showed that among men over 40, at least 40 percent experience male impotence, China Daily reported.
Wang Xiaofeng, director of the urology surgery department with Peking University People's Hospital, said sexual dysfunction is characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.
Wang said that about 83 percent of the sufferers in China "never sought medical treatment for the disease".
He said that poor public awareness and the underlying social stigma related to the disease are mainly to be blamed for it.
Men who reported being sometimes able or never able to get and keep an erection in the past three months were defined as suffering erectile dysfunction.
He said that while for the majority of sufferers the cause was psychological, only 7.2 percent was caused by physical conditions. Some 30 percent suffered from both mental and physical causes.
Many men with erectile dysfunction had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes, hypertension, poor cholesterol levels or a habitual smoker.
Wang said most sufferers also didn't partake in any vigorous physical exercise.
The findings showed that lifestyle changes like more exercises and measures to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes would help prevent erectile function.
Wang urged people experiencing the problem to seek medical help as soon as possible.
The released figures are based on surveys on erectile dysfunction carried out in 11 cities.
In a 2009 survey on people's sex life satisfaction, China ranked 11th among 13 Asian countries.