Impotency and sterility are problems connected to men’s sexual health. These problems can affect the man’s ability to have children. Here are the definitions, causes, and their legal importance.

Important Facts About Impotency and Sterility


Also known as erectile dysfunction, impotency is having trouble getting and maintaining an erection. With this, a man will have difficulty or will not even be able to perform during a sexual intercourse.

Erectile dysfunction is a problem which is faced by more than 30 million men in the U.S. This problem even gets more common as one ages. To get an erection, different organ systems in the body must work together. If one of these systems is malfunctioning, it can cause impotency.

Causes of Impotency

Here are some of the major causes of impotency:

  • Diseases such as diabetes and heart ailments
  • Mood disorders such as depression
  • Stress, anxiety low self-esteem, or guilt
  • High cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Vices such as tobacco, alcohol or drug use
  • Some prescribed drugs such as antidepressants, antihistamines, or drugs for the blood pressure


The World Health Organization defines sterility as the inability to achieve pregnancy in one year. This is considering that the couple has regular unprotected sexual intercourse with internal ejaculation from the male. The problem can be from the male, or the female, or both.

Causes of Sterility

Here are some of the major causes of sterility:

  • Varicocele or having enlarged veins in the testicles
  • Using certain drugs such as steroids
  • STDs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea
  • Vasectomy
  • Treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation
  • Diseases such as diabetes
  • Alcohol abuse

Impotency, Sterility, and Annulment

Knowing the definitions of impotency and sterility is important in dealing issues around family law. This is an important matter to take into consideration if you are planning to file for an annulment.

During a marriage annulment, impotency or sterility can be legal grounds. The grounds for an annulment do not focus on what either of the parties have done. It focuses more on the legal and moral ideas surrounding one’s capacity to marry.

Laws vary from one state to another, but the grounds are more or less the same. If either of the couple is impotent or sterile, and this state is incurable, petition for an annulment can be filed.

Impotency or sterility can be grounds for annulment provided that the impotent/sterile spouse knew about his conditions while the other spouse is unaware of it.

For more information on annulment, do not hesitate to call an experienced family law attorney.

Written by Kellie Bertels, an attorney at Bandre, Hunt and Snider in Jefferson City, MO. Bandre, Hunt and Snider are the best attorneys Jefferson City MO have to offer.