Most Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

The most common sexual dysfunction in men is erectile dysfunction (ED). Sexual dysfunction can be corrected by treating the underlying causes.

You may find it embarrassing if you are having difficulty maintaining an erection, but you are not alone. Erectile dysfunction or ED affects as many as 30 million men. Most men experience erection problem at some point during adulthood, but a medical condition does not always cause this. In some men, physical or psychological causes contribute to ED.

To understand what causes erectile dysfunction (ED), it is important to know how an erection occurs. To have an erection, there needs to be a proper function of nerves, veins, and arteries. There are also physiologic and psychological factors associated with this complex process. Blood flow or circulation is also an important component. Penile erection occurs in response to touch or anything that triggers the pathway in the brain. Information travels from the brain to the base of the spine where nerve fibres connect to the male reproductive organ and allow the blood to flow during erections. One sexual arousal, nitric oxide is released from the nervous system that helps the penile muscle to relax and increase blood flow into the penis. When the penis fills with blood, and this allows the erection to become sufficiently rigid.

Any disruption in one or more of the above physical or psychological processes can lead to ED or impotence. ED is the inability to achieve and sustain an erection that is satisfactory for the completion of intercourse. Many men have both psychological and physical causes of ED.

Psychological Causes of ED

Psychological factors are responsible in most cases of ED. However, psychological or mental causes often coexist with physical causes of ED. Erection issues can be embarrassing and produce significant mental stress and an emotional reaction in most men. ED sufferers may experience anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem that can further interfere with their performance in the bedroom. Performance anxiety is a thought to be one of the most common causes of ED. This problem needs to be recognized and treated by a health care professional. Most of the brain is involved in sexual function and erection. In cases of psychogenic ED, the brain may send signals to prevent erections, or sometimes Stressors may trigger Psychogenic ED. The production of catecholamines may also cause penile muscles to tighten instead of relaxing.  Stress, worry, and nervousness can interfere with normal erectile function. In these cases, Psychological counselling that incorporates you and your partner can be helpful. Failure of treatment may also lead to psychological distress, leading to worsening of erection problem. Your health care professional may even recognize low levels of testosterone hormones in your body that may be contributing to the loss of desire in sexual activity. Individuals suffering from one or more of the above psychological causes may benefit from treatments that include a combination of psychotherapy or medicinal therapy. Medications are available to manage symptoms of psychogenic ED. However, it is always best to consult a health care specialist before you decide to begin any treatment.

Physical Causes of ED

According to research studies, physical causes are more common than psychological causes of ED in men. They can often coexist in some men. No doubt, the inability to achieve an adequate erection can lead to psychological issues which then make it more challenging to get a satisfactory penile erection.

Ed caused due to a medical condition treatable, but not all cases are entirely curable. Medication-induced ED can be improved by doing possible changes in medicine allowed by your health care professional. In cases of arterial trauma, surgical treatments can restore erectile function.  In most cases where ED is due to a medical condition, the therapy allows one to enjoy an erection on sexual arousal. Medications are vital in these cases of ED. While evaluation for physical causes of ED, a health care specialist may help assess for conditions that may affect veins, arteries, and nerves along with functional anatomy of the male reproductive organ, during the diagnosis, a health care professional will first rule out for conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, prostate cancer, and low male sex hormone (testosterone) levels. In some men, medical treatment of one or more of the above-mentioned medical conditions may also cause erection troubles. It is recommended to restore sexual health with medications of a medical condition like high blood pressure with diet and regular exercise. Control diabetes or other chronic diseases by keeping a close eye on your eating pattern. Appropriate treatment of these conditions may help prevent the progression of ED. Obesity, zinc deficiency and malnutrition are also associated with ED. Dietary changes may prove sufficient in these ED cases.

Also Read: Erection Problem? Try These Medicines to Treat ED