Erectile dysfunction in men can be devastating to most. ED can break even the strongest egos, and yet many times, the cause is a simple one that is easily rectified.
When male erectile dysfunction begins, it is often because there is an underlying issue. This isn’t a bad thing, however, it is important to recognize what is causing this issue and to address the problem itself.
Sexual arousal is more complex than many people believe. The process of an erection involves the brain, nerves, blood vessels, emotions, muscles, and hormones. Even feelings of anxiety about getting or maintaining an erection can prevent it from happening, making the occasional episode of ED into a chronic one.
Common Symptoms of ED
According to NHS, erection problems (impotence) are very common, particularly in men over 40. Men suffering from ED often experience one or more of the following:
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Difficulty maintaining an erection
- Reduced sex drive
- Feelings of low self-esteem
- Embarrassment or guilty feelings
Other sexual disorders that tend to go hand in hand with ED include:
- The inability to orgasm, even after prolonged stimulation
- Premature ejaculation
- Delayed ejaculation
Why Do These Problems Occur?
For most men, when they become sexually aroused, blood fills the penis and the muscles, hormones, and nerves act in combination to make an erection. When this process is interrupted, erectile dysfunction is said to have occurred.
Some men only experience ED only occasionally. Others experience these interruptions often and find that it interferes with their sex life as well as the overall quality of their lives.
What causes impotence? The answer to this question is multifaceted and fascinating. Many factors can cause it, such as hormone imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances, hyperthyroidism and depression, diabetes, obesity, the condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and even things as basic as kidney disease.
As a result of this complex and complicated set of causes, it is not always clear which treatment is best for one individual.
Let’s review the most common causes of impotence and find out how to deal with them.
There is a wide range of causes for ED. Some of the most common are:
- Sleep disorders
- Heart disease
- Scar tissue in the penis (Peyronie’s Disease)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Nerve problems
- Brain or spinal cord injury
- A lack of sufficient testosterone (Hypogonadism)
- Kidney disease
- MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Recreational drugs
Some medications are also known to affect erectile function, such as:
- Anti-seizure medications
- Blood pressure medication
- Prostate cancer drugs
- Drugs for Parkinson’s disease
- Muscle relaxants
- Sedatives or tranquilizers
- Histamine H2-receptor antagonists
- Chemotherapy medications
For some men, there are also psychological reasons for ED:
- Relationship problems
- Feeling nervous or anxious about sexual encounters
- Other mental health disorders
- Body image
- Performance concerns
- Prior sexual abuse, childhood sexual abuse, or prior humiliation
Men should also remember that hormone levels play a big part in their sex lives. Doctors can check your hormone levels using a simple blood test.
Smoking reduces blood flow to the penis, and excessive drinking can also lead to impotence. Surgeries on the back or pelvic area or damage that has occurred in these areas from accidents can also lead to ED.
To reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction, it is important to stop smoking as well as drink less. But alcohol is the most common factor that results in impotence, and, of course, the most prevalent drug associated with the condition. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can quickly lead to ED, and many people develop the habit as teenagers. Even healthy people can develop impotence if they drink too much or too often.
Risk Factors of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) can have various causes, and it often results from a combination of physical, psychological, and lifestyle factors. Some of the risk factors associated with male erectile dysfunction include:
Age: The likelihood of experiencing erectile dysfunction increases with age. However, it’s important to note that aging alone does not cause ED.
Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions can contribute to erectile dysfunction, including:
- Cardiovascular diseases (e.g., atherosclerosis, hypertension)
- Neurological disorders (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease)
- Peyronie’s disease (scar tissue inside the penis)
- Hormonal imbalances (e.g., low testosterone levels)
- Chronic kidney disease
Medications: Some medications may have ED as a side effect. Examples include certain antidepressants, antihypertensives, antihistamines, and medications for prostate conditions.
Psychological Factors: These include mental issues and disorders.
- Stress: High levels of stress can interfere with the normal functioning of the body, including sexual function.
- Anxiety: Performance anxiety or general anxiety can contribute to ED.
- Depression: Depression is often associated with ED.
Lifestyle Factors: Unhealthy lifestyle can have a devastating effect on male reproductive health.
- Smoking: Smoking can damage blood vessels and contribute to cardiovascular problems, which are linked to ED.
- Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can impair sexual function.
- Drug Use: Recreational drug use, especially substances like cocaine and methamphetamines, can contribute to ED.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for ED, as it is often associated with other health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Inactivity: Lack of regular physical activity is a risk factor for ED. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, improves cardiovascular health, and enhances overall well-being.
Injuries or Surgeries: Injuries to the pelvic area or surgeries that affect the nerves or blood vessels involved in erections can contribute to ED.
Relationship Issues: Relationship problems, communication issues, or unresolved conflicts with a partner can contribute to ED.
It’s important to recognize that these factors are often interrelated, and addressing one or more aspects may be necessary for effective management. If someone is experiencing persistent erectile dysfunction, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate guidance.
How to Deal with Erectile Dysfunction?
Treatment for men who experience sexual problems is often more complex than for women. Although some men may find relief from treatment, others need a lot of psychological support to manage their desire.
Normally, each year in the United States, some 1 million men are put on therapy for erectile dysfunction or failure to achieve an erection on a regular basis. Treatment for impotence depends on how much energy a man needs for sexual activity, the health of his arteries and the size of his penis. For many men with average or small penis sizes, surgery may be the most effective treatment option.
Guys suffering from ED are thought to have low libido, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, fear of the unknown, and often simply low testosterone levels.
Don’t be embarrassed or hesitant to speak with a health care professional about any problem you might be having. Everyone deserves a healthy, satisfying sex life. Men suffering from erectile dysfunctions should speak to their doctors and give them a complete medical history, as well as telling the doctor about all the drugs you take, even recreational ones.
Sexual activity is a natural part of a healthy human being’s life. It is part of the end of the reproductive cycle that is a point at which your body prepares itself for a new life to come. If you have problems in this area, don’t hesitate to look for a solution and find out how to treat and prevent male impotence.