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Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction – the inability to have or maintain an erection – has many possible causes. Erections are complex processes involving the brain, hormones, nerves, muscles, blood vessels and emotions. Problems in any of these areas can cause erectile dysfunction. Potential contributing factors may be emotional, physical or both. Understanding the causes of erectile dysfunction can give you a sense of control over the condition and help you to find effective treatments.

It is important to note that most men occasionally have difficulties with erections. This is usually due to being tired, stressed, nervous or drunk. For most men, this is only temporary. If the erectile problems are persistent, they are considered erectile dysfunction and the underlying causes need to be addressed.

Age is also a relevant factor when considering the causes of erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction becomes much more common with age, and the causes may differ for men at different ages. In teenagers and young men, the most frequent cause is anxiety, often related to self-esteem, sexual nervousness, or difficulties with condoms. In older men, ED is more likely to have physical or lifestyle causes.

The causes of erectile dysfunction can be split into three categories: physical, psychological, and lifestyle.

Physical causes of ED

Erectile dysfunction can have many underlying physical causes. Many of these are vascular issues which limit the amount of blood flowing to the penis, an important factor in having erections. Some also affect the nerves going to the penis. These physical issues are more prevalent in older men. They include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Stroke
  • Treatment for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
  • Peyronie's disease (a condition where scar tissue causes your penis to curve when it's erect)
  • Deterioration of the arteries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Obesity

Lack of testosterone can also be a physical cause of erectile dysfunction, but only in rare cases. It can sometimes be caused by a head injury that affects the brain's pituitary gland. If this is the cause, it will usually be accompanied by a loss in libido and a change in mood.

Psychological causes of ED

Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by psychological problems. These can range from long-term mental health issues to sexual performance anxiety to relationship difficulties. As a general rule, if erections are possible at some times (during masturbation, upon waking in the morning), the physical mechanics are still intact, meaning that psychological issues are more likely to be the cause. Psychological causes include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Exhaustion
  • Guilt
  • Bereavement
  • Conflict with your partner or other relationship problems
  • Sexual performance anxiety
  • Sexual boredom
  • Unresolved issues about sexual orientation

Lifestyle causes of ED

Several lifestyle factors can also cause erectile dysfunction. These lifestyle factors usually limit blood flow to the penis. They include:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Taking drugs such as cannabis or cocaine
  • Being physically inactive and/or overweight
  • Side effects of certain medications (such as treatments for high blood pressure, antihistamines, some chemotherapy treatments and antidepressants)
  • Prolonged bicycling (which can compress nerves and affect blood flow to the penis)

There are several prescription erectile dysfunction medications available at 121doc including Viagra. They all work by relaxing the muscles and blood vessels in the penis, allowing increased blood flow. This can lead to longer and firmer erections, and improve overall sexual satisfaction. It can also help to alleviate the mental stress and anxiety that erectile dysfunction may cause.

After a short online consultation with our doctor, you can order these erectile dysfunction medications and have them discreetly, safely and quickly delivered to you.

*The medical sources used for this article can be viewed on our legal page.

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