Expert Reveals 7 Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as an inability to achieve or hold an erection firm enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse. It is most commonly seen in men 40 years and older, but any age group can be affected. The odds of a man suffering from ED during his lifetime are quite high with some studies reporting up to 46% of men suffering some degree of ED. But despite the high prevalence, medical experts don’t consider ED to be an inevitable part of aging. Instead, ED is viewed as a health problem or a symptom of an underlying medical condition. With that being said, here are the 7 most common causes of ED proven by experts.
1. Cardiovascular disorders
It is now widely accepted that most cases of ED are a result of problems with the heart or blood vessels. Epidemiological studies have also documented a strong link between ED and chronic diseases such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. Diseases of the heart and blood vessels are very likely to disrupt the production of nitric oxide which is an important compound in vasodilation and muscle relaxation. Other than cardiovascular diseases themselves, any other illness that disrupts cardiovascular health is also likely to be a risk factor for the development of ED.
2. Diabetes mellitus
Diabetes is another known risk factor for sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Men diagnosed with type II diabetes are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction earlier than relatively healthy men. Over half of all men with diabetes are believed to have ED to a greater or lesser extent. The probability of developing ED when you have diabetes also increases with age. Diabetes is a condition that can lead to significant damage to the blood vessels and the peripheral nerves. For a man to be able to maintain a firm enough erection, the blood vessels, as well as the nerves in penile tissue, need to be healthy and functioning.
3. Psychological disorders
A less talked-about risk factor for ED are mental disorders such depression, trauma, and developmental problems. Psychiatrists have recognized several psychiatric causes of lifelong and recurrent ED, namely performance anxiety, traumatic life events, and sexual problems that arise from early childhood experiences. On the other hand, sudden-onset ED may be more likely a result of illnesses such as major depression. A study published in CNS Spectrums states that between 25% and 75% of major depression patients report developing ED as a result of their depression.
Men taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may have problems with sexual functioning ranging from arousal difficulties, lack of desire to ED. A possible reason why SSRIs causes ED is that they lead to changes in the function of serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, and other neurotransmitters that play a role in the sexual response. Men taking antidepressants are often prescribed Sildenafil to manage their ED while being treated for depression, but others turn to some of the popular top male enhancement pills hoping to improve their sexual functioning.
Sex hormones play an obvious role in a person’s sexual functioning, and their declining levels in age may be partially responsible for sexual dysfunction. However, hormonal factors are a relatively rare cause of ED. Some men may develop a condition called hypogonadism either due to pituitary gland tumors or as a result of another illness that may affect the production of testosterone. These men usually benefit from treatments such as hormone replacement therapy. However, researchers still aren’t sure about the role of testosterone in male sexual functioning.
6. Lifestyle factors
A growing number of studies has found a link between unhealthy life habits to the development of ED. Bad lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol misuse, overeating, and lack of physical activity are less talked-about risk factors for ED. However, these habits probably cause ED by affecting a person’s general health such as leading to atherosclerosis, damaging peripheral nerves, and raising one’s risk of chronic diseases that lead to ED.
7. Relationship conflict
Unresolved conflict within a relationship is bound to disrupt intimacy levels and create trust issues. Such tension is mostly recognized as a major cause of sexual dysfunction in women, but researchers believe relationship dissatisfaction is a risk factor for ED where no organic cause can be detected. Addressing these problems through psychotherapy, couple’s counseling, or simply open communication may prove helpful.
Many men who develop problems with maintaining or achieving an erection feel too ashamed to address their problem. However, since ED is often a result of an underlying illness or even a side effect of medication, it is important to discuss this problem with your physician. ED can also cause a lot of stress and strain intimate relationships so seeking help is a good way to maintain greater levels of well-being. Men experiencing ED often look for ways to improve their sexual functioning. Some try natural male enhancement products like Erect on Demand while others ask for prescription medication. However, treating any underlying illness that may be causing ED is the best possible solution.