Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, refers to a man’s inability to achieve or maintain an erection. It can affect men of any age, although it is more prevalent in men 40 years and above. According to reports, 5-15% of men between ages 40 and 70 have complete erectile dysfunction, while mild ED affects 10% of men per decade. This means 50% of men in their fifties, and 60% of men in their sixties, while. But what exactly causes ED? Here are 7 common causes of erectile dysfunction that will help you understand it better and equip you to counter the problem adequately.
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Drinking alcohol may seem like the perfect way to get in the mood for sex, as it can help you lose your inhibitions and relax. However, too much alcohol impairs your ability to achieve an erection by reducing blood flow to the penis. This results in what is commonly referred to as “whiskey dick,” where the penis goes soft even if you want to have sex. Although you can reverse any erectile dysfunction caused by intoxication, excessive use of alcohol may lead to nerve damage. It also dulls your central nervous system, therefore, limiting your optimal sexual response and eventually causing impotence.
2) Medical Conditions
Health conditions that affect the nerves, muscles, or blood flow make up the most common causes of erectile dysfunction. A disease like diabetes damages the nerves resulting in peripheral neuropathy, while prostate cancer may damage both the nerves and erectile tissues. Other conditions that cause erectile dysfunction include STIs like gonorrhea and Chlamydia, high blood pressure, as well as multiple sclerosis. If you suffer from any of the above health conditions but seek treatment early, you may be able to avert erectile dysfunction due to early intervention. Ignoring them, on the other hand, may cause permanent damage.
Smoking is known to cause a host of problems, and erectile dysfunction is one of them. Smoking and generally tobacco use contributes to vascular diseases like hardening of the arteries. This impairs blood flow to the penis, making it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection. The good thing is that you can reverse erectile dysfunction caused by smoking by reducing or giving up smoking altogether.
4) Low Testosterone
Testosterone levels in men tend to decrease at a quick rate of 0.4%-2%after the age of 30. Low testosterone is known to cause baldness, insomnia, low libido, and erectile dysfunction. You’re your testosterone is low; you may not get an erection since the penile tissues won’t be adequately stimulated to produce nitric oxide responsible for the reactions necessary for an erection. It is important to note that low testosterone is highly accountable for low sex drive and may not be the sole cause of erectile dysfunction. However, it has been linked to other conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes, which are common causes of erectile dysfunction.
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5) Relationship Problems
Erectile dysfunction may be evidence of a problematic relationship with your partner. The tension between you and your partner or lack of communication and intimacy may all trigger erectile dysfunction by reducing your sexual desire and performance. The good thing is that you can always solve relationship issues with your partner to help alleviate the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Seek the help of a counselor or therapist for the best solutions to both your relationship issues and sexual problems.
6) Psychological Issues
Sometimes, your erectile dysfunction has nothing to do with your sexual organs or physical health, as it could all be in your head. Performance anxiety, depression, and stress all contribute to erectile dysfunction as your brain struggles to release the hormones responsible for erection. Being nervous as well as poor self-image may lead to anxiety, while depression in most men causes them to lose their sex function and desire. By maintaining a healthy state of mind, you can go back to a healthy sexual life and curb erectile dysfunction.
Just like health issues, certain medications are responsible for most cases of erectile dysfunction. This is because erection problems are usually part of the side effects. Some of the common drugs that result in erectile dysfunction include high blood pressure medications, cancer treatments, antidepressants, antihistamines, and medicines used to lower cholesterol. Surgeries around the penis such as prostate and rectum may also damage the nerves or blood vessels connected to the penis leading to erectile dysfunction. If you notice that you have trouble getting or maintaining an erection after getting on medication, speak to your doctor. Be sure to disclose any other medicine you are taking, such as over-the-counter drugs, so that your doctor can advise accordingly.
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While erectile dysfunction may be a difficult issue for most men to admit, ignoring it creates more problems such as anxiety, self-esteem issues, and strained relationships with your partner. If you suffer from symptoms of erectile dysfunction, EzCare Clinic can help you regain your sexual desire and function. Book an appointment with us today!