5 Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

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Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve and maintain a firm erection for long enough to have sex. Even though ED is a common sexual disorder (affecting up to 18 million US men), many men are still reluctant to seek treatment; hence a lot of them suffer in silence. This dysfunction is caused by many different factors, both physical and psychological. Physical causes include heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity. Whereas the psychological factors are emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, and stress.

Heart Condition

For a man to achieve a full erection, there is a need for the blood flow to be directed to the penis. This is stimulated by sexual thoughts and physical contact by the sexual partner. When a man has cardiac-related problems, the heart can be unable to provide sufficient blood flow, thus leading to problems achieving an erection. Conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure might hinder the blood from flowing towards the penis and hence contributing to ED. Additionally, if you are under medication to control the high blood pressure, you are more susceptible to having this sexual dysfunction.

Diabetes

This is a physical condition that falls under the endocrine diseases in which the body cannot regulate hormones and metabolism correctly. In this case, diabetes can lead to sexual dysfunction whereby the body resists or cannot use the hormone insulin. If the condition is severe, it can even lead to nerve damage, causing the penis to lose sensation. This physical disorder is among the most common factors relating to erectile dysfunction (causing diabetic men to be 3.5 times more likely to suffer from ED than the general population); however, some treatments can assist.

Emotional Disorders

These are psychological factors that can lead to an increased risk of ED. Proper cognitive functioning affects all aspects of being human; thus, this can be a critical contributing factor to sexual dysfunction. Emotional factors include stress, anxiety, and depression, which are all cognitive disorders that might hinder the success of stages of sex. With these psychological disorders, the inability to achieve an erection occurs during the excitement phase, which requires emotional stimulation to function correctly.

However, this works differently when it comes to anxiety, whereby an individual might experience performance anxiety that is caused by previous cases of not achieving a full erection or maintaining it.

Stress is another emotional disorder that is psychologically triggered; too many thoughts about sexual performance or the need to satisfy your sexual partner might contribute to the inability to maintain an erection.

Obesity 

This is among the most common physical factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction. Bodyweight is such an essential factor in sexual health because excess body fat and high cholesterol may lead to clogging of the blood vessels, and hence insufficient blood flow. This, in turn, leads to the inability to achieve the erection. Additionally, when one is obese, there is reduced metabolism and an increase in blood pressure and insulin levels, which are also linked to ED.

Drug/Alcohol abuse

This is among the lifestyle factors that contribute to the inability to maintain an erection. The prolonged use of drugs such as tobacco leads to health conditions that tend to restrict blood flow in the veins and arteries, which makes achieving an erection more difficult.

Summary 

Erectile dysfunction is among the unsaid topics among men; however, there is no need to suffer in silence. A proper medical check-up is vital to highlight these underlying causes and get appropriate treatment. Although there are many drugs available to combat ED, lifestyle changes (such as changing your diet, losing weight, and avoiding stress) can also go a long way to improving erectile dysfunction.

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