Erectile Dysfunction is when a guy has trouble achieving, or maintaining, an erection for the duration of a fulfilling sexual encounter. While ED is extremely common, with 52% of men suffering from some form of ED, the cause can vary greatly from person to person.
While ED affects more men as they age, it can affect men of any age. While there are many risk factors from age to pre-existing medical conditions, today we look at five reasons why you may be suffering from ED.
Certain lifestyle choices can have a major effect on your ability to perform. Smoking, excessive alcohol use, not exercising enough, being overweight, and irregular sleeping patterns can all lead to ED. In many cases, certain lifestyle choices are what trigger -- or mask -- many of the following causes.
People don’t often realize it, but there is a strong link between your mental state and your penis. In fact, psychological factors are the most common cause of erectile dysfunction. Psychological causes include emotional and environmental factors such as stress, and anxiety.
Depression is another common cause for erectile dysfunction. While studies have shown that having depression has strong ties to the likelihood that you’ll suffer from ED, many antidepressant medications can also cause ED. Similarly, stress and anxiety are frequent causes of ED. Stress and anxiety also increase the likelihood of suffering from other conditions which may cause or exacerbate erectile dysfunction such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and excessive alcohol consumption.
Hormones play a big factor in an ability, or inability, to achieve an erection. A hormonal imbalance can cause erection troubles. Commonly, low levels of testosterone are associated with erectile dysfunction, however that’s not the only player. Abnormal thyroid hormone levels can be a cause, as can increased prolactin, a hormone made by the pituitary gland. Bodybuilders can also get in trouble with ED by abusing the use of steroids.
Blood flow is another core problem which may cause ED. Issues like reduced blood flow, heart conditions, and arterial blockages are all frequent issues which can reduce blood flow to the penis. Poor blood flow can be caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes, which causes early and severe hardening of the arteries, or lifestyle choices such as smoking which distinctly decreases tissue blood flow
Nerves can also affect your ability to achieve an erection. Metaphorically with being nervous as listed above with anxiety, but also physiologically with your nerves throughout your body. Nerve signalling issues can cause complications in your penis and your body’s physiological response to getting an erection. Nerve signaling issues can come in many forms ranging from injuries, to conditions such as Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
The cause for erectile dysfunction varies from person-to-person and is no reflection of who you are as a man. Bodies are complicated! The reason you suffer from ED may be simple, or the problem may be complex. If you’re concerned, the best place to start is to talk to a physician. Phoenix can help. There are treatments available to help out and let you take back a piece of your life.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.