Understanding the causes of erectile dysfunction is the first step to finding the best solution to the problem. It can happen to any man at any time of life and is generally a short-term problem. Erectile dysfunction can be stress-related or it could just be a symptom of a medical condition. Impotence can also be a side-effect of prescribed medication.
Stress & Erectile Dysfunction
Feeling stressed and overtired may lead to the onset of depression and anxiety. Any man suffering from stress or emotional problems may become temporarily impotent.
Being impotent may quickly turn into a more serious problem if, by feeling less than a real man because of erectile dysfunction, it results in greater stress, further anxiety and deeper depression.
Stress and depression can lead to excessive alcohol consumption or alcohol dependence. Regular drinking over a long period of time is known to cause chemical changes in the body and will reduce testosterone levels. Long term alcohol use also has an adverse effect on libido.
Regular use of illegal drugs will also affect hormones, and continued use will lead to sexual dysfunction. Cigarette smoking can also be the cause of any number of serious health issues, including those that will affect sexual performance.
Medical Conditions & Erectile Dysfunction
Hypertension, which also known as high blood pressure, affects the natural flow of blood through the body. The penis cannot function well or will fail to perform when it does not receive an adequate flow of blood. Sexual arousal allows pressure of blood to build up in the penis. It is this pressure that produces and maintains an erection. After ejaculation, muscles quickly relax and blood flows normally.
Hypertension is more common in people over the age of 65, but at any age it can be caused by obesity, smoking, caffeine, alcohol and too much salt in the diet.
High cholesterol also affects blood flow to the penis and is another possible cause. When cholesterol builds up in blood vessels, it restricts the flow to all parts of the body. High cholesterol can be a hereditary condition, but more often it’s caused by poor diet, smoking or diabetes.
A high proportion of men with diabetes suffer from impotence. The blood vessels of a diabetic can become clogged up due to high sugar levels. When the flow of blood to the penis becomes restricted, it cannot function as it should during sexual arousal.
Diabetes can be controlled through diet or with insulin. A diabetic man who keeps his blood sugar levels under control is less likely to suffer erectile dysfunction.
Erectile Dysfunction & Medication
Taking medication does not always lead to problems with side-effects, but taking prescribed drugs can sometimes cause erectile dysfunction. These drugs include antidepressants and antipsychotics used for mental health treatment.
Antihistamines, anticonvulsants and chemotherapy drugs can also cause impotence, as well as some drugs used in the treatment of hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease and kidney failure.
This unfortunate side-effect of medication is only one of the possible causes of erectile dysfunction. Stress, poor diet, excessive drinking and other lifestyle choices can also have an adverse effect on a man’s sexual ability.
If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction please don’t hesitate to call and schedule an appointment with one of our urology specialists.