Erectile dysfunction is defined as an incapacity to have or maintain an erection long enough to have satisfying sexual relations, and it affects more men than some people think (about 40% of men over age 40). Knowing the cause of a dysfunction is a good first step toward finding a solution. Here are a few potential causes of erectile dysfunction.
Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, kidney, vascular, and neurological diseases, as well as hormonal disorders can all lead to erectile dysfunction.
Poor lifestyle habits can also be a cause. For example, smoking hinders the mechanics of erection by gradually blocking small arteries, while alcohol abuse impedes erection by putting your nervous system to sleep. A diet rich in fat can also get in the way of proper erections. Eating better and doing physical exercise several times a week can help considerably.
If you’ve recently undergone surgery in the pelvic area (prostatectomy, spinal cord surgery, etc.), the nerves and arteries required to have and maintain an erection may have been damaged.
High blood pressure medications, antidepressants, tranquilizers, anti-cancer drugs, estrogen, and other drugs can affect your ability to have an erection. However, don’t stop taking your medication if you think it’s causing erectile dysfunction. Talk to your doctor about it; if possible, he or she may decide to replace your medication with another one that doesn’t produce this side effect.
Stress, performance anxiety, a new sexual partner or situation, depression, and guilt are psychological factors that can prevent proper erections.
Talk about it
Seeking information on erectile dysfunction is a step in the right direction. It will likely reassure you and help you take the necessary action to improve your quality of life.
You and your partner have the power to change the situation. Discussing the subject with your partner is important and can be very beneficial, because leaving things unsaid is rarely positive.
Discussing it with your doctor or pharmacist is also essential so you can determine the potential causes of your erectile dysfunction and find possible solutions.