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Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction


Nov 2015


While erectile dysfunction is often associated with age related changes, the truth is that men at any stage of life can experience the occurrence.  All men will experience some form of erectile dysfunction, although the duration and causality can differ.  This can also make it important for men who are experiencing this problem to monitor its progression, as well as any other physical changes that could be indicative of underlying causes.

Since the subject can be sensitive for many men, communication regarding the issue is paramount to finding a solution.  Further, since some underlying causes can actually be indicative of greater health risks, it is also important that communication with care professionals is open and honest about the experience.  The result is that through a better health history and overview of related circumstances that may be contributing to erectile dysfunction, health care professionals can also appropriately treat the patient.

A Brief Look At Emotional Factors

With erectile dysfunction, emotional states can be both the cause and the result of the problem.  While older men may have an expectation that this problem can occur, it still creates an immense emotional burden.  This impact can be even greater in younger individuals, but will include feelings of

  • Frustration
  • Lack of worth
  • Lack of “manhood”
  • Low self esteem
  • Depression

Much of this is due to the manner in which humans identify with their sexuality/gender as a means of expressing personality.  When factors which contribute to this expression change, a crisis of personal understanding can also be the result.

However, while negative feelings as a result of erectile dysfunction may seem obvious, what is often less addressed is that these same emotions can be the cause of the problem.  Depression and stress also play a large part in how the body produces and regulates hormone production, and this can then become a direct factor in the occurrence of erectile dysfunction.

While sexuality is physically driven, it is also a result of the feelings and thoughts that a person has.  Other factors such as mental illness can also influence erectile dysfunction, either through hormonal imbalances or through the mental state that prevents the ability to embrace intimacy.  With mental causes to erectile dysfunction, there is often a chronic or learned condition that causes an inability to find connection.  Unfortunately, fear of rejection can be at the root of this, and the occurrence of erectile dysfunction because of this creates a negative feedback cycle.

In these cases, communication is also vital, since mental causes of erectile dysfunction can be effectively treated through counseling and therapy.  Many patients find that once they have released the emotional blockage, they are now able to perform intimately.

Physical Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction

Physical Causes And Erectile Dysfunction

As much as emotional variables do play a part in the causes of erectile dysfunction, physical aspects also act as a large influence.  There can be many pre-existing conditions that a person has which can lead to this problem.

  • High blood pressure – this issue alone can be a root cause for erectile dysfunction, although circumstances that are related to this issue can also exacerbate the problem.  With high blood pressure, the arteries in the body are not able to expand properly to accommodate blood flow fluctuations.  This restriction then prevents an erection from happening, but the stress can also create greater pressure on the heart.
  • Low testosterone – this is a common cause as well, since the lack of the sex hormone will also impact libido and the ability to perform.  Although low testosterone is usually associated with changes over age, even younger men can find this as a cause for the condition.
  • Medications that cause erectile dysfunction – as mentioned above under high blood pressure, there are adjunct issues that can make the condition so prevalent for men with high blood pressure.  One of the major issues is that certain medications to treat high blood pressure will also contribute to erectile dysfunction.  Beta blockers are specifically linked with causing erectile dysfunction, but diuretics are also medications that can contribute.  Beyond that, certain blood thinners, medicines with Coumadin, and some NSAIDs can further contribute to an inability to perform.
  • Physical trauma – this may apply to trauma that the person experiences to the loins, but it can also apply to general trauma.  Specific injury to the groin can impact the ability for the blood vessels to expand, and issues like testicular torsion can severely impair a person’s ability to perform.  However, even general physical trauma can also contribute, as injuries that impact circulation or nerve response can all contribute to the eventual development of erectile dysfunction.
  • Surgery – this relates to many of the factors that are present in physical trauma, although there is a greater tendency that the surgery is unrelated to any sexual issues.  However, in post recover, patients will often find that erectile dysfunction is a problem, although it can correct itself over time.  There are cases where the impacts of the surgery on the person’s physiology will create more lasting changes that can also lead to the problem.

It should also be noted that lifestyle habits can contribute to this condition as well.  Common routines often generate the cause for erectile dysfunction and this can include:

  • Poor nutrition and eating habits – an unhealthy body is unable to perform in balance.
  • Alcohol consumption – as a depressant, this drug greatly reduces the ability for blood flow to the penis.
  • Illegal drugs – many recreational drugs also have a strong depressant effect, although even stimulants can be problematic, as they cause severe blood pressure fluctuations.
  • Smoking – this hardens the arteries and also raises blood pressure, which can lead to erectile dysfunction in the long run.

The truth is that erectile dysfunction is far more common and has a greater number of causes than most people recognize.  However, by both learning more about the condition and communicating with health care professionals about the situation, a person can find a means of coping and treating the concern.

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