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Causes For Erectile Dysfunction

causes for erectile dysfunction

Causes

Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Likewise, stress and mental health concerns can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.

Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues causes erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.

Lifestyle Factors and Emotional Disorders

To achieve an erection, a person must first go through what’s known as an excitement phase. This phase can be an emotional response. If a person has an emotional disorder, this affects their ability to become sexually excited.

Depression and anxiety are associated with increased risk for impotence. Depression is a feeling of sadness, loss of hope, or helplessness. Fatigue related to depression can also cause impotence.

Performance anxiety can be another cause of impotence. If a person wasn’t able to achieve an erection in the past, he may fear he won’t be able to achieve an erection in the future. A person may also find he can’t achieve an erection with a certain partner. Someone with ED related to performance anxiety may be able to have full erections when masturbating or when sleeping, yet he isn’t able to maintain an erection during intercourse.

What Is the Erectile Process?

To understand what causes erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence, it is important to first review how an erection occurs. For a man to have an erection, a complex process takes place within the body. Erectile dysfunction is a term related to male sexual dysfunction and will be the only subject covered in this article.

Sexual dysfunction includes problems with sexual interest (libido), erectile problems, orgasmic problems, and ejaculatory problems. ED is one component of sexual dysfunction and may occur by itself or in association with other sexual dysfunctions.

Prevention

Impotence has a large number of causes, but there are still measures you can take to help prevent it.

Methods of possible prevention include:

  • taking part in physical exercise, which decreases the risk of impotence
  • avoiding smoking, drugs, or alcohol abuse
  • getting enough sleep
  • following a healthy diet
  • reducing stress, anxiety, and depression

How is ED diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and health history. They may do tests to determine if your symptoms are caused by an underlying condition. You should expect a physical exam where your doctor will listen to your heart and lungs, check your blood pressure, and examine your testicles and penis. They may also recommend a rectal exam to check your prostate. Additionally, you may need blood or urine tests to rule out other conditions.

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