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Is Erectile Dysfunction A Disease

is erectile dysfunction a disease

Fast facts on erectile dysfunction:

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as persistent difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection sufficient to have sex.
  • Causes are usually medical but can also be psychological.
  • Organic causes are usually the result of an underlying medical condition affecting the blood vessels or nerves supplying the penis.
  • Numerous prescription drugs, recreational drugs, alcohol, and smoking, can all cause ED.

Causes

Normal erectile function can be affected by problems with any of the following systems:

  • blood flow
  • nerve supply
  • hormones

Physical causes

It is always worth consulting a physician about persistent erection problems, as it could be caused by a serious medical condition.

Whether the cause is simple or serious, a proper diagnosis can help to address any underlying medical issues and help resolve sexual difficulties.

The following list summarizes many of the most common physical or organic causes of ED:

  • heart disease and narrowing of blood vessels
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • obesity and metabolic syndrome
  • Parkinson's disease
  • multiple sclerosis
  • hormonal disorders including thyroid conditions and testosterone deficiency
  • structural or anatomical disorder of the penis, such as Peyronie disease
  • smoking, alcoholism, and substance abuse, including cocaine use
  • treatments for prostate disease
  • surgical complications
  • injuries in the pelvic area or spinal cord
  • radiation therapy to the pelvic region

Atherosclerosis is a common cause of blood flow problems. Atherosclerosis causes a narrowing or clogging of arteries in the penis, preventing the necessary blood flow to the penis to produce an erection.

What are the symptoms of ED?

You may have erectile dysfunction if you regularly have:

  • trouble getting an erection
  • difficulty maintaining an erection during sexual activities
  • reduced interest in sex

Other sexual disorders related to ED include:

  • premature ejaculation
  • delayed ejaculation
  • anorgasmia, which is the inability to achieve orgasm after ample stimulation

You should talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they’ve lasted for two or more months. Your doctor can determine if your sexual disorder is caused by an underlying condition that requires treatment.

What causes ED?

There are many possible causes for ED, and they can include both emotional and physical disorders. Some common causes are:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • hyperlipidemia
  • damage from cancer or surgery
  • injuries
  • obesity or being overweight
  • increased age
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • relationship problems
  • drug use
  • alcohol use
  • smoking

ED can be caused by only one of these factors or several. That’s why it’s important to work with your doctor so that they can rule out or treat any underlying medical conditions.

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