Erectile dysfunction (ED) is so prevalent that it is one of the most searched medical conditions on the Internet today. A host of conditions are capable of causing erectile dysfunction, and not all of them are purely medical. There are also psychological issues that can suppress the ability to maintain an erection.
Medical Issues That Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Most commonly known as high blood pressure, hypertension occurs when plaque builds in the arteries where artery walls have been damaged. The resulting constriction in the arteries causes blood to flow with increased pressure, causing multiple circulatory issues within the body.
Since a healthy erection depends on regular blood flow to build and maintain firmness, high blood pressure tends to inhibit the natural introduction of blood into the corpus spongiosum and corpus cavernosa, the spongy chambers that prepare the penis for intercourse.
2. Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease can cause a hormone imbalance that prevents an erection from forming. The kidneys are part of the endocrine system, the same system that produces the hormones necessary for sexual stimulation. When the kidneys are bombarded by disease, they will spend most of their resources fighting it instead of producing vital hormones, which can negatively affect sexual arousal and cause ED.
3. Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis damages nerve pathways in the body, including those that govern sexual responses such as arousal and orgasm. 63% of patients with multiple sclerosis report that their sexual activity declined following diagnosis. MS can also cause emotional stress that leads to erectile dysfunction.
4. Peyronie's Disease
Plaque buildup in the tissue inside the penis is the defining characteristic of Peyronie's Disease. If the plaque becomes too large or intrusive, it may begin to prevent the formation of a full erection. A major side effect of Peyronie's Disease is the increase in curvature of the penis, which can cause embarrassment and depression that will worsen ED symptoms.
Somewhere around half of all men with diabetes will experience some degree of erectile dysfunction. Impairment in nerve, blood vessel, and muscular function cause a complex reaction that enables erectile dysfunction to begin or worsen. Diabetes treatments may also interfere with ED treatments both oral and surgical.
Psychological Issues That Cause Erectile Dysfunction
6. Stress / Anxiety
Putting in too much time at work or spending unusual amounts of time worrying about bills or social interactions can have severe negative effects on sexual performance, especially if stress and anxiety are chronic.
The sexual response in males depends on uninterrupted sexual stimulation. Even a moment of distraction caused by worry about life outside of the sexual realm can cause an immediate shutdown in sexual arousal. The shutdown may cause a chain of psychological stress that prevents sexual recovery, resulting in erectile dysfunction.
Just as stress and anxiety strain sexual focus, so does depression. However, mental damage related to depression may cause more permanent sexual performance issues. Often, those diagnosed with depression will lack a feeling of sexual desirability and be unable to achieve or maintain an erection.
The destruction of confidence caused by depression is also cyclical. The absence of a satisfactory sex life is detrimental to the psychological health of everyone, not just those with depression. ED may cause depressed men to sink deeper into depression and worsen their symptoms.
8. Fear of Sexual Failure
There is immense societal pressure to perform well sexually. Men feel the need to please their partners in nearly every sexual encounter. Without sexual confidence, a fear may develop based on the irrational inability to satisfy one's partner.
9. Low Self-Esteem
Perceived undesirability in oneself is a trigger for the onset of erectile dysfunction. Men who do not feel as if they are attractive to women will often have trouble gaining or maintaining an erection when confronted with a sexual situation. It may cause additional emotional responses such as embarrassment or fear that can exacerbate ED symptoms.
Available Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
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Because of the prevalence of ED, a lot of medical research has gone into treating it. Treatment options are many, but finding the right one is a decision that takes careful thought. Available treatment options include:
• Vacuum Device
• Inflatable Implants
• Malleable Implants
• Artery Reconstruction
Tell your doctor in detail about your erectile dysfunction and provide both physical disease information and psychological condition information to your doctor so you can both make the right decision about beginning an effective treatment option. For more information about erectile dysfunction and treatment options, visit our Erectile Dysfunction Condition Page.