Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. An occasional occurrence of ED is nothing to worry about. It is a sign of a health problem if ED happens frequently.
Regardless of the frequency, ED can have an impact on self-esteem and relationships. ED is common among men, and there is treatment if medical attention is sought.
The process of ED is a lack of blood flow due to narrowed blood vessels in the penis in older men. The common cause of ED in young men is emotional issues.
While trouble achieving an erection is a primary symptom of ED, there are other symptoms associated with ED. Those symptoms are the following:
- Difficulty maintaining an erection during sexual activities.
- Lack of interest in sex.
There are other factors that are related to ED. Those factors are the following:
- Premature ejaculation.
- Delayed ejaculation.
- Trouble achieving orgasm.
A doctor’s visit is needed if these symptoms are present for more than 2 months. A doctor can determine what health condition is prompting the ED.
What causes ED?
As mentioned above, age and emotional troubles are common causes of ED. Though, there are other health issues that are related to erectile dysfunction.
Other cardiovascular health conditions have a correlation with ED. High blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes contribute to ED because these conditions affect the blood vessels and blood flow. About 60% of men with diabetes have reported erectile dysfunction.
Lifestyle can have an impact on ED. Habits that impede with blood flow are being overweight, getting little exercise, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Stress and anxiety are known to negatively impact the ability to have an erection too.
For older men, low testosterone levels can play into ED. Prostate cancer treatments, such as surgery and radiation, are also causes.
There are medications that prevent men from having an erection. Beta-blockers (for high blood pressure) and antidepressants are known to impact the sex drive. It is not wise to stop taking these medications completely. A doctor can determine a different medication or prescribe an ED medication.
[expand title = “References”]
- 6 Things You Really Should Ask About ED. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2017, from https://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/guide/erectile-dysfunction-basics#1
- The team, T. H. (2017, May 17). Everything You Need to Know About Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Retrieved October 10, 2017, from https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction