Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection hard enough for a sexual intercourse.
Having erection problems now and then isn’t inevitably a reason for distress. If erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue, however, it can lead to anxiety, concern your self-assurance and contribute to relationship issues. Problems getting or keeping an erection can also be a sign of an underlying health condition that requires treatment and a threat for heart disease.
If you’re worried about erectile dysfunction, see your doctor. At times, treating an underlying condition is enough to reverse erectile dysfunction. In other cases, medications or other direct treatments might be necessary.
Erectile dysfunction has symptoms such as; trouble getting and keeping an erection, reduced sexual desire. See your doctor if you have worries about your erections or you’re experiencing other sexual problems such as delayed or premature ejaculation. Also, if you have diabetes, heart disease or another known health condition that might be linked to erectile dysfunction.
Male sexual arousal is a complicated route that involves the hormones, brain, feelings, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a difficulty with any of these. Likewise, stress and mental health concerns can lead to or worsen impotence.
Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological problems causes impotence. For instance, a small physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about keeping an erection. The resulting anxiety can cause or worsen impotence.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunction
In numerous cases, impotence is caused by something physical. General causes include:
Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
High blood pressure
Metabolic syndrome — a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
Peyronie’s disease — development of scar tissue inside the penis
Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
Certain prescription medications
Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction
The brain has a substantial role in triggering the series of physical events that lead to an erection, initiating with emotions of sexual excitement. A variety of things can interfere with sexual feelings and lead to or worsen impotence. These include:
Mental health conditions
Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns
As you grow old, erections might take longer to develop and might not be as hard. You may require more direct touch to your penis to get and keep an erection.
Complications resulting from erectile dysfunction can include:
An unsatisfactory sex life
Stress or anxiety
Embarrassment or low self-esteem
The inability to impregnate your partner
The best way to prevent impotence is to live a healthy life and to deal with your existing health conditions. For example:
Try to get rid of diabetes, heart disease or other chronic health conditions.
Get habitual checkups and medical screening tests.
Don’t consume cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs.
Try to get rid of your stress.
Try to figure out mental health issues.