Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

In the past, doctors considered impotence to be a mainly psychological problem, caused by performance anxiety or stress.

They, in turn, form a barrier in the circulatory system. But where symptoms are caused by deeper emotional or psychological issues, private conference with a doctor or therapist may be required. Thus, men with this condition are encouraged to consult a medical professional as there are medications and other types of treatment options that are available.

An elastic ring is then slipped onto the base of the penis. A problem in the nervous system. You've seen the late night commercial come across your screen. Blood supply to the penis can become blocked or narrowed as a result of vascular disease such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Your doctor may also test for liver and kidney. This can make matters worse and lead to a vicious circle of worsening anxiety and persisting ED. A range of other treatments exists for cases of impotence that arise from purely physiological causes.

In some cases, they may even include ingredients that could interact with other medications and cause side effects.

Health Topics

All my life I tried different sex. This is due to the inactive way of life and the wrong diet of the patient. Hormones are chemicals produced by the body. In many cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by something physical. 9 million adult men in the U.

Additional sexual stimulation initiates the bulbocavernous reflex. Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways. “These studies suggest the issue may be trivial in women, but not so for men, and could lead to sexual dysfunction. Five common causes of erectile dysfunction, overexposure to pornography interferes with key brain centers that trigger desire, erections, and climax. Click here to begin. Keep reading to learn about treatment options.

 These conditions may interfere with nerve signals between the brain and the penis. And generally, what’s good for the heart is good for erections—a healthy diet, keeping cholesterol low, not smoking, exercising regularly, and controlling weight. An injury to the nerves, arteries, or veins of the pelvis has the potential to cause sexual problems. The combination of the two substances can have a dangerous effect on your heart. Another type of surgery that sometimes increases the risk of impotence is bowel resection for treating colorectal cancer, in which a portion of the large intestine (colon) is surgically removed along with the tumor.

  • The various treatments for erectile dysfunction are outlined below.
  • For some men with ED, using a device such as a penis pump, cock ring, or—in severe cases—a surgically placed penis implant has been effective in restoring sexual function.
  • In some cases of ED caused by bowel surgery, the problem results from loss of skin sensation.
  • Secondary sex characteristics.

Unproven Claims For Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Most men with penile implants and their partners say that they're satisfied with the results, and they return to more spontaneous intimacy. If your GP feels this type of exercise could be beneficial, then you may want to discuss it with a physiotherapist to learn it correctly. Recent studies show that impotence is a much more common problem than once believed. In common practice, however, the term has traditionally been used to describe only male sexual dysfunctions. The amount of each drug used can be changed based on the severity of your ED, by an experienced health professional. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. A pump and two cylinders are placed within the erection chambers of the penis, which causes an erection by releasing a saline solution; it can also remove the solution to deflate the penis. Studies have indicated that Cialis stays in the body longer than other medications in its class.

It is defined as the "persistent or recurrent inability to achieve and maintain a penile erection of sufficient rigidity to permit satisfactory sexual activity for at least 3 months. "The sexual partner may also be interviewed to determine expectations and perceptions encountered during sexual intercourse. Sensate focus is a type of sex therapy that you and your partner complete together. Recreational drugs affect the central nervous system. ERECTILE dysfunction is considered a tragic experience for any man and renders what may have once been your pride and joy a lifeless, floppy waste of space. Because these facts make young boys impotent too. Common examples of this include staying up late at night, so that his partner is asleep before he goes to bed, or working longer hours than usual at work, so that he is tired in the evenings, goes to bed earlier than his partner, and is asleep when she retires to bed.

Lifestyle changes are also recommended such as losing weight, quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, exercising more, and reducing stress. Many men do not seek treatment due to feelings of embarrassment. The FDA-approved medication Viagra works directly on the blood vessels, allowing the arteries to expand. In 1982, he received FDA approval to market the product as the ErecAid®. In most cases of ED associated with a medical condition, treatment allows one to have an erection "on demand" or with the aid of medications/device (but not spontaneous). These include stress, depression, lack of stimulus from the brain and performance anxiety. While these medications may treat a disease or condition, in doing so they can affect a man's hormones, nerves or blood circulation, resulting in ED or increasing the risk of ED. Testosterone replacement therapy may improve energy, mood, and bone density, increase muscle mass and weight, and heighten sexual interest in older men who may have deficient levels of testosterone.

  • However, there is little evidence they are useful.
  • There also is some evidence that men with high blood pressure have lower sperm counts and testosterone levels than men with normal blood pressure,  which in turn may lower the hormonal response to sexual stimulation.
  • It is a common problem, affecting at least one in ten men across all ages in all countries.
  • These drugs need to be taken prior to engaging in sexual activity.
  • Masturbation and excessive masturbation are not felt to cause ED, however, if one notes weak erections with masturbation, this may be a sign of ED.
  • Health specialists will often treat impotence by targeting an underlying health condition which is causing it such as heart disease or diabetes.

Taking Drugs For Hair Loss Or An Enlarged Prostate

Drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, crack and heroin can also lead to problems in the bedroom. In some cases, the causes of impotence do not need medical treatment. What are the physical causes of erectile dysfunction? Alcoholism can cause permanent nerve damage, resulting in impotence. Your doctor may want to change your tablet strength. One such cause is unusually low blood pressure in the penis, which can sometimes be corrected surgically. Now, doctors know that many cases of impotence have a physical cause, which usually can be treated.

A single dose of alprostadil for urethral application is around $10. As recently as two decades ago, doctors tended to blame erectile dysfunction on psychological problems or, with older men, on the normal aging process. Common causes of erectile dysfunction for middle aged men may include stress, guilt, or having sex with a new partner after many years of monogamy. Arousal starts in the brain, but it also involves the nerves, muscles and blood vessels, and can be impacted by hormones and emotions. It causes early and severe hardening of the arteries. ED is usually treatable, most commonly by a tablet taken before sex.

The following table contains a list of specific medicines that may cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction. If low testosterone is responsible for your ED, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can boost your testosterone levels via injection, a wearable patch, or gel applied to the skin. Most men experience isolated episodes of erectile failure. If the ED is due to a physical cause, you are likely still to have a normal sex drive apart from if the cause is due to a hormonal problem.

Age may be the most common denominator of men with ED.

More On Sex

While these medications may treat a disease or condition, in doing so they can affect a man's hormones, nerves or blood circulation. Primary premature ejaculation. If you're concerned about erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor — even if you're embarrassed. Erectile dysfunction home remedy: food & exercise, these implants consist of either inflatable or malleable (bendable) rods. Lifestyle choices. You should not take more than 1 dose in 24 hours.

Therefore, ED may be a sign of heart disease or other serious health problems. It’s a common phenomenon, with the common effect of ED. You take a dose before you plan to have sex. This is rare but can be caused by various conditions of the penis.

As a result, organic impotence occurs. For example, you may not be able to take certain tablets for ED if you have certain other medical conditions or take certain other medicines. Doctors aren’t certain of the cause of venous leakage, but they can perform surgery to help repair it. Some complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, have claimed to treat erectile dysfunction.

Related Information

In some cases, ED causes poor self-esteem, anxiety and even depression. Increased flavonoid intake also helped men smoke less, drink less and exercise more. How do couples cope with ED? Inside the penis there are two long, cylindrical chambers called the corpora cavernosa, which contain a myriad of blood vessels and tissues, as well as one major artery in each chamber. The venules beneath the rigid tunica albuginea are compressed, resulting in near-total occlusion of venous outflow. In addition, men who take tadalafil or vardenfil should use alpha blockers with care and only as instructed by their physician, as they could result in hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure).


It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. Depression is a feeling of sadness, loss of hope, or helplessness. This can be due to atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries. Erectile impotence occasionally occurs with age and, although attributed by the individual to the aging process itself, it is usually secondary to disorders of aging, such as faulty blood circulation or prostate disease.

This form of impotence nearly always has an emotional rather than physical cause. As a result, the likelihood of erectile dysfunction increases the older a man gets. Causes of ED include: Over the long term, moderate alcohol consumption doesn’t increase your risk of ED (Wang, 2020), but chronic heavy drinking can damage the liver, heart, and nerves and reduce testosterone—all of which can lead to ED and sexual performance issues. Vitaros 3 mg/g cream, hold the penis in an upright position for approximately 30 seconds in order to allow the cream to penetrate. By asking patients more directly about their sexual function through conversation or a questionnaire during a checkup, doctors may be able to detect more serious health conditions sooner. However, research now suggests that the long-term results of this type of surgery are poor, so it's unlikely to be used. 25–26 Vascular reconstructive surgeries are beneficial in certain groups.

  • Alprostadil will usually produce an erection after five to 15 minutes.
  • You might be worried that you don’t measure up—either physically, skill-wise, or otherwise—leading to performance anxiety around sex.
  • Though it can sometimes be difficult to pin down the specific cause for your erectile dysfunction, it is always worth the effort.

High Blood Pressure

Many medications can cause problems with normal sexual functioning, including blood pressure medications and antidepressants, as can alcohol and recreational drug use. Also, if you have high blood pressure for which you take a certain type of medication, called alpha-blockers (doxazosin, indoramin, terazosin or prazosin), you need to wait until you are on a stable dose. A head injury can sometimes affect the function of the pituitary gland in the brain. Only a small percentage of cases of impotence are due to hormonal problems, such as insufficient testosterone. Lab tests done on urine and blood may also be used. The contrast agent provides for enhanced information regarding blood supply and vascular anomalies. Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs used for managing ed, food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate natural treatments such as herbs and supplements. There are three essential components of male sexual function:

“Sex is half in your body and half in your head and it may not be a physical component driving the behaviour, but a psychological one. Even young men can struggle to get an erection after a hard night of partying. The following health-related factors and behaviors may contribute to ED: They do not realise it is a reaction to their mental health problem. Antihistamines. Measurement of testosterone in the blood is often done in men with ED, especially with a history of decreased libido or diabetes.

In the past few years, penile implants have been used to treat more than 30,000 cases of erectile dysfunction in the United States.

What is the treatment for ED?

Secondary PE is due to physical causes, usually involving the penile arteries, veins, or both. Like any learned behaviors, it can be unlearned. If you’re ready to stop living in embarrassment about your sexual function, become an advocate for yourself and your own health and talk to your doctor.

The chemical process which leads to an erection is a complex one. Several other factors and conditions can contribute to erectile dysfunction, including the following. This is a synthetic (man-made) hormone that helps to stimulate blood flow to the penis. How is erectile dysfunction treated? When this happens, the penis becomes firm. A man is considered to have ED when these symptoms occur regularly. Making poor health decisions on a daily basis may affect your ability to get an erection.

Antiarrhythmics (medication for irregular heart action). However, some people become even more anxious or depressed when they develop ED. What is erectile dysfunction?

Seniors Online

If it happens more often, it may be caused by physical or emotional problems. Most men will feel pain and will feel better with a narcotic pain-relief drug for one to two weeks. Thanks for visiting! Often, as a last resort if other treatments have failed, the most common procedure is prosthetic implants which involves the insertion of artificial rods into the penis.

So seeing your doctor about erection problems may be important for your overall physical health. Among these are: The most common side effects of IU alprostadil are a burning feeling in the penis. Viagra, the three ED medications currently on the market—Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis—all work by the same means, and they have similar side effects. They feel a sense of fear and embarrassment. A recent study published in the Journal of Men's Health concluded that there was no relationship between prolonged cycling and erectile dysfunction. Smoking has been shown to affect arterial blood flow and may also affect the arteries in the penis, reducing the blood flow necessary to maintain an erection.

The composition of harmful food and alcohol-containing beverages contains a huge number of chemical compounds that cause premature aging and obesity of the whole organism as a whole. For instance, a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. 20–21 As of 2020, sildenafil is available in the UK without a prescription. Some men experience impotence when they have too much to drink. With younger men, psychological problems are the likeliest reason for erectile dysfunction. If a man is on blood thinners, then he may need to talk with a medical expert about stopping the medications for elective surgery and healing. There are many different causes of impotence but fortunately, nowadays, as many as 90% of sufferers can be helped to regain their potency. Physical examination.

Medicines That Can Cause Impotence

Since erectile dysfunction is not only a condition but also a common symptom of many health problems, it is important to observe if the patient has other symptoms that may be related to it. Given that an erection depends on adequate blood flow to the penis, it's easy to see how any condition or medical problem affecting the heart and other structures in the cardiovascular system might have an impact on erectile function. Swinger party? Questions remain about the effects on men’s health of riding a bicycle.


As mentioned, some medicines can cause ED. ED can happen at any age, but is more common in men older than 65. Men who qualify for NHS prescriptions for erectile dysfunction treatments may be able to get a vacuum pump on the NHS (see above for more details).

It can be related to hardening of the arteries throughout the body. Key points about erectile dysfunction Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence means you can’t get an erection. The first, primary erectile dysfunction, is when a man has never had an erection. Here are some of the options: Then I began to understand, because of what this could happen. The FDA adds that these illegal sites may send drugs of unknown quality and origin, even sending the wrong drug or a dangerous product. Similarly, in men with a history of arterial trauma, surgical intervention can restore erectile dysfunction.

Illicit drug use.

Symptoms of Male Pattern Baldness

Although in the past it was commonly believed to be due to psychological problems, it is now known that for most men erectile dysfunction is caused by physical problems, usually related to the blood supply of the penis. This may be involved if your penis does not respond as expected to certain touching. Men who have diabetes are two to three times more likely to develop ED than men who do not have diabetes. Meanwhile, underlying health conditions that have been shown to cause or increase a person’s risk for erectile dysfunction include: There also is some evidence that men with high blood pressure have lower sperm counts and testosterone levels than men with normal blood pressure,   which in turn may lower the hormonal response to sexual stimulation. Erectile dysfunction risk factors: weight, smoking, cholesterol, and more, they usually involve four categories:. It was estimated that, in 1995, over 152 million men worldwide experienced ED.

Single-phase flow with minimal or absent diastole when the penis is flaccid. If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit. Most top-selling, over-the-counter sexual treatments unproven, some could be harmful, review shows. To date, 3 subtypes have been identified: Prices are dramatically lower than those offered by legal online pharmacies. ED symptoms may occur earlier than those of heart disease due to cardiovascular issues like atherosclerosis. Urinary and kidney problems:

Although the condition is called venous leak, the real problem is not with the veins but malfunction of the smooth muscle that surrounds the veins. In many cases, psychological issues develop into performance anxiety which, in and of itself, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And, as you’re about to find out, some causes of erectile dysfunction can be life-threatening.

Medical Treatments:

The surgeon could unblock the blood vessels to restore a normal supply of blood. Experts recommend that men have a complete medical history and physical examination to determine the cause of ED. Some couples consider seeking treatment for ED together, while other men prefer to seek treatment without their partner's knowledge.

It’s used interchangeably with erectile dysfunction (ED). To each of us, men, it seems that this will never touch us. For example, you may not get an erection so easily if you are tired, stressed, distracted, or have drunk too much alcohol. Signs of impotence in men, in this case, is the complete absence of sexual attraction. Alprostadil can cause some side effects including: It will only cause an erection when the man is sexually aroused. Ask your doctor for alternatives.

If your erection problems are caused by atherosclerosis, there is a chance that the arteries in other parts of your body (e. )Check the leaflet that comes with any medication that you take to see if ED is a possible side-effect. Tadalafil citrate (Cialis). They hold hands as they walk around or eat a nice meal. Because there is a triad relationship between depression, ED and cardiovascular disease, men with depression should be fully evaluated for medical illness as well as psychological factors.

These are mainly to check up on any risk factors listed above which increase the risk of developing narrowing of the arteries.


Diabetes can affect blood vessels and nerves. Sex with several partners, oral, anal - all and not enumerate. Impotence itself is often related to an underlying problem, such as heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, or other medical conditions. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Accurate risk factor identification and characterization are essential for prevention or treatment of erectile dysfunction. These medical treatments should NOT be used by women or children. Generally speaking, causes for erectile dysfunction can be divided into two categories:

Other Treatments

Most men taking these medicines do not experience erectile dysfunction. Premature ejaculation (PE). Causes are usually medical but can also be psychological. It's also available from chemists.

If a patient has a systemic, skin, or urinary tract infection, this surgery should be postponed until all infections are treated. When the pump is engaged, pressure in the cylinders inflate the penis and makes it stiff. I understood what is the impotent rage definition in my own case! Certain exercises. Numerous prescription drugs, recreational drugs, alcohol, and smoking, can all cause ED. Secondary erectile dysfunction, the much more common type, is when a man has had erections before but now fails to have one more than 25% of the time. The relaxation of muscle tissue allows blood to flow into the erection chambers in the penis, creating an erection. Recently, this pathology is found in the younger generation.

Because penile vascular surgery is not recommended for aging males who have failed oral PDE5 inhibitors, ICI or IU therapies, implants are the next step for these patients. Abuse of drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines can also cause impotence. Goodrx, atorvastatin caused an increase in IIEF-5 by 6. Factors that mediate contraction in the penis include noradrenaline, endothelin-1, neuropeptide Y, prostanoids, angiotensin II, and others not yet identified. You may also find that you can’t achieve an erection with a certain partner. Penile implants are a type of surgery that may be considered. Many different factors affecting your vascular system, nervous system, and endocrine system can cause or contribute to ED. In medical practice, this phenomenon is called impotence.

Erections occur in response to tactile, olfactory, and visual stimuli.

© 2013-2020