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7 Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Did you know that erectile dysfunction affects a third of men? And while older men are at higher risk of ED, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that 26% of the men under 40 years deal with erectile dysfunction.

The most frequent question among men who struggle with ED is, “Why is this happening to me?” While you can only get a definitive answer after your healthcare provider sees you, performs an examination, and runs some tests, here is a guide to the seven common causes of erectile dysfunction.

Vascular Disease

Getting and maintaining an erection requires healthy blood circulation. However, elevated cholesterol, blood pressure issues, and heart disease can take a toll on the erectile process. The buildup of substances like fat and cholesterol in arterial walls causes blood vessels to harden, resulting in atherosclerosis.

The arteries in the penis are smaller than the ones in other parts of the body. As a result, they are among the first to suffer inflammation. This prevents them from dilating properly, hence erectile dysfunction occurring before coronary heart disease.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s directions regarding your cardiac health. If your heart isn’t functioning correctly, the inability to get and maintain an erection should be the least of your worries. Some of the lifestyle changes your doctor may recommend include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Quitting tobacco and alcohol
  • Losing excess weight

Depression and Anxiety

Mental health issues affect our daily lives in different ways, and for men, that might mean their sexual performance. Nearly 25% of men with erectile dysfunction suffer from depression or anxiety. And while the actual extent of the issue remains unknown, the connection between ED and mental health is indisputable.

When you are depressed due to traumatic events, work issues, or relationship problems, the body produces more cortisol. The stress hormone constricts the blood vessels in the penis, making it difficult to get an erection. If the cortisol levels are chronically high, the body produces reduced testosterone. The result is difficulties getting or keeping an erection.

Being Overweight and Obese

Obesity is a significant public health issue around the world. In the United States alone, obesity is responsible for 300,000 deaths each year.

About 79% of men struggling with ED are obese. Excess weight influences the development of ED through its connection to cardiac problems and diabetes, which can cause sexual performance issues.

Obesity increases inflammation in the body. This causes endothelial dysfunction, making it more difficult for blood vessels to switch from dilation and constriction. The damage to vessels due to excess fat and cholesterol deposits contributes to erectile dysfunction issues.

Shedding excess weight through reduced calorie intake and regular exercise has been to improve erectile function by 31%. There are many dietary programs out there, but you must find one that works for your lifestyle. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new nutritional or workout program to set yourself up for success.

Side Effects of Medications

Nearly all blood pressure, antihistamines, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, and other diuretics can cause ED. If you weren’t experiencing ED symptoms before starting your new drug, the medication might be the culprit.

Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if that’s the case and whether switching to alternative medicine is an option. If the medication is working for you, ED medications like Cialis and Viagra Canada can help counteract the side effects. However, ensure you disclose all your current meds as ED medications don’t always mix well with other medicines.

Pelvic Surgery

One of the most common ED causes is pelvic surgery, which is often performed on prostate cancer. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since the prostate is responsible for producing one of the elements of semen. Chronic prostate inflammation or prostate cancer can make it challenging to achieve an erection and the ejaculations quite painful.

The reason for the above symptoms is that the nerves responsible for an erection are close to the prostate. The nerves may also be damaged during pelvic surgery. If the doctor utilizes a nerve-sparing procedure, you may regain your previous level of erectile function within a year or two.

Insomnia and Exhaustion

Achieving intimacy can be substantially tricky if you haven’t been getting enough rest. That’s because strenuous physical activity is low on the list of priorities when your body is exhausted. This can lead to ED problems.

Natural sleep aids like melatonin, valerian, and CBD oil can prove valuable additions to your nighttime routine. Avoid taking any stimulants like coffee or energy drinks in the afternoon, and permanently remove electronic devices from your bedroom before going to bed.

Aim for 6–8 hours of sleep each night, and listen to your body’s natural cues. Pairing these tips for high-quality sleep with a healthy diet and regular exercise can go a long way towards establishing some balance and improving ED symptoms.

Neurological Issues

The nervous system plays a critical role in developing and maintaining an erection. When you are aroused, the nerves in the pelvic area and brain send impulses to the erectile tissue. This triggers the expansion of the penile blood vessels as they fill up with blood.

The increased blood flow is what gives an erection its firmness and size. It also causes the fibrous membrane tunica albuginea to contract, thus sustaining the erection and allowing for sex.

The above process relies on consistent blood flow, sexual arousal, and a functional nervous system. It doesn’t work if the nervous system is impaired due to diabetic neuropathy, surgery to the bladder or prostate, multiple sclerosis, injury to the nerves, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological issues.

What Can I Do About Erectile Dysfunction?

Regardless of the cause of your ED, there are several treatment options. The most crucial and challenging step is discussing erectile dysfunction and impotence with a doctor. Being open and working with a trusted healthcare provider can prove instrumental in finding a treatment regimen that works for you.

Talk to a doctor today.



UPGUYS offers personal care products and medications tailored to men, clinically proven, prescribed by Canadian physicians and dispensed by licensed pharmacies. Helping every man to become a better version of himself.

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