Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction
Updated: Jan 7
Erectile dysfunction is a serious problem that affects around 30 million men in the US alone. It can lead to serious problems in so many aspects of life, and impact our emotional, physical and relational well-being. But what actually causes this stigmatized condition? Understanding the reasons for the issue is the first step to combating it, so let’s dive right in at the deep end.
ED (erectile dysfunction) can be caused by a multitude of things, from issues arising from our health and bodies, to problems rooted in the psyche. The physical act of getting an erection is a long-winded biological process that starts in the brain and incorporates pretty much your entire body. So each piece of the puzzle needs to be working properly to ensure a healthy sex life.
Doctors often say that erectile dysfunction is a bit like an engine’s warning light, indicating whether all is running at a healthy state. This is because it requires so many components of your body at the same time - your nervous system, your hormones and your heart included.
Because of this, physical causes of ED can range from a plethora of underlying health conditions. These include quite serious issues such as diabetes, heart disease, vascular disease, obesity or nerve damage, to more common factors like low testosterone levels, high blood pressure and even some injuries. Other long-term things like smoking, aging or chronic alcohol or drug abuse that restrict blood-flow can lead to ED over time.
Sometimes, certain medications can lead to problems with getting an erection, such as drugs for depression or high blood pressure.
There are so many physical conditions that could be leading to erectile dysfunction, that you should consider that ED might be a potential symptom for something bigger that needs tackling.
Although the majority of cases of ED are caused by physical conditions, doctors also recognize that sex is a highly subjective bodily function and can be vastly affected by mental health issues. Depression, anxiety or even guilt can be behind difficulties in intercourse.
The huge pressure on men to perform sexually is exacerbated by a society that stigmatizes impotence and makes it hard for men to express themselves emotionally. This can lead to ‘performance anxiety’ and make the act of sex something that becomes an embarrassing ordeal in the mind as well as the body.
Photoshopped, hairless bodies and seamless sex scenes (with little-to-no foreplay) are shown in films and on the TV, putting pressure on real experience. This isn’t to mention the dissociation with sex that watching porn can lead to (known as ‘porn-induced ED’).
ED in your Lifetime
Whether your erectile dysfunction is caused by physical or psychological factors, the main thing to bear in mind is that this is a very common problem that is experienced by over half of all men at some point in their lifetime. You don’t have to stand by and put up with it either - there are so many treatments and options.
Bedside Matters offers a free online consultation with a real doctor, to help you find the right treatment for you. Medications are sent out in discreet packaging to minimize any awkwardness you might be feeling - it’s all at your own discretion.
Find out more HERE