Erectile Dysfunction


Erection is the ability of the penis to straighten, increase its size, and get firm. Once a man is sexually aroused, the nerves in the penis release substances that increase blood flow into the chambers of the penis. The chambers in the penis are made up of spongy muscle tissues, known as the corpus cavernosum. When orgasm is reached, nerves stimulate the corpus cavernosum in the penis to contract and release the blood back to circulation and making the penis to collapse.

Whenever a man cannot attain and sustain a penile erection even he is sexually aroused, this condition is referred to as erectile dysfunction (ED) or also known as impotence. Penile dysfunction is brought about by stress, a sign of a health condition, or emotional problems. Impotence is a common problem in men and it is important to have an appointment with your doctor to discuss erectile deficiency causes. Penile dysfunction usually happens in older men but can also affect younger individuals.

There are various causes of erectile dysfunction and should be addressed immediately to avoid stress and relationship problems with your partner.

Erectile Dysfunction

Signs & Symptoms

When an individual has erection problems, the inability to achieve penile erection does not happen once but there is a consistent manifestation of signs and symptoms. The signs and symptoms of penile dysfunction include having difficulty in achieving an erection, keeping the erection, and reduced sexual interest. When these signs and symptoms of penile erectile dysfunction happen for a month or so, you have to refer to the urologist. This might be an indication of a health problem and this can cause low self-esteem, relationship problems, and depression. Male impotence causes and treatment should be discussed with the doctor.

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When to see a doctor

A person can consult the doctor if the signs and symptoms of penile erectile dysfunction have consistently appeared for 1-2 months. Also, if a person experiences premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, anorgasmia- unable to reach orgasm even after enough stimulation is done; and health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Causes of erectile dysfunction can be due to physical or health issues, emotional problems, or a combination of two. The common causes of erectile dysfunction include:

  • Diabetes: uncontrolled high levels of glucose in the blood can damage minute blood vessels and nerves in the penis. This is one of the main causes of erectile dysfunction.
  • Vascular disease: cholesterol or any substances build up and block the blood vessels resulting in obstruction of blood flow in the penis leading to erection problems.
  • Hyperlipidemia: lining in the blood vessels has hardened and becomes damaged because of cholesterol build-up that inhibits the proper functioning of the vessels.
  • Hypertension: high pressure in the blood vessels cause minute tears in the walls. The tears will heal but the walls become thicker, narrowing the blood vessels thus limiting blood supply to the penis. Thus, resulting in penile erectile dysfunction.
  • Obesity: causes various blood vessel problems causing men’s erectile problems.
  • Smoking: contributes to blood vessel hardening and narrowing of arteries and veins.
  • Age: as a man ages he is more prone to have penile dysfunction. Studies show that ages 40 to 70 years have increased cases of erection problems.
  • Injuries or diseases related to the male reproductive system or nervous system
  • Alcohol and drug-abuse: illegal drugs cause damage to blood vessels, and chronic alcoholism cause restriction of blood flow to the penis, alter testosterone production, and loss of sexual desire.
  • Stress, depression, and anxiety: a person that worries or thinks too much lose his sex drive and erection. These are some of the common causes of erectile dysfunction.
  • Relationship problems: emotional and mental stress can affect sexual desire and sexual function.

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Risk Factors And Complications

To avoid penile dysfunction problems, you have to know the erectile deficiency causes and risk factors involved so you can avoid having this problem.

Risk factors in men’s erectile problems are the following:

  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Psychological problems
  • Medications are taken
  • Blood vessel injuries
  • Medical treatments you are currently into
  • Overweight
  • Smoking
  • Medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, vascular disease

Men’s erectile problems affect the well-being of a person. A person with erection problems can result in complications such as:

  • Disappointing sex life
  • Low self-confidence
  • Stress, anxiety, depression
  • Problems with your partner
  • Unable to impregnate your partner


It is very important to identify common causes of erectile dysfunction and how it can be prevented. There are ways on how to prevent causes of erectile dysfunction, here are some of them:

  • If you have current health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, you must take your medications and follow your doctor’s advice to manage it.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol.
  • Do not use illegal drugs.
  • Be healthy, eat a balanced diet, and trim down excess weight.
  • Have an active lifestyle.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Seek help to counselor or psychologist if you have anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

Recovery Time

Studies show that in most cases of erectile dysfunction are reversible. It is crucial to work with your doctor in order to identify male impotent causes and treatment. In cases that men’s erectile problems cannot be cured, what is important is that the penile dysfunction signs and symptoms can be minimized or alleviated. Getting back the ability to have an erection depends on the male impotence causes and treatment used.

There are two types of penile erectile dysfunction:

  1. Primary Erectile Dysfunction: A rare type of erection problem wherein an individual has never had achieved and sustained an erection.
  2. Secondary Erectile Dysfunction: The most common type of penile erectile dysfunction, in which an individual has experienced regular penile dysfunction.

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