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Erectile Dysfunction Causes of ED
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection for satisfactory sexual activity. It can be frustrating and embarrassing.
There are many possible causes of ED, and they can include both physical and psychological conditions.
Some of the most common causes of ED include:
Physical causes of ED
The most common physical causes of erectile dysfunction are related to circulation and blood pressure. Heart disease, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure can all impact the amount of blood flowing to the penis.
In addition, nerve damage from conditions such as pelvic surgery or diabetes can interfere with signals from the brain to the penis needed to achieve an erection.
Psychological causes of ED
While psychological factors may not be the root cause of your ED, they can still contribute to the condition. Stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem can all negatively impact sexual performance.
Lifestyle choices and ED
Certain lifestyle choices can also increase your risk of ED. These include:
- drinking too much alcohol
- being overweight or obese
- not exercising regularly
- taking certain medications, such as beta blockers or antidepressants
Treatments for ED
If you have ED, there are several treatment options that may be able to help. These include:
- Oral medications: These are typically the first-line treatment for ED. These include phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (such as sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil) and beta blockers (such as propranolol).
- Injections: These medications, such as alprostadil, are injected into the side of the penis. They work by increasing blood flow to the penis.
- Implants: This is a surgical procedure in which a device is placed inside the penis to allow for an erection.
- Vacuum devices: This device is placed over the penis and uses negative pressure to create an erection.
- Counseling: This may be used to help address psychological factors contributing to ED.
If you have ED, talk to your doctor about treatment options. With proper treatment, you may be able to improve your sexual function.