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Ask Me Anything: Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection. It can be caused by physical or psychological problems. Physical causes may include conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Psychological causes may include stress, anxiety, and depression. There are also treatments available for ED.
Physical causes of ED
Physical causes of ED can be conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Diabetes can damage the nerves and blood vessels that control erections. Heart disease can reduce the amount of blood that flows to the penis. Obesity can cause hormonal problems that lead to ED.
Psychological causes of ED
Psychological causes of ED can be stress, anxiety, and depression. Stress can interfere with the signals that tell the penis to fill with blood. Anxiety can make it hard to get or keep an erection. Depression can lead to ED by causing problems with sexual desire or with the ability to get or keep an erection.
Treatments for ED
There are treatments available for ED. These include oral medications, injections, vacuum devices, and surgery. Oral medications, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra), work by increasing blood flow to the penis. Injections, such as alprostadil (Caverject), are also effective. Vacuum devices (penis pumps) are another option. Surgery, such as a penile implant, is a last resort.