Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, affects approximately 5% of 40-year old men as well as 15% to 25% of 65-year old men (National Institutes of Health) on a long-term basis.
Emphasis must be made, however, that the occasional inability to get and keep an erection affects majority of adult males but this is usually not a cause for concern.
Adult males should be concerned when their inability to get and keep an erection becomes persistent, which means over 50% of the time. Doctors must then be consulted regarding the possible causes for erectile dysfunction and, thus, the most effective treatment for each case.
Conditions Present In An Erection
Understanding the physical and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction requires a basic understanding of penile erection.
Keep in mind that sexual arousal and, thus, penile erection is complex process involving the body and its hormones, muscles and blood vessels as well as the brain and its emotions and feelings.
Erection issues occur when there is a problem with any of these factors with many cases involving both the physical and psychological aspects.
Successful penile erection occurs when all of these conditions occur:
- The brain provides the stimulus for sexual excitement
- The penis receives sufficient blood flow
- The veins keeps the blood inside the penile chambers particularly the corpora cavernosa
If something intervenes with any or all of these conditions, a full penile erection will not be achieved, much less maintained.
For example, when you experience stress, anxiety or depression, you are less likely to get an erection even when you are presented with an appropriate stimulus (e.g., nude body).
You may also experience erection issues caused by insufficient blood flow to your penis as a result of hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease.
In many cases, the physical causes feed on the psychological causes, thus, worsening the erection issues. For example, you may have erection issues as a result of hypertension that, in turn, increases your anxiety over your sexual performance – and the cycle goes on.
With that being said, here are the common physical and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction.
In most cases of erectile dysfunction, the main culprits are injuries and illnesses that interfere with the above mentioned conditions for erection.
The following physical causes for impotence should be diagnosed by a qualified doctor especially as effective treatment of the underlying illness should be done first.
Other physical causes for erectile dysfunction include:
- Obesity especially as it increases the risks for the abovementioned illnesses
- Use of certain prescription medications
- Use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs
- Illnesses, injuries, and surgeries affecting the pelvic area and spinal cord
- Prolonged bicycling, which compresses the nerves in the penis
Many of these physical causes will require more attention than erectile dysfunction because of their life-threatening nature. It is best to treat the underlying disease first and then addressing the issue of impotence since life comes before sex.
The brain – or mind, if you will – has a crucial role as the trigger of the series of physical events leading to an erection, starting with the stimulus for sexual excitement.
But when the brain encounters things that interfere with its ability to trigger said events, then the desired full erection will likely not happen.
These things include the following:
Indeed, any mental health condition can interfere with the erection process, not to mention that the medications used for its treatment can also interfere with it. The stress and anxiety brought by personal and professional problems can also worsen the erection issues, too.
If you suspect erectile dysfunction, you should not hesitate in discussing the issue with your doctor despite its apparently embarrassing nature.
You should also look into taking male enhancement supplements, such as ProSolution Plus as it is the best, and performing male enhancement exercises (you can find out why these exercises work here), such as jelqing, stretching and Kegels as natural treatments.