5 Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Updated on October 12, 2021

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability for men to get and maintain an erection strong enough for sexual intercourse. There are numerous causes and occasional dysfunction is experienced by most, if not all men. With that in mind, let’s look at five of these causes now.

1: Physical Damage to the Pelvis

Let’s start with the obvious. An erection is caused by an increase in the flow of blood to the penis. The muscles relax, allowing the increased flow and the blood fills two sections of the penis – causing it to become rigid. Of course, if the pathways are damaged or otherwise hindered; the blood can’t flow ergo you can’t get an erection.

2: Lack of Sleep

When you have trouble sleeping it can have a dire effect not just your sex life but on your life overall. The mental and physical exhaustion can slow down your response time. This is because you’re not as aware as you normally are – which brings a whole host of other problems aside from the erectile dysfunction

3: Drug and Alcohol Abuse

It goes without saying that drug use can be beneficial. Similarly, a casual beer or glass of wine every so now and then shouldn’t harm you unless you have a pre-existing condition. Now, I said ‘use’ not ‘abuse’ – there’s a difference. If you need to use certain, prescription drugs; if you want to have a casual drink do so. The slogan ‘drink responsibly’ exists for a reason and it applies to both drugs and alcohol in a way. The basic gist is: don’t overdo it.

Drinking too much can damage internal organs and cause problems with the heart and liver. Heart problems can make getting and maintaining an erection very difficult. Likewise, deliberately taking prescription meds when you don’t need them or taking them in ridiculously high doses can also cause damage to your internal organs and disrupt your system. Drug abuse can often be potentially fatal if you take the wrong stuff at the wrong dose.

Quick note: I didn’t really go into it but obviously illegal drugs are going to do the same, if not worse damage than the prescription stuff. 

4: Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Sometimes life just sucks, right? You think you’re getting somewhere, then something happens, everything is thrown out of whack and you have to start over. This is commonplace in the world today; it’s just how the world works. That said, it puts a lot of pressure on you to perform well. You focus on that “just get the job done and do it fast” mentality and it puts strain on your body and your mind. You sleep less because you’re working; you eat less because you’re working. To make matters worse, exhaustion has been even harsher on you. Your attention span is shorter; you’re less alert (which is dangerous when working with machines), and your temper is on an increasingly shorter fuse.

High levels of stress make you increasingly anxious about how things are going. Stress and anxiety make sexual activity tricky because you can’t really focus enough on what’s happening. You’re preoccupied with other things and it’s upsetting when you can neither achieve nor maintain an erection. 

This brings me to depression. Depression is an interesting topic because no two cases are alike. Having dealt consistently with depression myself, I can sort of describe how it feels. Everything seems pointless, you have no energy, you don’t feel like doing anything, the list goes on. What’s fascinating is that no two descriptions will be the same. They’ll be similar but that’s all. 

So, bringing it back to the topic at hand; you’re not in the mood for sex. That’s pretty much it; you just don’t feel like getting freaky right then. If you’re not in the mood then stimulation and/or arousal will be very difficult.

5: Relationship Issues

Relationships are complicated. They can be great when you’re getting along well with your partner.  On the other hand, they can also be very unpleasant when you’re not getting along. If you’re constantly fighting or upset with each other; neither side may feel up to prospect of having sex. Constantly being angry with each other can make sex somewhat unappealing. You can’t focus and have a good time with your partner because you’re both so stressed out.

So, there you are; five different causes of erectile dysfunction. The important thing to keep in mind here is that erectile dysfunction is treatable. Whether it’s through medication or a good old fashioned chat, you can solve this problem. It’s also important to note that these are just some of the causes and no two experiences will be the same.

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