Erectile Dysfunction

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction has biological, psychological, and social risk factors and the following health information can help you to understand erectile function:

Physical Causes

Here are some of the common physical causes of erectile dysfunction:

  • Heart disease involves blocked blood vessels that could lead to a heart attack, stroke, or ED. Heart disease causes chronic health concerns preventing your ability to maintain an erection. 
  • Atherosclerosis is build up inside artery walls that restrict blood flow and contribute to the inability to achieve an erection. 

Psychological Causes

A healthy brain plays a vital role in sexual excitement and triggering physical responses leading to erections. The following conditions could interfere with your brain functioning and cause ED symptoms:

  • Depression symptoms like guilt, anxiety, and low self-esteem have all been found to cause erectile dysfunction. Some individuals suffering from depression have been found to lose interest in their sex life.
  • Stress over an extended period of time affects testosterone production, lowers libido, and could cause ED. Work-related stressors or those associated with the relationship have contributed to factors that influence erectile functioning. 

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Erectile dysfunction is not permanent and even when ED cannot be cured, treatment can eliminate symptoms. Erectile dysfunction treatment has been found to improve sexual health. Prevention methods like regular exercise, mineral-rich diets, and healthy lifestyle choices are effecting sexual dysfunction treatment but the following methods have also been effective:

Short-Term Treatments

Medicines that increase blood flow to the penis like sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) have been prescribed for ED treatment. Certain medications have ED side effects and speaking with your healthcare provider about changing your dosage or switching you to another medicine could treat your ED. Medicines can increase nitric oxide release in the penile vessels and can be administered into the base of the penis by shot. 

Natural dietary supplements like ginseng, ginkgo biloba, maca root, ginger, L-arginine, and more have all found to improve circulation and men’s health. Natural supplementation is a healthy alternative to prescriptions but more research is needed in these areas to understand how they support reproductive health.

Surgeries can fix the anatomical causes of ED. Implanting a device that generates erections makes surgery a suitable treatment option. Surgery can be the last result for some and the fastest option for others.

Underlying Causes Treatments

Treating the underlying conditions like digestive and kidney diseases, heart disease, obesity, and restricted arteries could drastically improve your reproductive tools.

Psychological Treatments

Counseling for mental health conditions and relationship counseling can support individuals and couples interested in improving their sex lives. Treating the underlying depression and worry associated with performance anxiety and everyday stressors will increase sex drive. 

Natural ED Treatment

Walking, eating right, good vascular health, maintaining a healthy weight, and strengthening your pelvic floor muscles have found to be the best ways to overcome ED. ED is mainly caused by underlying health issues and can signal health complications. ED is not permanent, and the symptoms are reversible or can be eliminated altogether. 

Other ED Treatment Methods

If all other treatment strategies fail, then doctors could recommend penile implants of inflatable and bendable rods into both sides of the penis. This surgery has been found satisfactory for individuals with severe ED but also increases the risk of surgery-related infections. Doctors are becoming more innovative in reproductive health. 


Stress about making love can lead to performance anxiety. Performance anxiety could lead to ED, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculations, loss of interest, erection problems, and loss of desire. The following practices could treat performance concerns: 

  • Meditation improves breathing and contributes to physical and mental health and stamina.
  • Counseling and therapy can heal relationship troubles, work through intimacy complications, and stress management.
  • Embracing sensuality without rushing can help reduce performance anxiety. 
  • Clearing your mind of external stressors before intercourse may improve satisfaction.
  • Keeping a high internal locus of control by focusing on what you can control will reduce the worry that leads to performance stress. 
  • Education about stress reduction, romantic behaviors, relationship-building, and sexuality may increase desire and improve relationships. 
  • Guided imagery has also been used as a technique to combat performance problems. The technique uses a trance-like state to help your body overcome physical and mental roadblocks in your unconscious mind. 

Testosterone is a hormone that influences sex drive but not the sole proponent in control of ED. Testosterone treatment in men with normal testosterone levels does not improve erections. After age 50 men’s testosterone levels decrease and ED is more common in men over 40. Low testosterone affects the desire for intimacy but does not cause ED. Exercise has been found to increase testosterone but also increases circulation in the body which also supports sexuality.

Primary ED occurs when a man has never been able to have or sustain an erection and secondary ED which doesn’t experience the same erection response that he did before. Secondary ED usually is temporary and reversible but primary ED may require more medical treatment. Surgery and medicines may not work on some individuals and other options are available for improving performance, reducing anxiety, and satisfaction. 

Acupuncture and herbal supplements have contributed to male performance health. Alternative remedies alone may not cure your symptoms of ED but can be an effective tool for those open to their benefits. Maritime pine extract, Pinus pinaster, maca, Lepidium meyenii, have shown promising results in combating ED. 

Mechanical devices like penis pumps can draw blood into the penis, even those with nerve damage, and rings can help to keep blood within the penis. Mechanical devices can help even those with intense health issues maintain their erection.