Erectile dysfunction, commonly abbreviated as ED, is a condition that affects an estimated 30 million men in the United States alone.
In simple terms, erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain an erection to the complete satisfaction of both a man and his partner.
Not only is erectile dysfunction embarrassing at the time, it can lead to severe depression and self-esteem issues. In order to properly treat erectile dysfunction, we must first understand the causes behind his devastating condition.
Causes for erectile dysfunction are normally broken down into two groups: problems in men over the age of 50, and problems in younger men. The most common cause for ED is older men is a general lack of blood flow to the penis. In order to achieve and maintain an erection, blood rushes into the spongy tissues inside the penis. Any condition that interrupts blood flow to the penis, such as diabetes, may lead to ED. Atherosclerosis, the technical term for a hardening of the veins, may also lead to erectile dysfunction in older men. Certain medications may also affect a man’s ability to achieve an erection, so keep this in mind if your ED issues coincide with a new medication.
Erectile dysfunction in men under the age of 50 can be much more challenging to diagnose. The most common causes for ED in this younger age group are psychological in nature. Anxiety and tension outside the bedroom often lead to a loss of focus and inability to concentrate on sexual stimuli, making it difficult to maintain an erection. Feelings of inadequacy or nervousness from being with a new partner may also lead to erectile dysfunction in younger men. Many men try to alleviate those nerves through the consumption of alcohol, but this may backfire. Alcohol is a nervous system depressant, and the decreased sensory stimulus may actually increase symptoms of ED.
Other physical causes for erectile dysfunction affect both age groups. While not generally associated with sexual problems, kidney disease plays a strong role in erectile dysfunction. Kidney disease robs many men of energy and lowers testosterone levels, making it a challenge to achieve an erection. Neurological disorders may also impact erectile function. Nerves send stimuli to the penis when a man becomes aroused, and any disruption of these signals can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is not something any man wants to admit he suffers from. It may be embarrassing, but the positive news is that it is a legitimate medical condition. Most men that seek treatment find some form of relief from their erectile dysfunction and are able to regain control of their desires, and their lives.