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Erectile dysfunction: causes and reasons

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be very stressful for many men. What erectile dysfunction is, what causes it, how it's diagnosed and treated, and other helpful information and tips can be found in this article.

Read it now to learn everything you need to know about the topic.

What is erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Erectile dysfunction means that a man can't get an erection for several months, or can't maintain it for long enough.

Synonyms for erectile dysfunction

  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Potency disorder
  • Impotence

It is important to note that impotence can be used as a synonym for erectile dysfunction (impotentia coeundi) and for inability to conceive (impotentia generandi). Therefore, it should always be defined in which context impotence is related.

What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?

There are a lot of possible reasons for erectile dysfunction, because in order to produce an erection, nerves, blood vessels and hormones have to work together. If one or more of these things don't play along, or are impaired by the wrong condoms, we may experience erectile dysfunction.

Otherwise, our mental state and general lifestyle also plays an important role, because if we are not mentally in the condition to feel pleasure, erection will fail to occur.

Psychological reasons for potency problems

Psychological causes of potency problems can be excessive stress, worry, internal or external pressure to perform, and illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Experiencing traumatic and other major life events, as well as porn addiction, can also cause erectile dysfunction.

Especially in younger, otherwise healthy men, these things can be the (temporary) triggers.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction

As described earlier, there are various bodily functions that need to work in order for an erection to occur. You can read about how these can be affected here.

Chronic diseases that can lead to erectile dysfunction

Diabetes, hypertension, chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system and other chronic diseases that affect the blood vessels can lead to erectile dysfunction.

Vascular causes of erectile dysfunction

Atherosclerosis and other diseases that affect and compromise the blood vessels can lead to potency disorders because they affect blood flow to the member.

Erectile dysfunction caused by hormonal disorders

These include testosterone deficiency, thyroid disorders, hyperprolactinemia and other hormonal problems.

Neurological causes of erectile dysfunction

If the nerve pathways and information transmission to or from the brain is disturbed, erectile dysfunction may also occur. Causes of this can include multiple sclerosis or diabetic neuropathy.

Other diseases and problems that can cause erectile dysfunction

In addition to diseases, erectile dysfunction can also be caused by a number of other triggers. These include failed pelvic surgeries, an enlarged prostate, or injuries to the spinal cord.

Even prolonged pressure on the nerves and vessels in the genital area, as can occur when riding a bicycle for extremely long distances, can lead to erectile dysfunction.

Impotence due to medication

Some medications can also trigger erectile dysfunction. These include, for example, antihypertensives, some diuretics and antiandrogens, and various psychotropic drugs.

Clarification with the doctor or a look at the package insert can provide information here.

Erectile dysfunction caused by condoms

Another cause of erectile dysfunction that is often disregarded is the wrong condom size. Not only do condoms that are too small feel very uncomfortable, but they also impede blood flow, which can cause erections to be lost quickly.

In addition, the wrong condom size can also cause condoms to burst faster, resulting in unwanted pregnancies and spreading sexually transmitted diseases.

That is why it is extremely important to use the right condom size.

Influence of lifestyle on potency

Besides all the previously mentioned points, your general lifestyle also has a great influence on your potency. Too little exercise, drugs or alcohol abuse, a lot of fast food or generally highly industrially processed foods, a lack of balance with work and general dissatisfaction with your life can have an influence on your potency.

Therefore, a balanced diet, regular exercise and a good work-life balance is beneficial in many ways.

In addition, there are also some foods that are thought to promote natural testosterone production and thus potency, you can learn more about them here.

How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?

If you have not been able to get an erection for several months or cannot maintain it for long enough, it is worth going to the doctor.

There are several ways to diagnose erectile dysfunction and also potentially causative diseases. For this purpose, the doctor looks at the previous medical history, does blood tests and will ask general questions about life and other symptoms.

This will then clarify whether previous illnesses, injuries, surgeries, medications or other life circumstances are responsible for the erectile dysfunction.

During blood tests, for example, the testosterone level is measured to rule out a hormone disorder. In addition, other tests can be performed to investigate possible nerve damage or the function of the erectile tissue. For example, weak electrical impulses or injection tests are used.

In addition, spontaneous nocturnal erections can be measured in a sleep laboratory. If all physical tests are unremarkable, this could indicate psychological causes for the potency disorders.

An important indicator: erection problems and heart health

Less well known, but increasingly becoming the focus of health research, is the link between erectile dysfunction and heart health in men. Research, in particular a 2018 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, has shown a clear link between erectile dysfunction and an increased risk of heart attacks. Erectile dysfunction can therefore be seen as an early warning system for possible cardiovascular disease.

For men, this means that persistent erectile dysfunction (over a period of at least 6 months) is not only a signal of possible vascular problems, but can also be a cause for concern for heart health. It is recommended that men with persistent erectile problems seek medical advice, not only to improve sexual health, but also to monitor and protect heart health at an early stage. A visit to the urologist and, if necessary, an examination of the blood flow in the penis can be important steps to both clarify the causes of erection problems and check heart health.

This information adds to the understanding of the complexity and interconnectivity of male health and emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach to diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction.

How are erectile dysfunctions treated?

How erectile dysfunction is treated always depends on the underlying cause. If, for example, there are psychological reasons for the disorder, visits to a psychiatrist or changes to the general lifestyle can provide relief.

If there are physical causes for the erection disorder, then there are various treatment methods. These include treatment with:

  • Medications, such as testosterone, Viagra or auto-injection therapy.
  • The selection of other medications, for existing conditions
  • Mechanical aids, such as vacuum pumps or the implantation of silicone pads
  • Medical saddles for people who cycle a lot
  • Pelvic floor training
  • Potency- and testosterone-enhancing diets
  • Measures for withdrawal from cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs
  • Programs to improve athletic and mental performance, as well as dietary habits or stress reduction
  • Shock wave therapy to improve blood flow in a targeted manner

How can erectile dysfunction be prevented?

The most effective way to avoid potency problems is to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle. The healthier your body and mind are, the better it is for your life overall and, of course, for your potency.

Make sure you get enough exercise and sleep, eat plenty of whole, natural foods, and keep stress to a minimum. Avoid using drugs and other intoxicants like alcohol or cigarettes, and limit porn consumption.

How can men with potency problems have sex?

Having an erection for sex can be helpful, but it is not necessarily required for men to enjoy a fulfilling sex life. This is because there are numerous other ways that sexuality and sex can be lived by men with potency disorders.

One of the most popular and beautiful ways is Slow Sex. For Slow Sex, an erection is not necessary and in addition it helps to banish orgasm chasing from the bedroom. That is why it is quite excellent for men without erectile dysfunction.

In addition, sex therapy and can help to work out the right expectations and thus open the space for a new kind of sex life.

Conclusion - reasons and causes of erectile dysfunction

The reasons for erectile dysfunction are as numerous as the experiences we can have in life itself. This is because the entire nervous and vascular system, as well as our general health and psychological condition, play an important role.

Even if the causes of erectile dysfunction are not always within our control, we can actively help to prevent erectile dysfunction by living as healthy and balanced a lifestyle as possible.

In any case, erectile dysfunction can usually be treated well today and even with the disorders, a fulfilling sex life is possible for the men affected.

Now, if you want to learn more about how you can increase and improve your potency as a man, we have written a detailed post on the subject here.

Increase potency as a man

Mister Size
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