Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

When it comes to men's sexual health, certain aspects are too often not well understood or explained. Subsequently, a simple question that often still gets asked is - what is erectile dysfunction (ED)? ED involves an inability to achieve a firm and lasting erection and this sexual health issue has many potential causes. Various factors can reduce the supply of blood to the penis, making it difficult for a strong erection to form.

Under normal circumstances, the penis fills with blood when sexual arousal happens, giving it rigidity. Erectile dysfunction causes include any problems with blood flow. Reduced blood flow can be the result of organic causes (specific medical health conditions), psychogenic problems (emotional issues) or a combination of both.

In addition, unhealthy lifestyle choices as well as the use of certain medications can be the origin of erectile dysfunction causes. The following list summarises some of the most common causes of ED:

  • Certain health conditions - medical problems like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease are often erectile dysfunction causes. In men over the age of 40, this is the most frequent cause of ED. These health conditions tend to damage blood vessels that carry blood to the penile area, resulting in erection difficulties.
  • Psychological problems - emotional factors like anxiety, depression, guilt and fear of sexual failure can make erection difficulties worse.
  • Taking certain medications - treatments such as antidepressants, antihistamines and medications for blood pressure can have side effects like ED.

Ways to Ward off ED Symptoms

There are many lifestyle changes you can make to improve erectile function. Healthy choices in life help keep the circulatory system in good physical condition. This makes it easier for blood to flow smoothly throughout the body, including the penis. The following table displays healthy lifestyle choices you can make to reduce or prevent erectile dysfunction symptoms:

Lifestyle choice Effects on erectile function
Avoid smoking cigarettes In scientific studies, researchers have found that men who smoke are at a higher risk for developing ED than men who do not smoke. Smoking cigarettes can cause damage to blood vessels and it can reduce nitric oxide which is a compound that plays an essential role in erectile function.
Adhere to a healthy eating plan Studies have indicated that the Mediterranean diet may prevent ED. This diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fish.
Maintain a healthy weight Men who are overweight tend to be more susceptible to blood vessel damage and this can interfere with erectile function. Research has shown that a man with a 32-inch waistline is about half as likely to develop ED as a man with a 42-inch waistline.
Stay physically active Exercise causes blood to flow more efficiently in every part of the body including the penis. A review that was published in 2018 took place to provide recommendations for exercise needed to reduce ED in physically inactive men. The recommendations were developed specifically for men with metabolic syndrome, hypertension, obesity and/or cardiovascular disease. The review recommended the following:
  • 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise 4 times a week
  • Overall, 160 minutes of physical activity per week for 6 months
Some examples of aerobic exercise include walking, cycling, swimming and jogging. It is, however, important to discuss new exercise routines with a healthcare professional. In addition, physical activity should begin with light exercise like walking or gardening.
Stay sexually active A study took place to determine the effects of the frequency of sexual activity on ED. The study consisted of 989 men between the ages of 55 and 75. It found that men who had sex less than once a week were twice as likely to have ED than those who did have sex once a week. The study concluded that frequent intercourse reduces the chance of ED among men in this age group.

Clinical Research on PDE5 Inhibitors

A study was carried out to examine the relationship between the Erection Hardness Score (EHS) in patients and their partners after first ED treatment. The men were in stable relationships and had recently been diagnosed with ED. They were given PDE5 inhibitors which were recommended by their physicians.

They were asked to respond to several questionnaires including the EHS which scores erections on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 representing the hardest erections. A total of 447 men completed the questionnaires as well as 253 of their female partners.

The results showed that PDE5 inhibitors significantly improved erectile function for the majority of men in the study. In addition, there was a strong agreement between the men and their partners' EHS scores. There were also considerable improvements in ratings of sexual function and quality of life among both patients and their partners after ED treatment.

The Best Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options

Since the late nineties, the general understanding of erectile dysfunction treatment has increased considerably. Men are now more prepared to find medical help and the market for medications has grown as a result. Although erectile dysfunction tablets work in a similar way, there are some variations. The following are a few of the most popular erectile dysfunction pills available online:

  • Cialis - the active ingredient in Cialis is tadalafil which is the market leader in terms of durational efficacy. It stays active in the body for up to 36 hours, allowing plenty of time for spontaneous sexual circumstances.
  • Viagra - the main ingredient in Viagra is sildenafil which can be taken 30-60 minutes before planned sex, the effects last for 4 - 6 hours on average.
  • Levitra - the active ingredient in Levitra is vardenafil, which is similar to Viagra. However, it is a more potent medication so a lower dose is needed to treat ED. Levitra can be taken 25-60 minutes before sexual activity and the effects last up to 5 hours.

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

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Author: John Sanderson

Author: John Sanderson

After graduating The University of Strathclyde with a master’s degree in English literature and creative writing, John has enjoyed a prolonged career as a content writer. Drawn to the medical industry early in his career John made his name researching, writing and blogging about the latest advancements in the medical industry. By focusing on pioneering techniques and medicines John established himself in the field of medical science. Read more about John.

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