Did you know that over 18 million men in the United States are affected by erectile dysfunction?
Quite a large number, don’t you think? Well, approximately 40% of these men are age 40 and above. But age is not always the determining factor for men who experience erectile dysfunction. ED also impacts men as young as 18 years-old.
So what causes ED and what can you really do about it? Age is not the deciding factor. It largely depends on other factors aside from age. Genetics. Overall health. Habits. Lifestyle. Ancillary diseases. And psychological factors such as stress or anxiety, just to name a few.
Some refer to this debilitating issue as impotence. The failure to get it up, if you will. In short, it’s the inability to get or maintain an erection long enough for sexual activity. Don’t confuse it with premature ejaculation. Although, sometimes the symptoms do run parallel to one another.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
The stated statistics do not limit ED to only men in their forties. Even those in their early or late twenties, and also those in their fifties and seventies suffer from this condition. It comes down to factors like their environment, their physical and their emotional states.
Something as simple as stress or anxiety can damage your well-being enough to make you sexually under-perform. Lacking an erection once should not be a cause for an alarm. This is because temporary ED can arise in situations easily solved in a short period.
You had a busy day at work and your boss was on your case like a bad flu, you could barely breathe. Coming home to an aroused partner is not the cup of coffee you’re looking forward to. Actual coffee would be a better remedy for the day’s stress.
Unless the depressing situation at work persists, the bad mood and low libido will be out of your system by morning. Such days are common and do not require medical or therapeutic attention.
However, if you notice that you are unable to maintain an erection for weeks or even months, then visit a doctor. It may or may not be a severe state of ED, but no need to roll the dice. Note that ED has several treatments, so avoid depressing yourself about it if diagnosed.
How Does an Erection Take Place?
It all starts with your brain. During arousal, the brain sends messages through the nerves, and they head to stimulate the penis. Impulses cause the corpora cavernosa muscles to relax, allowing blood flow to fill the spaces.
The blood exerts pressure making the penis hard and expand. In fact, six times the regular blood flow is required to exert enough pressure to get and then further maintain an erection.
With that in mind, we can see how the state of your brain holds weight when it comes to getting an erection. Hence, we can define erectile dysfunction as one of two things;
- Lack of blood flow to the corpora cavernosa
- Blood leaving the corpora cavernosa pre-maturely (before ejaculation occurs)
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
There are three causes of Erectile Dysfunction; psychological, biological and social factors.
Psychological Factors That Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Cerebral cases of ED patients are mostly seen in younger men below 40. This is because they are in the process of adulthood, hence go through so much as they try to build their lives, careers, and relationships.
As mentioned, arousal begins in the brain. This means that if your mind is distracted with thoughts of stressful situations in your life, during sexual activity, achieving an erection would be quite a challenge.
Other mental conditions like anxiety and depression can also highly contribute to a person’s low libido. This generally means that for one to achieve sexual satisfaction and offer the same to their partner, the mind must be in a happy and peaceful state. You must also want intercourse without forcing yourself to go for it.
A distracted mind reduces the chances of the brain to send signals that allow more blood to flow to the penis. In this situation, you can either get a brief erection or don’t get it completely.
The term ‘background’ has been mentioned earlier in this post to stand for a man’s life journey. Several incidents happen during someone’s childhood that bruises them for a long time – if not for life.
Such occurrences include:
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Sexual harassment
- Death of a parent or sibling
- Accident experiences
- Having a fatal disease or watching someone suffer medically
The prevalence mentioned above traumatizes the mind. Depending on what steps you take after the events, you can either fully recover or be skeptical about life in all aspects. This can mean that forming attachments with people becomes a complexity.
It’s always advisable to seek psychological help from a professional for such occurrences; that way your past does not wound you for life. Don’t assume that you are over it. Sometimes the calmness in our lives after horrifying events is referred to as denial.
Another often-ignored psychological problem is low self-esteem. If you fail to satisfy your partner one time, try again. Some people lose their sense of self-worth after this, making them hate the thought of sex.
It’s quite easy to evaluate the psychological pressures that give you erectile dysfunction. However, if your mind is free of stress, anxiety, depression and such-like mental health conditions, then probably your dysfunction is a biological one.
Biological/Physical Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
When we say biological, we are talking about physical health. How healthy are you and what health conditions can trigger ED?
Five primary health conditions increase the chances of someone getting erectile dysfunction. These conditions include;
- Heart disease
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
Male diabetic patients suffer from nerve and blood vessels damage which increases erectile dysfunction due to lack of impulse triggering blood flow to the penis. Obese patients experience an increase in cholesterol and changes in blood pressure which makes it hard for a penis to remain erect.
Another not-so-common cause of erectile dysfunction is a sleep disorder. You can also get ED after an operation, prostate procedures and when taking certain medications.
Social/Lifestyle Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Your group of friends largely reflect your personality. As it may not always be accurate, higher chances are that your social circle influences your lifestyle.
If you are an alcoholic or you abuse drugs like cocaine, your chances of escaping erectile dysfunction are very minimal. Of course, this is with comparison to someone who does not drink or use cocaine.
We are not saying that when you drink alcohol once or occasionally, you will suffer from ED. No, this is for those who drink consistently and regularly. Those who we might refer to as addicts.
Other lifestyle causes include;
- Failing to eat a healthy diet
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of enough sleep
Yes, eating healthy, working out, and getting enough sleep should be everyone’s obsessive habit of maintaining a healthy body. The three keep your mind fresh and active. They also make your body strong and you’ll also have high spirits.
A motivated brain sends signals to blood vessels as it should, and extra blood flows into the penis achieving an erection and maintaining it throughout the sexual activity. A clogged and tired brain successfully upholds the contrary.
What Can I Do About ED?
As prevention is better than cure, you can keep your head up and choose to live a healthy and stress-free lifestyle. When something stresses you, find out a solution for it as soon as possible.
Stay around people who motivate you and share positive energy with you at all times. This means that you should avoid toxic environments at all costs.
Make dietary changes, ensure you do cardio every day for at least an hour, sleep for about seven to eight hours each night, and be as active as possible during the day. Also, avoid taking a lot of alcohol and abusing drugs.
In case you are diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, do not start stressing and killing your ego by feeling like less of a man. Visit a doctor and start treatment as soon as you can and get back to being an alpha male.
There are a few ways to strengthen your erection without medication, but it won’t hurt to call a professional to get a permanent solution that’ll better your condition.
1. Viagra – also known medically as sildenafil, is the most common means of getting and maintaining an erection that most men above 40 use. Viagra stimulates blood flow to the penis. Other similar medications include Cialis also known as Tadalafil and Levitra also referred to as Vardenafil.
2. Physiotherapy – for psychological conditions, visit a specialist. Underlying social and background, or even health issues, could be the cause for your stress and depression. Stress, in turn, causes anxiety which makes you under-perform in bed.
Understand What Causes Erectile Dysfunction
Once you have the above information in mind, you are in an excellent position to come to terms with the situation and immediately seek medical attention. Knowing what causes erectile dysfunction, how it is treated, and how it can be prevented, you will be able to control your sexual fate with confidence.
Are you struggling with ED? Embarrassed to talk to your doctor about it? We know that feeling very well. That’s why we created the Alpha Club. The best part? You can do a virtual visit with one of our board-certified physician. Then we’ll discreetly rush the meds straight to your doorstep.