Before you skip straight to wanting a cure for erectile dysfunction, you might be wondering why it’s happening to you. Here we’ll talk through the most common causes.
First thing’s first, you’re not the first and by no means the last to have problems getting or maintaining an erection. Most men will experience it at some point in their lives and it’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about.
A lot of men put off getting help or treatment (some for around two years), when there are simple and effective erectile dysfunction treatments out there that can help straight away, without you needing a prescription.
Here are some of the causes…
It’s extremely common in men aged between 40 and 70 (though that’s not to say it can’t happen at any age). In fact, just over half of men in this age bracket will suffer from erectile dysfunction to some extent, and 26% of men under the age of 40.
That doesn’t mean you should accept it as a way of life – there are treatments suitable for any age, which we’ll go through later on.
A few simple changes to your lifestyle, for example being more active and changing your diet can all have an effect. It’s also recommended you drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week and stop smoking or using recreational drugs. It’s worth checking your BMI and losing weight if needed.
When erectile dysfunction happens suddenly (and/or only with your partner), it’s often thought to be due to psychological causes.
Stress (could be work, financial or personal issues) can be a trigger, as well as anxiety, depression or an after-effect of sexual abuse in the past or present. If it’s happened once, then you may feel a fear of failure for it happening again.
If erectile dysfunction comes on slowly over time, then there may be an underlying health condition that’s causing it, which your GP can help diagnose.
They will check hormone levels for reduced testosterone and thyroid disorder, and for signs of vasculogenic conditions, for example high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which can affect blood flow.
It’s worth mentioning that erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign (up to 3 to 5 years) of heart problems.
Other neurogenic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, a stroke or multiple sclerosis can also cause ED.
Side effects from medications/surgery
Certain medications for depression and heart disease are known to cause erectile dysfunction. What’s more, surgery and/or treatment for bladder, prostate and rectal cancers can also have an effect.
Treatment for erectile dysfunction
If you identify with any of the above causes, then you may be able to make some simple adjustments to your lifestyle or it may be worth seeking additional advice from a healthcare provider to get to the bottom of it. Bear in mind it can also be a combination of factors.
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Or if you prefer to read more about your options first, these may help you decide:
What are the best value erectile dysfunction pills in the U.K?
What’s the best erectile dysfunction treatment: Sildenafil or Tadalafil?
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Erectile Dysfunction - Sexual Advice Association [accessed 16/09/21]
Erectile dysfunction (impotence) - NHS (www.nhs.uk) [accessed 16/12/21]
One Patient Out of Four with Newly Diagnosed Erectile Dysfunction Is a Young Man - The Journal of Sexual Medicine [accessed 20/09/21]