erectile dysfunction symptoms

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to get and sustain an erection. It is a very common problem, affecting up to 30 million men in the United States. Erectile dysfunction can have a range of causes, both physical and psychological, and can be an early warning sign of other serious conditions.

Symptoms of erectile dysfunction

The most common symptom of erectile dysfunction is difficulty in getting and sustaining an erection. Other symptoms of ED can include decreased sex drive, difficulty achieving orgasm, and psychological problems such as anxiety, guilt, and depression.

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Physical causes of erectile dysfunction

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction can include:

  • Aging: As men age, erectile dysfunction becomes more common.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can cause nerve damage, leading to erectile dysfunction.
  • Heart disease: Blockages in the arteries can decrease blood flow to the penis, causing erectile dysfunction.
  • High cholesterol: High levels of cholesterol in the blood can reduce blood flow, leading to erectile dysfunction.
  • Hypertension: High blood pressure can cause problems with erections.
  • Medication side effects: Much medication, including some blood pressure and anti-depressant medications, can cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Neurological diseases: Diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Obesity: Being overweight can damage blood vessels and reduce blood flow, leading to erectile dysfunction.
  • Prostate surgery: Surgery for prostate cancer can damage the nerves and arteries that are necessary for an erection.

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction can include:

  • Anxiety: Anxiety can interfere with the ability to get and keep an erection.
  • Depression: Depression can cause erectile dysfunction and a decreased sex drive.
  • Stress: Stress can lead to a decrease in libido, which can lead to erectile dysfunction.
  • Relationship problems: Problems in a relationship can lead to erectile dysfunction.

How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, it is important to see a doctor. Treatment of erectile dysfunction depends on the cause and can include medications, lifestyle changes, and counseling.


Erectile Dysfunction, ED, Impotence, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Medication, Lifestyle Changes, Counseling

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