what causes erectile dysfunction

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a condition in which men are unable to maintain or achieve an erection for a prolonged period of time. This can cause immense frustration and embarrassment for men and can affect their quality of life. Fortunately, this condition is treatable. But what are the underlying causes of ED?


One of the most common causes of ED is stress. Anxiety can lead to a negative impact on erectile performance, due to increased physiological and psychological stress levels. The cortisol hormone is often referred to as the “stress hormone” and can contribute to erectile dysfunction when released into the body in large doses.

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Depression can take a toll on physical and mental health and can also be a contributing factor to erectile dysfunction. Depression can lead to altered hormonal levels and decreased libido, both of which can be causes of ED.

Alcohol and Drug Consumption

Consumption of alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain medications can also be causes of ED. Alcohol and illicit drugs, such as heroin, amphetamines and cocaine, can contribute to erectile dysfunction by increasing stress levels, decreasing libido and altering hormonal levels. Prescription medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medicines may also lead to ED.

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Smoking and Obesity

Smoking is a major cause of ED; as it can reduce blood flow to the penis, reducing the level of arousal. Obesity can also lead to a decrease in testosterone levels, which can cause ED.

Health Conditions

Certain health conditions such as high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes can cause ED. Conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in the lower extremities, can also lead to ED.

Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Fortunately, this condition is treatable with a variety of treatment options. These include:

  • Lifestyle changes – addressing stress, avoiding alcohol and unhealthy substances, quitting smoking and becoming more physically active.
  • Medication – such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.
  • Counseling – to address any underlying psychological issues and help couples work through any difficulties they are facing.
  • Penile Implants – to restore sexual function.

If you have any further questions about what causes erectile dysfunction and how this condition is treated, please don’t hesitate to contact your physician.

Keywords: Erectile Dysfunction, ED, Stress, Depression, Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking, Obesity, Health Conditions, Treatment, Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Penile Implants.

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