Five Most Common Causes of Sexual Dysfunction in Men

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Bt Richard Gaines, M.D., FAARM, ABAARM

“ED,” two little letters that strike fear into the hearts of most men. As you probably know ED stands for “erectile dysfunction.” It sometimes is till referred to as impotence. But no matter what you call it, it is a condition that most men hope they will never face, as the ability to achieve and maintain an erection is most often equated with virility and “manhood.”

There are many common causes of ED, both physical and psychological. As you can see from the following list, many of them can be avoided or controlled to minimize the risks. The good news is, despite the cause, in most cases there are safe and effective ED treatments available.

1. Heart Disease – There are a number of physical condition that fall under the broad umbrella of heart disease or cardio-vascular disease, which can cause or contribute to ED. These include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. Though technically not heart disease, many men with heart disease are also at increased risk of diabetes. Men with diabetes also may suffer with ED.

2. Stress and Anxiety – Stress, anxiety and other negative emotional states such as depression, can all contribute to sexual dysfunction in men.

3. Hormonal Imbalances – There are several brain chemicals and hormones that influence a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection. Some of these hormones, such as testosterone, naturally diminish with age. Others may be affected by certain medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or problems with the pituitary gland.

4. Injury – Injuries to the gentile area are more common than you might think. Direct trauma to the testes or penis can lead to some forms of ED, as well as indirect injuries to the pelvic region or lower spinal cord.

5. Medications – Some drugs used to treat other conditions, can have a side-effect of causing ED. These include, but are not limited to: antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, drugs to treat prostate cancer, and some anti-cholesterol drugs. Though not a drug, “self-medicating” though alcohol abuse, has also been linked to ED.

While not everything on this list is preventable or avoidable, you can minimize your risk of developing ED by making some smart lifestyle choices. Eat right, exercise, quit smoking, avoid excessive use of alcohol, and practice some stress reduction techniques, and you will find your life improving both in and out of the bedroom!

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One Comment
  1. David W
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Hey Doc ~

    Good article. FYI ~ I’ve had ED for almost 9 years. You left off one important cause of ED – surgery. I haven’t had an erection since my radical prostatectomy in December, 2005. No, I don’t want a dick implant. C’est la vie.

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