Erectile Dysfunction (impotence) is a condition that affects a male’s ability to get an erection or maintain the erect state long enough to be able to participate in sexual activity.
Also referred to as ED or impotence, the condition occurs when the level of blood flow that enters the penis to allow the male to be able to obtain an erect penis is too low, a problem that affects about 50% of men over the age of 40 to some degree.
Research reveals that about 30 million men in the United States alone suffer from symptoms of erectile dysfunction and with the problem a worldwide issue it is thought that the number of impotence sufferers is close to 100 million men worldwide.
What Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
There are a number of categories that causes could fall into (you can see those here) however within those four main categories, there are a variety of reasons that men suffer from impotence:
Depression: Most cases of erectile dysfunction are based on a physical reason, however depression is a real psychological cause for males to not be able to gain or maintain an erection when aroused. Impacted by activities within your life, the depression can prevent your brain from allowing the hormones required to relax the muscles within the penis.
Diabetes: If you suffer from diabetes the likelihood is that you will suffer from some level of erectile dysfunction with research showing as many as 75% of males that have the condition could be effected to some degree. The high levels of glucose within the blood causes damage to the blood vessels within the body that promote blood circulation.
Heart Disease: Known to clog and narrow the arteries within the body, heart disease has an effect on the amount of blood that can reach the penis when aroused.
High Blood Pressure: Suffering with high blood pressure puts strain on the blood vessels within the body and that means that the blood flow within the body is restricted. With a reduction in the amount of blood that the vessels can provide the body, when aroused the penis is unable to obtain enough to become erect for a long enough period of time for sexual activity.
High Cholesterol: Men that suffer from high cholesterol have been proven to be at 80% higher risk of suffering from symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Due to the reduction of capabilities of the arteries within the body, blood flow is restricted.
Obesity: Being an unhealthy weight puts strain on the heart and other organs and that is why doctors are keen to help those that fall into the obese category to reduce their weight. With the strain placed on the heart, there are a number of areas of the human body that feel additional pressure, which impact a man’s ability to get blood and hormones to the penis when sexually aroused. That is why obesity is linked to erectile dysfunction.
Prostate Cancer Treatment: Treatment for prostate cancer has been linked with erectile dysfunction due to the location of the nerves close to the bladder. Surgical removal of the prostate in men can cause trauma to the body and surrounding nerves.
Spinal Cord Injury: A spine injury is a serious trauma to the human body and with the link between the spinal cord and many of the functions that the human body can manage, a problem here can have a big impact on a variety of functions. The possibility of nerve damage from a spinal injury is high and this ties into the impotence issue.