Causes of ED
Erectile dysfunction can be a result of many different factors ranging from environmental factors, medical conditions and psychological reasons. Environmental factors include sedentary lifestyle, exhaustion, proximity to toxins and injury. The medical conditions are usually diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, and low level of testosterone. Psychological factors are excessive tress, pressure to perform well sexually, depression or traumatic sexual experiences in the past. Moreover, erectile dysfunction is a strong symptom of BPH and often can develop in those patients who receive treatments for BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) or prostate cancer. Let’s look closer at the relationship between BPH, prostate cancer and ED
Relationship between BPH/prostate cancer and ED
BPH or enlarged prostate leads to the blocking of the urethra. It also brings about alterations in the way the bladder of the patient functions. He fails to have a full erection, as the unhealthy prostate does not allow adequate blood supply to reach the penis. This is simple way of explaining the physiological reasons for ED in a BPH case scenario.
Similarly, certain treatment approaches for prostate cancer are also known to cause ED. For instance surgical removal of the prostate also known as radical prostatectomy can damage the nerves that facilitate an erection of the penis. Additionally, radiation, cryosurgery and hormone therapy are among other common treatments that may lead to ED.
A Closer Look at the Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Here are some of the most common causes of ED:
Performance anxiety: The anticipation of the sexual act can trigger nervous reactions that prevent erection. Mental pressure prevents the person from relaxing and can happen every time before sex.
Situational psychological problems: Some men have erection problems in specific situations or only with certain people. For example if a man was once told that he is not good enough, he may not be able to get an erection with that same person.
Victim of sexual abuse : Being disgusted by sex is rare, but it does happen to some people who suffered child abuse as the sexual act triggers a mental response associating sex with a dirty and shameful act. This can also happen to some who have been raised in strict religious home.
Sexual orientation denial: Aversion to sex can also happen in homosexuals who are trying to lead a sexual life with a heterosexual partner. This goes against their basic instincts creating erectile problems.
Depression: This condition seems to be a very frequent cause of erectile dysfunction. Depression is a psychological disorder and it very often has an effect on the sexual function as well.
Blood circulation problems: An erection happens when the penis is filled with blood after the valve at the base of it traps the blood. In case when a patient has diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure or blood clots – basically any of the conditions that interfere with the proper blood flow in the body, the result can be disruption in the erection process.
Peyronie’s disease: This is a condition when fibres and plaques are found in the genitals. In turn they interfere with the proper blood flow.
Cancer: Cancer and the treatments for it can alter the nerves that are involved with the erection.
Surgery: Any surgery to the pelvis or around the prostate can interfere with the nerve endings and negatively impact the erection process.
Spinal cord or pelvic injury: Any injury, especially the one involving the spinal cord can interfere with the nerves responsible for the erection
Hormonal issues: A lack of testosterone or androgene can interfere with the arousal process.
Alcoholism: Chronic alcoholism often is the cause for ererctile problems, and it can happen even if the person has no alcohol in the system at the moment of intercourse attempt.
Smoking: Smoking tobacco or cigarettes can cause constriction of the blood vessels leading to decreased blood flow to the penis.
Drugs: Certain medical and recreational drugs can lead to ED when on them or after a prolonged use. Some of these drugs are anti anxiety medication, cocaine, estrogens, beta blockers, narcotic pain killers, sedatives and blood pressure medication.