What is Erectile Dysfunction?

erectile dysfunction symptoms

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the most prevalent sex problem that men report to their physician. It affects as many as 30 million men. ED is described as trouble obtaining or keeping an erection that’s firm enough for sex. Though it’s not rare for a man to have some issues with erections from time to time, ED that is rising or happens routinely with sex is not normal, and it should be treated.

ED can happen:

●Most often when blood flow in the penis is insufficient or nerves are harmed
●With stress or emotional reasons
●As an early warning of a more serious ailment, like atherosclerosis (hardening or blocked arteries), heart disease, high blood pressure or high blood sugar from Diabetes

Finding the roots of your ED will help treat the problem and help with your overall well-being. As a rule, what’s great for your heart health is good for your sex health.

How Erections Work

During sexual arousal, nerves release chemicals that increase blood flow into the penis. Blood flows into two erection chambers in the penis, made of porous muscle tissue (the corpus cavernosum). The corpus cavernosum chambers are not hollow. During an erection, the porous tissues relax and trap blood. The blood force in the chambers makes the penis firm, causing an erection. When a man has an orgasm, the second set of nerve signals reach the penis and cause the muscular tissues in the penis to contract and blood is released back into a man’s circulation and the erecting comes down. When you are not sexually aroused, the penis is soft and limp. Men may notice that the measurement of the penis varies with warmth, cold or worry this is normal and reflects the balance of blood getting into and leaving the penis.


With Erectile Dysfunction (ED), it is difficult to get or keep an erection that is firm enough for sex. When ED becomes a routine and disturbing problem, your primary care provider or a Urologist can help.

ED may be a significant sign of cardiovascular disorder indicating blockages are building in a man’s vascular system. Some researches have shown men with ED are at significant risk of getting a heart attack, stroke or circulatory predicaments in the legs. ED also causes:

●Low self-esteem
●Distress for the man and his companion

If ED is affecting a man’s well-being or his relationships, it should be treated. Treatment intends to fix or enhance erectile function, help circulatory strength and help the quality of a man’s life.


ED can result from fitness problems, emotional issues, or from both. Some known risk factors are:

●Being over age 50
●Having high blood sugar (Diabetes)
●Having high blood pressure
●Having cardiovascular disease
●Having high cholesterol
●Using drugs or drinking too much liquor
●Being obese
●Lacking activity

Even though ED becomes more prevalent as men age, growing old is not always going to cause ED. Some men stay sexually functional in their 80s. ED can be an early sign of a more serious health problem. Finding and treating the cause of ED is a vital first step.

Natural Causes of ED

ED happens when:

●There is not just blood flows into the penis
●Many health issues can reduce blood flow into the penis, such as hardened arteries, heart disease, high blood sugar (Diabetes) and smoking.
●The penis cannot trap blood throughout an erection
●If blood does not stay in the penis, a man cannot keep an erection. This problem can occur at any age.
●Nerve signals from the mind or spinal cord do not reach the penis
●Certain diseases, injury or operation in the pelvic area can harm tissues to the penis. ●Diabetes can cause small artery disease or nerve damage to the penis
●Cancer treatments near the pelvis can affect the penis’ functionality
●Surgery and or radiation for cancers in the lower abdomen or pelvis can cause ED. Treating prostate, colon-rectal or bladder cancer often leaves men with ED. Cancer survivors should see a Urologist for sexual health concerns.
●Drugs used to treat other health difficulties can negatively impact erections
●Patients should talk about drug side effects with their primary care doctors.

Emotional Causes of ED

Normal sex needs the mind and body working together. Emotional or relationship problems can cause or worsen ED.

Some emotional issues that can cause ED are:

●Relationship conflicts
●Stress at home or work
●Stress from social, cultural or religious conflicts
●Worry about sex performance


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