ED can result from health or emotional problems or from both. Lower blood flow or harm to nerves in the penis can lead to erection problems.
Physical Causes of ED
Some things that can increase the chances of getting ED (known as risk factors) are:
- Age over 50
- High blood sugar (diabetes)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Cardiovascular disease
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Lack of exercise
Even though ED becomes more common as men age, growing old is not the cause of the problem. ED can be an early sign of a more serious health problem. Finding and treating the cause(s) of your ED can improve your overall health and well-being.
ED may happen because:
- Not enough blood flows into the penis
Many health issues can reduce blood flow into the penis, such as heart disease, high blood sugar (diabetes), and smoking.
- The penis cannot store blood during an erection
A man with this problem cannot keep an erection because blood does not stay trapped in the penis. This condition can occur in men of any age.
- Nerve signals from the brain or spinal cord do not reach the penis
Certain diseases, injury or surgery in the pelvic area can harm nerves in the penis.
Emotional Causes of ED
Sex activity needs the mind and body to work 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
- Worry about sexual performance