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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition that affects around 30 million men in the United States alone. Although it is a sensitive topic, men with ED do not have to suffer alone.

Occasionally being unable to sustain an erection is no cause for concern. However, if this problem persists, it’s time to talk with your doctor. Although the conversation may cause some initial embarrassment for the patient, it’s nothing new for an experienced physician. 

To find out more about what causes erectile dysfunction, check out the information below.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Broadly speaking, erectile dysfunction is a prolonged state of difficulty achieving or sustaining an erection. For some people, like those who identify as asexual, this may not be a serious concern. For others, who seek satisfactory sexual performance, it can be a frustrating situation.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

The causes of erectile dysfunction are myriad and sometimes unclear. Often, there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed to improve the condition. These causes may be physical or psychological.

Physical Causes

If ED is something new and unexpected, it’s likely that the cause is physical. Among the physical causes, many have to do with blood flow problems. Some of these include:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Radiation
  • Heart disease
  • Parkinson’s
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Physical trauma like surgery or injury

Unfortunately, necessary medications can also cause erectile dysfunction. There may be alternatives, but it requires a discussion with your doctor before stopping or changing any medication.

Additionally, excessive consumption of nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs can contribute to poor sexual performance. These substances interfere with blood vessels and blood flow.

Psychological Causes

The psychological causes of erectile dysfunction are a little more tricky. Conditions like anxiety and depression can influence sexual performance. External factors like work or financial stress may also be the culprit.

The good news is that these mental health conditions are entirely treatable with the help of a mental health professional.

Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction treatment is improving over time. There are more options for patients now than ever before. These treatment options include both non-surgical and surgical procedures.

Non-Surgical Options

Non-surgical options, like shockwave therapy products, intend to improve vasodilation and blood flow to the penis. These may help with the physical causes of erectile dysfunction. 

There are also medications available for those with this condition. Viagra is one of the most common brands, but there are many other affordable options on the market. They are taken before sex to relax the muscles in blood vessels walls and improve blood flow to the penis.

The psychological causes require a non-surgical approach. Therapy can be a slow process, but it’s necessary to get at the underlying psychological causes of this condition.  

Surgical Options

Surgical options can be a last resort for men with erectile dysfunction. The most common surgical treatment is a penile implant that can be inflated when needed. This is typically only done if all other treatment methods fail.

Seeking Treatment

Once you know what causes erectile dysfunction, it’s easier to treat. However, treatment can often be a long and frustrating process. Make sure to manage your expectations, exercise your patience, remain hopeful, and work with licensed professionals to ensure the best outcome.To learn more about our shockwave therapy products for erectile dysfunction, contact us today.