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Of all the men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED), only 1/4 get treatment for it. ED is a difficult thing to talk about it, even though millions of men go through it. The good news is, not all cases of ED have to do with sexual impotence. In fact, it’s crucial to understand erectile dysfunction causes because there could be an even bigger health problem underlying it. Those causes can range from psychological to physical, and getting treatment will benefit your overall health. Keep reading to learn more about ED and what might be causing it.

What Is ED?

The definition of ED is the inability to get or maintain an erection for the purpose of having sexual intercourse. But if this occurs once and awhile, it doesn’t mean you have ED.

Men can get ED in periods of high stress or for no particular reason whatsoever. It becomes a condition when this persists. ED may also come along with other symptoms such as reduced interest in sex or difficulty in maintaining an erection during sexual activity.

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Causes of erectile dysfunction are varied. They range from your age to possible underlying health problems. Below is a comprehensive list of all the potential causes of ED.


More than 12 million American men experience ED. The ages of these men can range from just past puberty to well into old age. However, the older you are, the more likely you are to experience ED.

For example, 2 to 12% of men over 40 experience ED. By the time they reach 70 years of age, those numbers reach as high as 50%.

Underlying Health Problems

Nerve, blood vessel, and muscle damage are all apart of diabetes. Because these things are an integral part of the process of getting an erection, diabetes can lead to ED. In fact, the longer you have either type of diabetes, the higher your risk for experiencing ED.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease can also cause ED. The latter, for example, causes plaque to build in the arteries. This limits the amount of blood that flows through them, which limits the blood available to the penis for getting and maintaining an erection.

Kidney disease is another underlying health problem that can lead to ED. That’s because kidney disease affects your hormones, blood flow, and nervous system, which are all parts of a healthy erection.

Neurological Disorders

If you’ve suffered a stroke, this can cause neurological problems and lead to ED. The same can be said for neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Multiple Sclerosis. All of these disorders complicate how the brain communicates sexual desire.

Psychological Factors

There may be underlying psychological factors that lead to ED. These include things like stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.

For ED caused by psychological factors, conventional ED therapy won’t help. Instead, talk therapy may help you work through these psychological conditions and relieve your ED.

Medication and Drugs

Pharmaceutical drugs can have many different side effects. A common side effect of diuretics, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, prostate cancer drugs, and anti-seizure medication is ED. But other medicines can also cause ED as a side effect, including:

  • Antihypertensives
  • Antihistamines
  • Drugs for Parkinson’s disease
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Tranquilizers
  • Histamine H2-receptor antagonists
  • Hormones.
  • Chemotherapy medications

Drug use and abuse can also lead to ED. If you’re using alcohol, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, barbiturates, or methadone, ED may be a side effect of that abuse.

Help With ED

Erectile dysfunction causes range from underlying health issues such as diabetes to psychological factors like depression or anxiety. Treating your ED will largely depend on what’s causing it. But there are solutions for all types of ED.

To learn about shockwave therapy for your ED, contact us to find out more.