Excessive use of certain medications, depression, smoking, alcoholism, trauma, decreased libido or hormonal diseases are some of the causes that can lead to the emergence of erectile dysfunction, a problem that prevents men from having a satisfactory sexual relationship.
Erectile dysfunction is the difficulty, or inability, to have or maintain an erection, in at least 50% of attempts to have sexual contact. In some cases, what can happen is that the erection is not rigid enough for penetration.
The main causes already identified for this type of problem include:
1. Prolonged use of medicines
Some drugs used to treat chronic problems, such as high blood pressure or depression, can have a long-term side effect that leads to the development of erectile dysfunction. Some of the most frequent cases happen with the prolonged use of antidepressants, antihypertensives or antipsychotics, but others can also cause this problem.
So, if you have been using any medication for a long time, it is best to consult the package insert to identify whether it can have this effect or, then, consult the doctor who prescribed it.
2. Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages or cigarettes
In addition to negatively affecting the entire body, dependence on alcoholic beverages or cigarettes also affects the genital region, hampering the blood circulation that is necessary to initiate and maintain an erection.
Thus, men who smoke or consume alcoholic beverages in excess, over the years may have greater difficulty in having an erection, and may end up developing erectile dysfunction.
3. Hormonal problems
Problems that cause hormonal changes, such as hypothyroidism or diabetes, for example, can affect the entire metabolism and sexual functioning of the body, contributing to erectile dysfunction. Better understand how diabetes can affect sexual ability .
In addition, there are cases where the man’s body has greater difficulty in producing sex hormones, such as testosterone, which decrease libido and may cause difficulty in having an erection.
4. Depression and other psychological illnesses
Psychological illnesses, such as depression or anxiety disorders, often cause negative feelings such as fear, anxiety, nervousness and dissatisfaction, which end up making men uncomfortable at the time of intimate contact.
5. Drug use
A good deal of drugs, like alcohol or cigarettes, also cause erectile dysfunction in the long run, not only due to decreased circulation to the genital region, but also due to the psychological changes they cause, leading to distance from the real world.
Some of the drugs that are most often related to erectile dysfunction include cocaine, marijuana or heroin, for example. See other negative effects of the drug on the body .
6. Overweight or obesity
Excess weight can cause erectile dysfunction in two different ways. First, it increases the risk of having cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, which hinder blood circulation and prevent a satisfactory erection, and then it also decreases the production of the hormone testosterone, which is the main responsible for libido in men.
Thus, weight loss and regular exercise is a great way to combat erectile dysfunction, especially when you are overweight. See how to easily calculate your ideal weight .
7. Changes in the sexual organ
Although it is more rare, the development of erectile dysfunction can also arise due to small deformities in the penis, such as fibrosis, cysts or anatomical changes, which hinder the passage of blood.
Therefore, if there is no other cause that can justify the dysfunction, it is advisable to consult a urologist to assess the anatomy of the sexual organ.
8. Neurological diseases
Several neurological problems have a very high risk of causing erectile dysfunction in men. This is because, nerve problems can hinder the communication of the brain with the sexual organ, making erection difficult.
Some neurological problems that appear to be related to the onset of erectile dysfunction include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, brain tumors or multiple sclerosis, for example.
What to do in case of erectile dysfunction
When there are symptoms such as difficulty in having or maintaining an erection, flaccid erection, reduction in the size of the sexual organ or difficulty in maintaining intimate contact in some sexual positions, it is recommended to consult the doctor, so that he can identify the cause of erectile dysfunction and start the most appropriate treatment.
The dysfunction can be treated in different ways depending on the cause of the problem, and it may be recommended to take medications such as Viagra or Cialis, hormone therapy, use of vacuum devices or surgery to place prostheses on the penis.