Regularly struggling to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for sex isn’t something you expected to deal with in life. But erectile dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition affecting up to 30 million American men, and it can impact your self-confidence and your relationship with your partner.
Though ED is common, the causes behind it vary from man to man. Sexual arousal triggers erections, but it’s a complex combination of chemical, physical, and emotional factors.
You don’t have to be embarrassed if you think you could have ED. Work with Eric Seaman, MD and our team to uncover the cause of your ED and find a treatment plan that restores your confidence in the bedroom.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at some of the most common causes of ED.
Pre-existing health conditions
Sexual health is affected by your overall well-being. If you’re living with a chronic health issue, it could impact your ability to get or maintain strong erections.
Some of the most common health issues linked to ED are:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
Many of these health conditions are comorbidities, which means if you have one, your risk of developing others is higher. But the good news is that managing pre-existing health conditions like these can decrease or even reverse ED.
Certain other health issues, like sleep disorders and Peyronie’s disease, can also affect sexual health. Men with prostate cancer and those who are undergoing cancer treatment are also more likely to experience ED.
Living a healthy, active lifestyle is beneficial to your overall wellness, but it can also reduce your risk of ED. On the other hand, living a sedentary lifestyle or eating an unhealthy diet increases your risk of becoming overweight or suffering from high cholesterol, diabetes, and other medical issues
Things that you put into your body other than food can contribute to ED, too. For instance, heavy alcohol use and other types of substance abuse are linked to ED. Smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products may also increase your risk. Over time, tobacco use restricts blood flow in your body. It contributes to chronic health conditions like heart disease, which may cause ED.
Your brain influences the process that takes place in your body when you get an erection, When ED isn’t linked to physical factors like lifestyle choices or chronic health issues, emotional or mental causes could be behind it.
Stress that stems from work, family, or other responsibilities can influence ED. Having relationship problems with your significant other may also play a role.
Even if you feel sexually aroused, mental health conditions like depression and anxiety could contribute to ED. This can be frustrating for many men and their partners as it impacts their relationship.
Testosterone is the male hormone that controls sex drive and male characteristics. It’s not uncommon for testosterone levels to naturally wane as you get older. When testosterone levels drop, you might experience decreased sex drive, ED, and physical changes that may include hair loss and weight gain.
If Dr. Seaman suspects low testosterone could be contributing to your ED, he can recommend additional testing to assess your hormone levels. Hormone replacement therapy could be an option to help you feel more like yourself again.
Don’t go another day before you seek help for ED. Call our office in Millburn, New Jersey, or use online booking to make an appointment with Dr. Seaman so he can recommend an ED treatment plan that’s right for you.