ED is defined as the inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. The condition can affect anyone at any age.
Health conditions such as peripheral artery disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc, can cause reduced blood flow to the penis due to artery narrowing. Furthermore, injury to the spinal cord or radiation therapy can disrupt or harm nerves present in the penis. Men with low sexual desire such as in Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) can also present with arousal concerns such as ED.
The smooth working of physical hardware or genitalia isn’t the only thing needed for sex to be satisfying and comfortable. The mind and body, together, affect the sexual arousal phases. Some mental health concerns that can lead to ED include anxiety and/or anxiety disorders such as OCD, depression and performance anxiety.
There are a variety of medication classes that can result in ED as a negative side effect, such as hypertension drugs, cholesterol drugs, psychiatric drugs and cardiovascular drugs.
Recreational drug usage can affect an individual’s ability to get and sustain an erection especially when people abuse them or are addicted to them. This includes alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, cocaine etc. When it comes to sexual dysfunction, porn addiction can also be a cause of ED due to the stimuli desensitisation.
The symptoms of erectile dysfunction include:
– Difficulty in getting an erection
– Difficulty in maintaining an erection
– Getting a partial erection, not firm/hard enough for vaginal penetration
– Reduced libido or sexual desire
– Increased anxiety and stress associated with sexual intercourse