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What Causes Erectile Dysfunction and is it Curable

by Ankur Majumder 31 Oct 2022

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) — a.k.a. impotence — refers to the inability to achieve an erection of the penis sufficient for sexual intercourse or maintain an erection long enough to complete sexual intercourse. ED occurs when the penis cannot attain or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse or other sexual activity. It may also be called impotence. Many men experience this problem at some point in their lives, but the effects can be devastating, mainly if it occurs at an early age.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction and is it Curable


Erectile Dysfunction can happen:

  1. When blood flow in the penis is restricted or nerves are damaged,
  2. Because of stress or emotional factors,
  3. As an early warning of a more severe illness, such as atherosclerosis (hardening or blocked arteries), heart disease, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar from Diabetes

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

The symptoms of erectile dysfunction vary from person to person. Some people who suffer from it may experience decreased sexual desire or less interest in sex. In contrast, others may notice a change in their ability to achieve and maintain an erection. It's essential for a man to be able to recognize these symptoms if he wants to take steps to address his ED problem.

Erectile Dysfunction might be a primary indicator of cardiovascular disorders, indicating that blockages are forming in a man's vascular system. According to certain research, men with ED are at a higher chance of suffering from a heart attack, stroke, or circulation disorders in their legs.

Erectile Dysfunction also causes:

  1. Low self-esteem
  2. Depression
  3. Distress for the man and his partner

Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Impotence, or erectile dysfunction (ED), is sexual dysfunction characterized by an inability to attain or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse or activity. Impotence can be caused by physical problems, such as:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Heart disease
  3. High blood pressure and even
  4. Neurological conditions that cause paralysis in men

However, impotence can also be due to psychological factors such as stress and depression. Often times impotency can be treated with medication; however certain cases may require sex therapy and counseling sessions in order to achieve a total cure.

Vascular Diseases

Approximately 80% of erectile dysfunction cases are attributed to a range of medical problems such as Diabetes, high blood pressure, and vascular diseases. With age comes hormonal changes, and some people experience a decline in hormones which can also cause ED. The significant causes may not be curable, but there are many erectile dysfunction treatments available that you can discuss with your doctor. There are other erectile dysfunction treatments, such as ED supplements, penile pumps, or surgery to combat it. 

Neurological Disorders

The most common form of Erectile Dysfunction can be attributed to physiological causes like nerve damage, Diabetes, or multiple sclerosis. But sometimes, neurological disorders lead to erection problems. When a guy gets hit in his balls, he could go through temporary ED while he recovers. Nervousness and stress are also known for erectile dysfunction treatments. If you're nervous about getting with someone new, it's possible that your body will respond by not allowing an erection to happen. If you're stressed out about work, relationships, or money—or if you have high blood pressure—ED can occur as well. 

Psychological Issues

The leading cause of erectile dysfunction, both in men and women, is psychological. According to one study, 45% of men with erectile dysfunction have performance anxiety (also called psychogenic ED). That means their anxiety causes a physical reaction—they can't get hard or even stay aroused long enough for intercourse. If you have erectile dysfunction and think it might be caused by performance anxiety, work with your doctor to help you manage your mental state.


The first thing to note about erectile dysfunction (ED) is that it's usually caused by trauma, also known as repeated physical injuries. There are over 200,000 nerve endings in and around your penis, and repeated injury—through unprotected sex with multiple partners, rough anal sex, etc.—can quickly cause damage. If you have ED, consider talking to a specialist about whether there's an underlying medical issue causing your ED. You might be surprised at how many men see their doctors for ED when they actually have a serious underlying condition like heart disease or Diabetes. Injury: If you don't have an underlying medical condition causing your Erectile Dysfunction, then chances are it was caused by an injury of some kind. 

Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction

There are several erectile dysfunction treatments available, ranging from self-help books and supplements to prescription medications. However, it's important to be aware that these treatments don't provide a long-term solution. The most recommended treatment would be to consult a specialized doctor about your health conditions.

Oral Medication

The most common treatment for erectile dysfunction is oral medication. Medications such as sildenafil and vardenafil relax muscles in your penis, allowing more blood to flow through your arteries and causing an erection. The good news: these drugs don't have major side effects or interactions with other medications, making them highly effective and popular first-line treatment. However, they also work only about 70 percent of the time—not always enough to guarantee sexual satisfaction.

For many men, taking a pill every day can be difficult to keep up with (and forget). These medications are often prescribed as needed for men who get occasional erections that aren't due to physical activity or excitement. This means you may take it when you feel like having sex, but not necessarily on a regular schedule. For some men, having sex without taking Erectile Dysfunction medications can be difficult because getting an erection often requires mental stimulation as well as physical stimulation. If you do need ED medications regularly, make sure you talk to your doctor about how they might affect your overall health before starting any new drug regimen.

Pumps, Surgery, and Implants

An erection is a vascular event, which means it's caused by blood flow. By blocking or redirecting that flow with a pump, surgery, or implants, men can get and maintain erections in just about any situation. And for many men with Diabetes, these options are preferable to pills or injections—especially because Erectile Dysfunctions drugs can have side effects like fatigue and dizziness.

However, these methods aren't suitable for every man: some have serious physical drawbacks that don't make them good candidates for surgery; others live in areas where doctors aren't experienced at using pumps, and others may face more cultural hurdles to using realistic dildos instead of their own penises (or penis-substitutes) during sex. 


Regular physical activity can improve your circulation and help prevent Erectile Dysfunction. It's also good for your general health, and it's free! You don't have to go to a fancy gym; make sure you walk or bike to work or around town at least once a day. If your job isn't very active, find ways to incorporate daily physical activity into your life. 

For example, take every opportunity you can to go up and down stairs instead of taking an elevator or escalator.

Counseling or Therapy

Many men with Erectile Dysfunction find that counseling and/or therapy can be a valuable component of their treatment. While there are some medical therapies available, they may not always be helpful and may even come with some side effects that men don't want to deal with.

Talk to your doctor about whether you'd benefit from seeing a counselor or therapist. You might feel more comfortable talking about your problem with someone who doesn't have years of medical training, so you can focus on your issues and get specific recommendations for treatment options. 

When to See a Doctor

If you're experiencing Erectile Dysfunction, it's essential to see a doctor as soon as possible so that you can diagnose and treat any underlying conditions. Because erections are triggered by signals from your brain, changes in hormones or spinal injuries can make it difficult to get an erection. Your doctor will be able to determine what type of Erectile Dysfunction you have by asking you questions about your medical history and performing a physical exam.

He'll also ask whether you have difficulty getting erections when masturbating or if you've been having sexual problems with your partner. It's important to tell him about any medications that may be contributing to your condition, as well as recreational drugs like marijuana and alcohol use, which can affect sexual performance as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can erectile dysfunction be cured?

Yes, it can be cured in some cases. Although erectile dysfunction can be a consequence of a number of things (hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, and more), there are several practices you can take up to get rid of it.

What causes a weak erection in a man?

A man's erections are caused by signals sent from his brain through his nerves to his penis. As he gets older, these nerves can become damaged or frayed, leading to weaker erections.

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