What Causes Erectile Dysfunction in Males?

Reviewed on 9/23/2020

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction or impotence is commonly caused by psychological factors. Vascular trauma or other medical conditions may also compromise a mans ability to perform sexually.
Erectile dysfunction or impotence is commonly caused by psychological factors. Vascular trauma or other medical conditions may also compromise a mans ability to perform sexually.

Erectile dysfunction (ED, or impotence) describes a condition in which men cannot acquire or maintain an erection.

What Are Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?

Symptoms of erectile dysfunction include:

  • Being unable to get an erection every time you want to have sex
  • Being able to get an erection, but not having it last long enough for sex
  • Being unable to get an erection at any time

Erectile dysfunction can also be a symptom of other health problems.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Causes of erectile dysfunction include: 

What Is the Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction?

Treatment for erectile dysfunction is aimed at enabling a man to achieve and maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. 

Lifestyle modifications to treat erectile dysfunction may include:

Talk to your doctor about using different medications to treat hypertension and pain. Do not stop taking any prescribed medication without first talking to your doctor. 

Medications used to treat erectile dysfunction may include:

Medical treatments used to treat erectile dysfunction may include:

  • Penile self-injection in which a man injects a medication (alprostadil or papaverine) into the two chambers of the penis that are filled with spongy tissue and blood (corpora cavernosa) to cause an erection by allowing the blood vessels within the penis to expand so the penis swells and stiffens to create a fully rigid erection 
  • Intraurethral alprostadil (MUSE) uses the same medication (alprostadil) as penile self-injection but instead a man inserts a device with an alprostadil pellet (suppository) into the urethra to create an erection
  • Vacuum-assisted erection devices involve placing the penis in a plastic cylinder and creating a vacuum around the penis to increase blood flow into the penis. A rigid ring is placed at the base of the penis to hold the blood inside the penis, keeping it erect. 
  • Penile prostheses are surgically implanted devices that inflate to allow the penis to become erect
  • Revascularization is a surgical procedure used for young men who have experienced pelvic trauma

Because depression and anxiety can cause erectile dysfunction, psychotherapy and psychoactive medications may be recommended. Counseling with a sex therapist may be helpful for men with performance anxiety.

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Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes and Treatment See Slideshow

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Reviewed on 9/23/2020
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