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Erectile Dysfunction - Causes, Myths, and Facts

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Erectile Dysfunction - Causes, Myths, and Facts

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One of the most frequent queries by a young adult male is about erectile dysfunction. Read this article to get to know about erectile dysfunction, its causes, myths, and facts.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published At May 27, 2019
Reviewed AtDecember 28, 2023

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which the person either fails to get an erection or cannot withstand a firm erection throughout the sexual activity. Erectile dysfunction causes a significant amount of stress, disturbing personal life and losing self-esteem. Loss of erection during an excitement phase is a sign of erectile dysfunction. Quest for correct treatment and reliable advice leads to loss of time, financial suffering, and even more disturbing thought processes. Right knowledge of expectation and reality can save lots of hassle.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction can be due to physical and psychological factors. It may affect men of all ages. The common causes of erectile dysfunction are as follows:

  1. Physical Causes:
  • Neurological Disorders: Nerve damage due to surgeries or injuries or neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, can affect the signal transmission between the brain and penis.
  • Hormonal Imbalances: An imbalance in the thyroid hormone or low testosterone levels may affect sexual function.
  • Vascular Disorders: Several vascular conditions that may affect the blood flow to the penis are hypertension and atherosclerosis (arteries hardening). This may lead to erectile dysfunction.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants and antihypertensive drugs, can cause some side effects that can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Certain factors, such as excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, smoking, and drug abuse, may contribute to erectile dysfunction.
  1. Psychological Causes:
  • Stress: An individual with high-stress levels may have relationship problems. This may interfere with sexual performance.
  • Depression: It also affects libido and sexual function, which may lead to erectile dysfunction.
  • Psychological Trauma: An individual with past traumatic issues, such as sexual abuse. This may affect sexual function.
  1. Age: With an increase in age, there is a decrease in testosterone levels. This may affect sexual function. However, age is not a direct cause of erectile dysfunction.
  1. Chronic Illnesses: Certain medical conditions, such as liver cirrhosis, kidney diseases, and lung diseases, can contribute to erectile dysfunction.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?

Symptoms of erectile dysfunction are:

  • Reduced libido.

  • Loss of erection during an excitement phase is a sign of erectile dysfunction.

  • Difficulty in maintaining an erection.

  • Reduced sexual desire.

  • Premature ejaculation or delayed ejaculation.

How Is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?

The things that people can do to help with erectile dysfunction are as follows:

  • Medications: Oral drugs like Sildenafil, Vardenafil, Tadalafil, and Avanafil treat erectile dysfunction. They work by increasing the cases where medical drugs are needed to treat the condition, and it should be strictly done under the guidance of a qualified urologist or andrologist, as these groups of medication (Phosphodiesterase inhibitors) have a high side effect profile, including an adverse effect on the cardiovascular system. Those patients who are already on the drug should remember that this medication only helps erection rather than causing one. Thus, good foreplay, emotional attachment with the partner, and a positive mind frame have higher and better success rates with medical therapy.

Occasionally, in people with long-standing diabetes or vascular disease, the standard dose of this medication might not have the maximum effect. In such cases, the physician may advise drug combinations or higher doses. So, if the initial medicine has not given the best possible outcome, one should be satisfied and continue the treatment. Visiting the doctor and having a detailed discussion about the lack of effect is advised.

  • Other Options: The other things that people can do to help with erectile dysfunction are as follows:
  1. Exercises.

  2. Use of penis pumps or vacuum erection devices.

  3. Surgical placement of penile implants.

  4. Psychological counseling.

What Are the Complications of Erectile Dysfunction?

The complications of erectile dysfunction are as follows:

  • Relationship issues.

  • Stress.

  • Infertility.

  • Low self-esteem.

  • Dissatisfaction after sexual activity.

How to Prevent Erectile Dysfunction?

The preventive measures of erectile dysfunction are as follows:

  • Treat underlying medical conditions.

  • Avoid smoking.

  • Avoid alcohol.

  • Do regular exercises.

  • Avoid stress.

  • Reach out to a mental health care provider to treat anxiety and depression.

What Are the Most Common Myths And Facts of Erectile Function?

1. Erectile Dysfunction Occurs in Older Adults: Erectile dysfunction has been stereotyped in older men. But it is not true and can occur in men of any age. The presence of chronic medical conditions like diabetes, cardiac diseases, hypertension, and risk factors like smoking and medications increases the risk of erectile dysfunction.

2. Tight Underwear Causes Erectile Dysfunction:Wearing tight underwear increases the temperature of the testicles and, therefore, can cause problems with infertility. However, its association with erectile dysfunction has not been proven yet.

3. Relationship Problems Are the Only Cause of Erectile Dysfunction:Erectile dysfunction can occur due to both physiological and psychological causes. Relationship issues contribute to erectile dysfunction, but it cannot be the sole cause.

4. Medications Only Treat Erectile Dysfunction:Taking Sildenafil (Viagra) is not the only solution for erectile dysfunction. Lifestyle modifications like weight loss, avoiding smoking, and treating medical conditions help treat it.

5. Getting an Erection Problem Is a Sign of Erectile Dysfunction: Erection problems are not always a sign of erectile dysfunction. Like women, men can also have 'no mood' days. Anxiety, relationship issues, and fatigue can also produce erectile dysfunction.

6. Erectile Dysfunction Causes a Lack of Sexual Desire:Men with erectile dysfunction are attributed to have a lack of sexual desire. But, the reality is erectile dysfunction is not associated with sexual desire.

7. Erectile Dysfunction Is a Personal Problem:Erectile dysfunction is not a personal problem only; it can also pose dangerous health issues in the individual, like hypertension and cardiac diseases. It can also help in diagnosing an underlying medical condition.

8. Erectile Dysfunction Affects Only Men:Erectile dysfunction has an impact on the sexual and personal lives of men and creates relationship problems and feelings of dissatisfaction with their female partners.

9. Erectile Dysfunction Is a Part of Aging:Although erectile dysfunction occurs more commonly in older adults, it does not mean that erectile dysfunction can occur as a sign of aging. It should not be neglected if it happens in older age, and treatment should be sought for affected men at any age.

10. Herbal Supplements Treat Erectile Dysfunction:There is no report to support the fact that erectile dysfunction can be treated with herbal supplements. When taken with other medications, it can cause serious drug interactions, resulting in adverse drug effects.Conclusion:

In most cases, erectile dysfunction can be treated. Because with treatment, the best solution for the erectile problems can be obtained. Erectile dysfunction can be managed by taking medications, exercising, stress management, psychological counseling, and a lifestyle change. If an individual faces erectile dysfunction, they may consult a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Leading Cause of Erectile Dysfunction?

The leading cause of erectile dysfunction may include:
- Diabetes.
- High cholesterol level.
- Heart disease.
- Obesity.
- Alcoholism.
- Relationship issues such as stress or poor communication.
- Depression or anxiety is linked to erectile dysfunction.
- Brain or spinal damage.
- Radiation therapy to testicles.
- Bladder or prostate surgery.
- Low testosterone.
- Tiredness.


Can Erectile Dysfunction Be Cured?

Erectile dysfunction is a clinical condition that can be cured. It can be successfully treated and reversed in some cases. Obtaining an erection is a combined process that involves your blood vessels, body's nerves, and hormones, and the treatment of erectile dysfunction depends on its cause.


How to Fix Erectile Dysfunction?

You can fix erectile dysfunction by including physical exercise as your daily habit. Exercise can improve the underlying conditions that cause erectile dysfunction in several ways, including reducing weight, stress, and increasing blood flow. Other causes like alcohol and drug problems should be treated.


Can We Cure Erectile Dysfunction by Drinking Plenty of Water?

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is when a man has trouble obtaining or sustaining an erection. Erectile dysfunction can also be affected by factors like hydration levels. Dehydration can decrease blood volume and affect mood, so a person may find that drinking water can maintain an erection if the cause of ED is dehydration.


Will Bananas Help to Cure Erectile Dysfunction?

The nature of bananas being libido-enhancing due to chelating minerals and the bromelain enzyme present in it improves male libido. Bananas are rich in B vitamins and potassium required for sex hormone production like testosterone. Bananas are the natural remedy to cure Erectile Dysfunction.
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Dr. Vaibhav Vishal
Dr. Vaibhav Vishal



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