Erectile Dysfunction

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?


I have begun to experience occasional episodes of erectile dysfunction and would like to know what causes ED. Hopefully, knowing more about its causes would help me to do whatever I can to slow or even halt its progression.

I’ve heard from TV commercials that it’s all about blood flow, but I’m not sure what, if anything, I can do to improve blood flow in my case. Jason S., Winnetka, IL

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  1. Answer:

    The TV commercials are right on the money, at least as far as it concerns the single biggest cause of ED. It’s estimated that insufficient blood flow to the penis accounts for 80 percent of all ED diagnoses.


    However, the underlying causes of this compromised blood flow can arise from a multitude of other medical conditions, including atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty plaques on the walls of arteries; high blood pressure; diabetes; and the effects of smoking.


    Working with your doctor to control such conditions can go a long way toward improving blood flow, often enough to eliminate the need for ED medications or any other form of ED treatment. Another 10 to 15 percent of ED diagnoses indicate that the symptoms of impotence stem primarily from psychological issues, including anxiety, depression, and an inability to adequately manage stress.


    To tackle these issues, it’s probably best to seek the help of a psychiatrist or psychologist who can help you to identify the underlying psychological issues so that you can take steps to control them. In addition to ED of physiological and psychological origin, certain medications also can cause ED symptoms.


    In such cases, consult with your doctor to see if he can switch you to a more erection-friendly alternative drug.


    Who IS ED Staff

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