Menu Help Knowledge centre
EU

The 3 main causes of erectile dysfunction and how to fix them

What is Erectile Disfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence is the persistent and consistent inability to obtain or maintain an erection through to satisfactory intercourse. It's not the same as having occasional erection problems, which isn't uncommon even in young men, especially in poor health or under stress. Erectile dysfunction meaning persistent and consistent inability to keep an erection, sometimes gets mistaken for other sexual problems. But there are many other types of male sexual dysfunction, including low libido, anorgasmia, and premature, delayed, or absent ejaculation. Occasionally, they can co-occur, but ED tends to be more upsetting.

With ED, the frequency is the first sign that there may be an underlying health problem. In some cases, it's a matter of emotional difficulties like anxiety, guilt, depression, low self-esteem or relationship trouble. With psychological erectile dysfunction, sufferers turn to mental health professionals for relief. But in most situations, the underlying condition is physical, so people ask their GP or urologist for help.

Symptoms of Erectile Disfunction

As mentioned above, the main symptom of ED is having trouble getting or keeping an erection during intercourse. It's sometimes amplified by a reduced interest in sex, so people wrongly think of it as a natural consequence of a low sex drive. To make matters worse, it can manifest alongside other sexual disorders specific to men, such as:

  • premature ejaculation (PE) – achieving orgasm and ejaculating with minimal stimulation;
  • delayed ejaculation – taking longer than 30 minutes of penetrative sex to ejaculate;
  • retrograde ejaculation – men with diabetes who have ED sometimes also don't ejaculate because the semen goes to the bladder instead;
  • anorgasmia – aka Coughlan's syndrome, is the inability to achieve orgasm even with ample stimulation and is linked to delayed ejaculation.

The Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Of the many reasons for erectile dysfunction, the most obvious ones are injuries, surgery, or anatomical abnormalities like Peyronie's disease. To find out what is the main cause of erectile dysfunction in your case, you must first consult with your GP or urologist. When you see a doctor, they will first rule out these conditions. Then they will look at your medical history and any medication you may be taking, ask some basic lifestyle questions, and possibly ask you to take some tests to rule out causes like cycling and substance abuse.

The three most common erectile dysfunction causes are as follows:

Cardiovascular Conditions
Also called vasculogenic conditions, these are issues related to blood flow. They tend to cause most cases of ED because erections are the result of blood flowing through the penis. Stimulating the penis makes its muscles relax so that blood flows through the arteries and fills the inner chambers until it become very rigid. During orgasm, the muscles contract, pushing the blood back out of the penis. Any problem at any stage of this process can cause ED. The most common cardiovascular causes for ED are diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

Hormonal Diseases
The endocrine system produces hormones. Some of these hormones regulate sexual function, reproduction, and general mood. There are various hormonal conditions that cause ED, including:

  • hypogonadism – when abnormal levels of testosterone are produced;
  • hyperthyroidism – when an 'overactive thyroid' yields too much thyroid hormone;
  • hypothyroidism – when you have an 'underactive thyroid' gland;
  • Cushing's syndrome – when cortisol levels are abnormal.3.Nervous System Conditions

There are several neurogenic conditions that cause or aggravate ED, including:

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – affects movement and balance;
  • Parkinson's disease – affects the way that the brain coordinates walking, talking, and writing;
  • stroke – when the supply of blood to the brain is interrupted.

How to Cure Erectile Dysfunction

Depending on the causes of your ED, the doctor may recommend different courses of action. When there's an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, the doctor may prefer to address it first and then try erectile dysfunction treatments.

Erectile Dysfunction Medicine

The most widely used erectile dysfunction pills in the UK are phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. PDE-5 inhibitors temporarily increase blood flow to the penis. They come in many shapes and sizes, and they work in different ways, but the effects tend to kick in 30 to 60 minutes later. Here are the best erectile dysfunction pills currently prescribed in the UK:

Sidenafil is commonly prescribed by GPs in the UK, but other medication may be available on a case-by-case basis. Tadalafil lasts for up to 3 days, and it's ideal for longer treatment periods (weekends, for instance). The effects of sildenafil, vardenafil, and avanafil tend to wear off in about 10 hours. Only one such tablet can be taken in a 24-hour period, but your GP will be able to give you precise dosage based on your needs, lifestyle, and medical history.

There are pros and cons to every treatment, and you may need to carry out some research before you decide how to cure erectile dysfunction. People with coronary heart disease or people who take certain types of alpha-blockers, for instance, may need alternative types of treatment, such as alprostadil tablets.

Erectile dysfunction tablets come with a few warnings, one of which is a higher risk of priapism. They can also cause various side-effects, including headaches, nausea, vomiting, back pain, and visual disturbances. So, your doctor will advise you to exercise caution, especially if you're new to the treatment.

Other ED treatments include hormone therapy, surgery, penile implants, psychosexual counselling, sensate focus, cognitive behavioural therapy, and unproven complementary therapies like acupuncture. If you'd like to try another kind of erectile dysfunction cure exercise the pelvic floor muscles with guidance from a physiotherapist.

A pressing concern for ED sufferers is how to cure erectile dysfunction naturally and permanently. And although the symptoms are usually reversible if the underlying health condition is treated, it's important to acknowledge that curing ED calls for a lifestyle change. Your doctor may recommend that you take any or all these steps:

However, none of these solutions is, in and of itself, an erectile dysfunction cure. While treating ED is not a case of mind over matter, adopting all these lifestyle changes together and consistently trying these so-called erectile dysfunction cures is a very effective way of managing your symptoms.