Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man is unable to get and maintain an erection or when he experiences reduced sexual desire. This condition affects approximately 50 percent of men ages 50 to 70 at some point or another. While there are many varied causes of erectile dysfunction, most are treatable with lifestyle changes and other measures. The most common causes of erectile dysfunction fall into two main categories: physical and psychological.
Sometimes, erectile dysfunction stems from a medical problem. These may include any of the following:
-Cardiac issues, including heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke and clogged arteries
-Obesity and associated diseases, including metabolic syndrome and diabetes
-Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, temporal lobe epilepsy and multiple sclerosis
-Tobacco, alcohol and substance use
-Prostate or brain cancer
-Peyronie’s disease, a condition in which scar tissue develops inside the penis
-Injury to the pelvic area or spinal cord
-Poor oral hygiene
In addition, certain prescription medications can cause erectile dysfunction. These include alpha-adrenergic blockers, beta-blockers, chemotherapy medication, central nervous system depressants and stimulants, diuretics, synthetic hormones and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
In some cases, treating the underlying medical condition causing the erectile dysfunction resolves the issue. In other cases, male sexual dysfunction can be addressed with treatments such as sublingual trochees, capsules and intracavernous injection.
In other instances, psychological issues are the root of erectile dysfunction. That’s because the brain plays a key role in arousal. Psychological causes include depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions; stress; and issues within the relationship. Treatment for these issues, including therapy and medication where appropriate, often resolves the related erectile dysfunction.
Lifestyle changes, including losing weight if you are overweight, learning stress management techniques like meditation, eating a nutritious diet with low salt and plenty of healthy fats, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol and substance use, and exercising regularly, can help improve the quality of your erections.
If you’re experiencing sexual dysfunction, we can help you learn more about your options at the Potomac Rejuvenation Center. We will work to determine the underlying cause of the dysfunction and develop a plan of treatment to help you restore a satisfying sex life. When untreated, erectile dysfunction can cause stress, anxiety, embarrassment, low self-esteem, relationship problems and infertility. Contact us at our office in Washington, D.C. to schedule a consultation and learn more about the treatments we offer.