Thursday, April 26, 2018
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is very common amongst men between the ages of 40 and 70, it is estimated that almost a half of men this age will suffer from impotence problem at some time. But what actually causes ED? In our latest update we take a look at some of the physical and lifestyle factors that might contribute to ED.
What causes ED?
When a man is aroused, the brain sends signals to the blood vessels in the penis, relaxing the arteries and allowing blood to flow in. The veins then close to trap the blood, causing the penis to expand and harden. If this process is interrupted, either physically or psychologically, ED can occur. Medication to treat the condition works by inhibiting an enzyme known as PDE5 which is associated with muscle contraction in penile tissue. ED medication allows blood vessels to relax and expand, leading to increased blood flow into the penis.
Physical factors which cause ED can include:
- weight problems
- lack of exercise
- excessive alcohol intake
- high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.
In turn, psychological causes may include: relationship problems, stress or depression.
It’s true that ED is more common in men over the age of 60, however the condition occurs amongst men of all ages. Lifestyle factors such as not getting enough exercise and poor diet actually have a greater impact on erection problems than age.
Smoking, drinking and leading a generally unhealthy lifestyle may have an effect on your ability to get and maintain an erection. Both smoking and drinking alcohol could damage blood vessels, impeding blood flow.
How can ED be treated?
There are many ways to treat ED. Oral medication is the most common option and it works well for many men, but there are also alternatives including a cream (Vitaros), which can be applied directly to the urinary meatus or ‘hole’, little pellets also inserted into the urethra (Muse) and injections (Caverject or Viridal) which can be administered directly to the penis.