Erectile dysfunction or male impotence is a very common problem these days. To understand the reasons behind this medical condition, we need to be aware of the exact functioning of a man’s genital region.
A penile erection is not just a localized process of the penis and the scrotum. An erection is achieved only after the nerve, touch and visual responses are heightened in a man. When a man looks at and feels a certain thing or person and is sexually aroused, particular areas of the brain are activated.
The brain then sends messages through the nervous system to the spinal nerve center. This place is directly connected to the penis and passes on the stimulation. Blood flow is dramatically increased to the penile area.
There are tiny sponge-like bodies in the penis which are usually deflated but when the blood flow increases, these sponges start absorbing huge quantities of fluid and become engorged. This makes the penis hard and erect. This is what we know as a penile erection. If any of the above processes are hindered, a man can suffer form erectile dysfunction.
The causes of erectile dysfunction can be classified into two separate groups; psychological causes and physiological causes. Here is a list of common causes of erectile dysfunction.
Physiological Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Hormones play a huge role in our body’s functioning. If there is a shortage in the production of the male hormone, testosterone, a man can have several erection related problems. Thyroid problems (rare in men) can also be a reason for this.
Diabetes is a very common lifestyle disease in the modern world. It is caused due to low production of insulin which can cause high levels of sugar in the blood.
Impotence is a common side effect of diabetes.
Vascular diseases include conditions like narrowing of the arteries, hardened arteries and blood circulation problems. This means that the arteries are not able to carry blood to various organs effectively. This is turn will cause reduced blood flow to the genital region and lead to erectile dysfunction.
Any sort of substance abuse like smoking, tobacco chewing, use of narcotics and excessive alcohol consumption can compromise blood circulation. This will result in low blood flow to the penis and the pelvic region. This problem can easily be remedied by quitting the addiction.
Medicines and Treatments
People undergoing treatment for other medical conditions are also at risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Men who are being treated for various forms of cancer and high cholesterol may see impotence as a side effect of the medication.
This is a common cause of impotence. People suffering from depression are usually unable to be interested in anything or anyone. This will obviously lead to lack of sexual arousal. Without sexual arousal, there is very little chance of a man getting an erection.
Stress and Anxiety
These problems are very common in men working in busy and tense conditions. The brain is not able to relax and function properly when a person is under stress. Anxiety also inhibits the production of “happy chemicals” in the body. These issues can lead to erectile dysfunction.