Erectile dysfunction can be caused by any number of physical and psychological factors. In general, ED is divided into organic (having to do with a bodily organ or organ system) and psychogenic (mental) impotence, but most men with organic causes have a mental or psychological component as well.
Erection problems will usually produce a significant psychological and emotional reaction in most men. This is often described as a pattern of anxiety and stress that can further interfere with normal sexual function. This "performance anxiety" needs to be recognized and addressed by your doctor.
From acupuncture to arginine, from ginseng to pomegranate juice, men have tried all sorts of natural remedies for erectile dysfunction (ED) -- which doctors define as the repeated inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. But are these alternative remedies safe? Do they really work?
The scientific evidence to support the use of natural remedies for impotence is sketchy; many of the studies that seem to give the remedies a thumbs-up were so poorly designed that...
Almost any disease can affect erectile function by altering the nervous, vascular, or hormonal systems. Various diseases may produce changes in the smooth muscle tissue of the penis or influence mood and behavior.
Vascular diseases account for nearly half of all cases of ED in men older than 50 years. Vascular disease includes atherosclerosis (fatty deposits on the walls of arteries, also called hardening of the arteries), a history of heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease (problems with blood circulation), and high blood pressure. Prolonged tobacco use (smoking) is considered an important risk factor for ED because it is associated with poor circulation and reduced blood flow in the penis.
Trauma to the pelvic blood vessels and nerves is another potential factor in the development of ED. Bicycle riding for long periods has been implicated, so some of the newer bicycle seats have been designed to soften pressure on the perineum (the soft area between the anus and the scrotum).
Medications used to treat other medical disorders may cause ED.