Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

There are many causes for erectile dysfunction. Some of these causes can have their roots in physical or psychological problems. For a man, having an erect penis is one of the most important factors in performing lovemaking activity with his wife or partner. Likewise, if he cannot achieve or sustain an erection, it will not only affect his self-confidence but it can also ruin his relationship with his partner.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Erection in men involves stimulation that starts with the senses usually the visual sense. When a man sees an arousing scene, the view sends signals to the brain and decodes the image wherein a proper response is sent that goes through the nervous system that in turn enhances blood flow to the genitals causing the penis to stiffen and maintain the stiffness for a certain period of time. Any obstruction to this process can result in erectile dysfunction or ED wherein the penis cannot get or sustain an erection.

Psychological Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

One of the most common psychological causes of ED is a condition called performance anxiety which is associated with the fear of failing to perform once which can lead to successive failures in the future. Another typical cause is depression which makes the man lose any desire or appetite for sex. Fear plays a big role in ED (ex. fear of getting the partner pregnant or fear of getting caught) as well. Getting tired of one’s partner or not finding her sexually attractive anymore can also be a reason for ED. Stress can also play a major role in erection problems. Stress at home or at work can put a burden on a man’s performance.

Physical Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Health conditions are by far the most common causes of ED.

These can include:

  • Diabetes
  • Low hormone levels
  • Prostate cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Other Physical Causes of ED

Poor diet or malnutrition due to lack of zinc intake – Eating junk food and drinking soda particularly Mountain Dew can not only cause ED but also lead to low sperm count and poor sperm motility which can lead to infertility.

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco

Hormonal imbalance is a condition wherein the body Lack of testosterone production while having too much prolactin in the blood. It is associated with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.


Antiulcer drugs, antipsychotics, high blood pressure drugs, anti-depressants (such as Ritalin, Prozac and Celebrex among a few), extended use of tranquilizers and sedatives and cocaine.

Certain kinds of systemic or respiratory diseases like obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney failure liver cirrhosis and scleroderma (the thickening of the skin) have also been attributed to cause erectile dysfunction.