Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
During an erection, the penis becomes engorged with blood as blood vessels enlarge or dilate and allow an increased flow. Causes of erectile dysfunction may occur due to a variety of medical conditions, including damage to the nerves, arteries, muscles, and tissue. For an erection to take place, a series of precise events occur, which include nerve impulses in the spinal column, brain, and area around the penis. When those nerve impulses are received, the muscles, fibrous tissues, veins, and arteries respond, which result in an erection. However, if there is a disruption in any of those signals, it can result in erectile dysfunction instead of an erection.
Often a disease may be the cause of erectile dysfunction. Diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and neurologic disease, account for about 70 percent of ED cases.
Another possible cause of erectile dysfunction may be recent surgery, especially radical prostate and bladder surgery for cancer. Sometimes the surgery can injure nerves and arteries near the penis, causing erectile dysfunction. Injury to the penis, prostate, bladder, spinal cord and pelvis can lead to ED by smooth muscles, arteries, harming nerves and fibrous tissues of the area around the penis.
There are also some prescription drugs that affect some nerve centers, resulting in erectile dysfunction. Many common blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, and other medications can produce ED in a man. Medical experts also have discovered that psychological factors, including stress, anxiety, guilt, depression, low self-esteem and fear of sexual failure can causes of erectile dysfunction.
Other possible causes are smoking, which affects blood flow in veins and arteries, and hormonal abnormalities, such as not enough testosterone.