More than 18 million men in the US over the age of 20 are affected by erectile dysfunction, according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Defined as the persistent inability to get and keep an erection long enough for sex, erectile dysfunction can lead to stress, low self-esteem, and relationship problems. With so many men affected, you may wonder what factors lead to this widespread problem.
Here are the most common risk factors that can lead to ED.
The brain is just as involved in the events that lead to an erection as the body, so psychological conditions often play a role in symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Psychological conditions that can play a role include:
- Relationship problems
Medication side effects
Many popular medications list “erectile dysfunction” as a common side effect. This is because many medications cause reduced sensitivity, decreased libido, and abnormal blood flow. Common medications that can result in symptoms of ED include:
- Histamine H2-receptor antagonists
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Muscle relaxers
Recreational drug use
Affecting both the brain and body, recreational drugs can lead to ED symptoms, especially if the drug use is heavy and long-term. Alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine are three common culprits. Over time, nicotine restricts blood flow to veins and arteries, which can lead to complications during sex.
If you suspect you may be affected by erectile dysfunction, we recommend speaking with your doctor to decide the best treatment plan for you. Order a Physician 360 telemedicine consult for erectile dysfunction today and start taking control of your healthcare!
What are some other causes?
- Stress/ anxiety: Stress from other parts of your life, like work responsibilities, can make its way into your sex life and cause erectile dysfunction. Anxiety about having erectile dysfunction can make the problem even worse, causing a spiral of fear or worry about being unable to get erect.
- Weight: Obese men have a harder time getting an erection. This is not only because of self-esteem issues but because obese men usually have lower levels of the male hormone testosterone, and extra weight is linked to higher blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, which can reduce blood flow and cause erectile dysfunction.
- Underlying health problems: Conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart or blood vessel disease, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, Peyronie’s disease, and injury to the penis, spinal cord, prostate, bladder, or pelvis can contribute to erectile dysfunction and be an underlying cause of the problem.
It can feel embarrassing to talk to anyone about your erectile dysfunction, which is why Physician360 makes it easy and provides a convenient and discreet telemedicine consultation for erectile dysfunction, with a prescription delivered right to your pharmacy as needed.