Erectile disorders: common causes

Erectile disorders frequency increases with age. However, contributory factors may aggravate pre-existing disorders.

Organic causes of erectile dysfunction

  • Cardio-vascular: cardiopathy, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. Cardio-vascular troubles could explain up to 40% of erectile dysfunction.
  • Endocrinopathy: Diabetes is defined by high glycemia. This high glucose level will slowly impact nerves and blood vessels, two of capital elements involved in erection process. Moreover, thyroid gland issue can also cause erectile dyfunction.
  • Neurological: Multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, post-surgical erectile nerves lesions, pelvic radiotherapy or a pelvic trauma.
  • Surgery-related: in order to remove some tumors, surgeons may sometimes have to remove entirely some organs like prostate or rectum. In severe cases or to be as efficient as possible some surrounding tissues have to be removed such as the erectile nerves and be responsible of erection disorders. Most common surgical which may cause erectile dysfunction are radical prostatectomy, cystectomy, rectum-cancer surgery, aorta surgery on its abdominal portion
  • Radiotherapy, brachytherapy: these treatments deliver radiations on the pelvis, which can cause nerves lesions. Erectile dysfunction, which can reach up to 75% of patients, sets up slowly. Radiotherapy and brachytherapy affect the vascularisation and may explain this kind of side-effects.

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction

psychological causes of erectile dysfunction

Multiples causes can explain an erectile dysfunction, alone or combined with organic disorders.

Common causes are:

  • performance anxiety
  • fear of not to be able to get an erection
  • fear of not to satisfy his partner
  • Desire troubles
  • lack of communication
  • conjugal conflicts
  • low self-esteem
  • routine
  • anxiety in general
  • depression

Most of these causes can be treated and managed by a physician (GP, sexologist or a psychiatrist)

Medication-related erectile dysfunction

medication-related erectile dysfunction

Side-effects of some treatments can be responsible for erectile disorders: some antihypertensive (beta blockers), LDL cholesterollowering therapy, some  psychiatric treatments  (anxiety or depression medications).

  • Eventually, different causes can be linked or associated, making diagnosis and way of treat this erectile dysfunction hard to treat.
  • As a conclusion :Identify causes of erectile dysfunction is essential to limit symptoms worsening and to be efficient to treat erectile dysfunction. This is one of your doctor role.