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Conditions: Erectile Dysfunction

Common Causes - Erectile Dysfunction

What are the common causes of ED?

Erections reflect the brain's complex interaction with the penis/pelvic area. Nerves and chemicals cause the penis muscles to relax and allow blood flow to the penis to increase, resulting in an erection. Anything that interferes with this intricate process can cause ED.

Common causes of ED include:

  • Physiological disorders: diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol elevation and some cardiovascular conditions can block blood vessels and impair blood flow to the penis. Certain hormone problems and medications can also cause ED.
  • A stroke or multiple sclerosis, for example, can interfere with the brain's ability to communicate with the rest of the body. Such miscommunication during sexual functioning could cause ED. If different areas of the brain, nerves, or spinal cord are damaged, proper messages will not be relayed to the penis.
  • Psychological: ED can stem from relationship problems, performance anxiety, stress (job, family, financial), a history of sexual abuse, guilt or fear associated with sexual behavior, and depression or other mental illnesses.

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