Lack of erection – causes of erectile dysfunction

More and more men have problems with erection. Sexual performance disorders mostly occur in men after the age of 40, but it also may affect much younger patients, especially heavy smokers, fat diet lovers, and those who avoid regular physical exercise.

Lack of erection – this embarrassing disorder affects millions of men around the world. The problem is more prevalent in countries where smoking is more common and environmental awareness of residents is low. Therefore, men living in Eastern Europe complain about the lack of erection more often than those from Scandinavia.

The most common causes of ED are:

  • lack of exercise (but also intensive cycling, which exerts pressure on the crotch and disturbs erection),
  • sedentary lifestyle,
  • overweight,
  • frequent and long hot baths,
  • high-fat and high-carb diet,
  • diet low in fresh vegetables and fruit,
  • heavy smoking,
  • marijuana use (leads to peripheral sensation disorders),
  • drinking strong alcoholic beverages,
  • environmental pollution with heavy metals.

The most frequent mistake made by patients with erectile dysfunction is avoiding consultation with a sexologist. Avoiding the visit at a specialist may be hazardous to health because lack of erection is the first symptom of serious systemic diseases. Besides, early diagnosis allows making changes in one’s lifestyle and starting an effective treatment using pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, or couple therapy.

Read more: Problems with erection at a young age – what to do?

Lack of erection – what does it mean?

Erection is a neurovascular process which takes place when penile vessels become rapidly filled with blood. Erectile dysfunction takes place when a man, despite his desire, cannot achieve and maintain an erection firm enough to have a satisfactory sexual activity.

Read more: Natural aphrodisiacs for men

Lack of erection – causes

Lack of erection may have organic or psychological causes. In most patients libido stays at a proper level, but there are problems with an erection, which result from:

  • reduced blood flow to the penis (as a result of arterial hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes),
  • retarded penile innervation (after a stroke, in multiple sclerosis),
  • disorders of penile innervation and vasculature (e.g. caused by diabetes),
  • spinal cord injuries,
  • use of some drugs (diuretics, anti-depressants, beta blockers),
  • obesity.

Cross-sectional studies conducted in the USA and five European countries demonstrating a relationship between erectile dysfunction and obesity and overweight have proven that in countries where more men have a proper body weight, erectile dysfunction incidence was lower than in countries with a higher body mass index. 

Among the psychological causes, the most serious factor affecting an erection is chronic stress and overwork. Lack of erection may accompany depression, various types of neuroses, lack of sleep, crisis in a relationship.

Read more: Problems with erection – what causes erectile dysfunction?

Lack of arousal in men – causes

We need to distinguish the lack of erection from the lack of arousal, which is defined as the lack of sexual fantasies and no desire to pursue sexual activity.  It is estimated that the lack of desire for sex affects around 15% of men in the 18-59 age group.

Low sexual drive may be primary or acquired, and may relate to specific situations or be generalized. The lack of arousal may be caused by hormonal disturbances resulting from such factors as low testosterone. The condition in men may also stem from numerous diseases, such as diabetes, kidney diseases, liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, tumours. The lack of arousal might also be caused by pornography addiction or sexual repletion. The sexual drive is also reduced by sleep deprivation, an unattractive partner, gender identity disorder, trauma, as well as the boredom of the current sexual life.

Read more: Vitamins for men – which ones to improve fertility?

Erectile dysfunction after 40

Erectile dysfunction becomes increasingly more frequent as the body ages. On average, the peak of sexual performance in men falls on the 29th year of age. 40% of men after 50 happen to have problems with erection. The dynamics of potency fades with age. It is possible that at some stages of life erection practically does not occur or declines completely. 

The lack of erection after the age of 40 stems mainly from low testosterone, that is a condition referred to as hypogonadism. Such a condition occurs when testicles are no longer able to supply the body with the proper amount of testosterone necessary to maintain the sexual drive, produce semen, as well as maintain muscle strength and proper muscle and bone mass.

After the age of 40, the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), also referred to as superhormone or fountain of youth, decreases. When it is low in the aging body of a man, we observe:

  • reduced fitness and mental capacity,
  • lower libido,
  • lower sexual performance,
  • andropause symptoms,
  • susceptibility to diseases typical for the elderly: arteriosclerosis, hypertension.

Read more: Viagra – how and how long does potency drugs work?

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