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Causes


  • Drugs (Anti-depressants (SSRIs) and Nicotine are most common. A study entitled "Drug-induced mal sexual dysfunction" concluded that of the 12 most commonly prescribed medications on the market today, 8 of those medications list "impotence" as a side-effect of the drug. Other drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, and heroin negatively impact male sexual libido.)
  • Neurogenic Disorders (spinal cord and brain injuries, nerve disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.)
  • Arterial Disorders (peripheral vascular disease, hypertension; reduced blood flow to the penis).
  • Hormonal Disorders (pituitary gland tumor; low or abnormally high levels of the hormone testosterone).
  • Cavernosal Disorders (Peyronie's disease.)
  • Venous leak
  • Psychological causes: stress, mental disorders (clinical depression, schizophrenia, substance abuse, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, personality disorders or traits.), psychological problems, negative feelings.
  • Ageing.
  • Surgery (radiation therapy, surgery of the colon, prostate, bladder, or rectum may damage the nerves and blood vessels involved in erection. Prostate and bladder cancer surgery often require removing tissue and nerves surrounding a tumor, which increases the risk for impotence.)
  • Lifestyle: alcohol and drugs, obesity, cigarette smoking (Incidence of impotence is approximately 85 percent higher in male smokers compared to non-smokers., Smoking is a key cause of erectile dysfunction. Smoking causes impotence because it promotes arterial narrowing. See also Tobacco and health. )
  • Overtraining.
  • Other disorders.

A few causes of impotence may be iatrogenic (medically caused). Various antihypertensives (medications intended to control high blood pressure) and some drugs that modify central nervous system response may inhibit erection by denying blood supply or by altering nerve activity.

Surgical intervention for a number of different conditions may remove anatomical structures necessary to erection, damage nerves, or impair blood supply. Complete removal of the prostate gland or external beam radiotherapy of the gland are common causes of impotence; both are treatments for prostate cancer. Some studies have shown that male circumcision may result in an increased risk of impotence, while others have found no such effect, and another found the opposite.

Excessive alcohol use has long been recognised as one cause of impotence, leading to the euphemism "brewer's droop," or "whiskey dick;" Shakespeare made light of this phenomenon in Macbeth.

A study in 2002 found that ED can also be associated with bicycling. The number of hours on a bike and/or the pressure on the penis from the saddle of an upright bicycle is directly related to erectile dysfunction.


Other articles from the section: Erectile Dysfunction

Treatment

  Treatment depends on the cause. Testosterone supplements may be used for cases due to hormonal deficiency. However, the cause is more usually lack of adequate penile blood supply as a result of damage to inner walls of blood vessels. This damage is more frequent in older men, and often associated with disease, in particular diabetes.  Treatments (with the exception of testosterone supplementation, where effective) work on a temporary basis: they enable an erection to be attained and maintained long enough for ...

Section: Erectile Dysfunction

Alprostadil

  Alprostadil can be injected into the penis or inserted using a special applicator - usually just before sexual intercourse. Alprostadil has also become available in some countries as a topical cream (under the brand name Befar), and preliminary studies have shown a clinical efficacy of up to 83%. It has an onset of action of 10-15 minutes and its effects ...

Section: Erectile Dysfunction

Alternative treatment methods

  Numerous alternative therapies are used to improve sexual function. Some include: niacin, zinc, copper, Korean red ginseng root, ginkgo, pine bark, Tribulus terrestris, arginine, Avena sativa, horny goat weed, maca root, muira puama, saw palmetto, and Swedish flower pollen. None of these however have been recognized as effective by the FDA. While zinc deficiency may be a cause of lower testosterone levels in hemodialysis patients, which may benefit from zinc supplementation, such supplements have no effect on the testosterone levels of healthy ...

Section: Erectile Dysfunction

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