We get it – erectile dysfunction is an embarrassing problem. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Erectile dysfunction symptoms are faced by most men as they age.
Fortunately, there are various erectile dysfunction treatment options available. But first, your doctor must determine why the issue is occurring.
In this article, we will discuss various erectile dysfunction causes, including:
- Stress and depression
- Tobacco use
- Other medical conditions
- Medication side effects
- Sleep disorders
Occasional erectile dysfunction symptoms affect nearly every man at one time or another. However, if your symptoms are persistent, keep reading to find out 5 surprising factors that might be causing your erectile dysfunction.
Let’s jump right in.
1. Stress and Depression
Our interconnected world is more stressful than ever. These days, a lot of men cannot truly relax since work demands are just a text or email away.
But did you know that stress also affects erectile function?
And that’s not all. When a man has difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection on one occasion, he may start worrying about the ability to achieve an erection the next time around. This snowball effect of anxiety just makes the situation worse.
Furthermore, stress and depression often go hand in hand.
With that, men suffering from depression may also struggle with ED. Unfortunately, some antidepressant medications can cause or exacerbate ED. Sometimes, it is a chicken or egg matter, as depression may cause ED, while antidepressants lift mood but not penises.
2. Quit Smoking: Erectile Dysfunction Tobacco Use
It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes poses serious health risks. From lung cancer to heart disease, smoking is responsible for millions of deaths and severe illnesses each year. Add ED to the list of side effects of smoking.
But how does smoking cause erectile dysfunction?
It’s simple – smoking affects blood flow. Over time, smoking damages blood vessels, which further inhibit the ability to achieve erection.
In order to have a successful erection, an unblocked source of blood flow must be readily available.
And what’s worse?
In addition to ED, smoking can also damage sperm! So men who want to become fathers have a better chance of impregnating their partner if they give up cigarettes.
We have some good news: men who quit smoking can enjoy firmer erections and faster arousal. And we’re not stopping there. Although arousal for men who quit smoking was up to five times faster than smokers, that didn’t affect the time to ejaculate.
3. Medical Conditions May Worsen ED
Unfortunately, erectile dysfunction symptoms may be an initial sign of other medical conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. Other such conditions may include:
- Hormonal disorders
- Nerve disorders or damage
- Pelvic trauma
- Prostate cancer
- Psychiatric disorders
That being said, if ED persists, it’s time to visit a physician. Sometimes, the cause of ED is more serious than impotence, and prompt treatment can prevent or cure the underlying condition.
4. Medication Side Effects
Certain medications can result in ED. These include prescription and common over-the-counter medications.
Wondering what to do if erectile dysfunction starts after the use of a new medication?
First, check with your doctor to see if ED is a possible side effect. Next, tell your physician about all drugs and supplements you take, because some interactions may cause ED. Your doctor can work with you to find a suitable drug that doesn’t cause erectile problems, but don’t stop taking a prescription medication without consulting your healthcare provider.
Common Medications with Erectile Dysfunction Side Effects
According to Harvard Medical School, about 25 percent of ED results from medication side effects. The most common drugs involved include treatments for:
Cimetidine, a medication marketed under the brand name Tagamet, is an H2 blocker used for the treatment of acid reflux. It is also the drug for this condition most likely to cause ED, so speak with your doctor if ED develops after using this medication.
Certain types of chemotherapy drugs used for cancer treatment may cause ED.
When it comes to cancer, whether or not a drug may cause ED is a secondary consideration for doctors. The good news is many men will regain erectile function once their chemo regimen is over.
Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension is called “the silent killer” because many people cannot feel its effects.
Untreated, high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular ailments. Hypertension is very common in men with ED, and they are 38 percent more likely to have this condition than men for whom ED is not a concern.
There are many anti-hypertensive drugs on the market, and some types are less likely to cause ED than others. For example, beta blockers and diuretics appear to trigger ED more than ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers or alpha blockers.
Your doctor can determine which is the best alternative medication for treating your high blood pressure if ED results, or try changing the dosage of your current drug to see if that makes a difference.
Heart, Kidney, or liver failure
Men diagnosed with heart, kidney or liver failure are often prescribed diuretics, also called water pills. Diuretics encourage the voiding of water and sodium from the body via the urine.
As men get older, overactive bladders or incontinence may force them to remain within a reasonable distance of restrooms. The anticholinergic drugs prescribed to treat these disorders may regulate the bladder, but have a negative effect on erections.
These medications are also used for treating Parkinson’s disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Opioids prescribed for pain are well-known for a host of side effects, including ED. Even over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, may cause erectile issues.
Other Medications That Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Other drugs that cause ED include the baldness drug Propecia and antihistamines like Benadryl.
In the case of Propencia, ED is a known side effect for a small number of patients. For those men, this causes a real dilemma, as they are taking the medication because they are unhappy with their bald pates. Other hair growth drugs are available, so discuss your options with your doctor.
Over-the-counter Benadryl may relieve stuffy noses and sinuses, but can also affect erectile function. Suspect these drugs as the culprit if ED surfaces while you are battling allergies or common cold symptoms.
While they work well at blocking the histamines causing an allergic reaction, histamines are also necessary for strong erections. Keep in mind that some over-the-counter sleeping medications include antihistamines.
After a change in medication or dosage, remain patient. Erectile dysfunction symptoms might not disappear immediately, but may resolve within a few weeks.
5. ED Linked to Sleep Disorders
Last but not least, sleep disorders can also cause ED. Not to mention, sleep disorders aren’t uncommon as people get older.
Along with feeling tired, stressed, or cranky during the day, regular lack of sleep impacts testosterone levels. Men with obstructive sleep apnea, one of the most serious of sleep disorders, are especially prone to ED. Sleep apnea treatment may relieve erectile dysfunction symptoms.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment at AgeRejuvenation
Sometimes, lifestyle changes can fully restore erectile function. These changes include:
- Avoidance of alcohol or recreational drugs
- Stress reduction
- Customized diets
- Exercise programs to lose weight
Because of extensive marketing, most men are familiar with erectile dysfunction pills such as Viagra or Cialis. However, there are other, more natural methods of treating ED.
These include non-invasive PulseWave RX, also known as Acoustic Wave Therapy, an acoustical wave device improving blood flow to the penis; the Penile shot, utilizing the patient’s own platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for penile cell rejuvenation; and stem cell therapy, often used in conjunction with PRP. Stem cell therapy can enhance sexual performance, as well as pleasure.
If oral drugs present side effects, some men opt for Trimix, an injectable combination of three medications which can provide a man with an erection lasting 30 minutes or more. Trimix can help resolve ED regardless of the cause.
Are you ready to stop erectile dysfunction symptoms in their tracks?