Erectile dysfunction is a very sensitive topic to talk about when it comes to men.

Previously called impotence, this is the inability to maintain or get an erection.

For a lot of men, not being able to have or maintain satisfactory sexual pleasure is stressful. 

Erectile dysfunction causes a lot of strain in relationships and affects both partners. One way of dealing with this stressful condition is seeking help even though one might find it to be very embarrassing. 

Symptoms of erectile dysfunction. 

-  Trouble getting an erection

- Trouble maintaining an erection

- Reduced or no sexual desire

As much as one knows the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, it is good to also know what  causes the condition so as to be able to treat or prevent the condition.

According, male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels.

Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these.

Likewise, stress and mental health concerns can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.

Below are some of the causes of erectile dysfunction:

Heart disease

Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)

High cholesterol

High blood pressure



Metabolic syndrome — a condition involving increased blood pressure,high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol

Parkinson's disease

Multiple sclerosis

Certain prescription medications

Tobacco use

Peyronie's disease — development of scar tissue inside the penis

Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse

Sleep disorders

Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate

Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction

The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual excitement. A number of things can interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. These include:

Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions.


-Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns

Medical conditions, particularly diabetes or heart conditions

Tobacco use, which restricts blood flow to veins and arteries, can — over time — cause chronic health conditions that lead to erectile dysfunction

Being overweight, especially if you're obese

Certain medical treatments, such as prostate surgery or radiation treatment for cancer

Injuries, particularly if they damage the nerves or arteries that control erections

Medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines and medications to treat high blood pressure, pain or prostate conditions

Psychological conditions, such as stress, anxiety or depression

Drug and alcohol use, especially if you're a long-term drug user or heavy drinker

The good news is that once you start noting  erectile dysfunction symptoms, seek help from your doctor.

Treatment for erectile dysfunction depends on whether the problem is caused by psychological or physical factors, or a combination of these.