What Causes Erectile Dysfunction

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Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Since an erection requires a precise sequence of events, Erectile Dysfunction can occur when any of the events is disrupted. The sequence includes nerve impulses in the brain, spinal column, and area around the penis, and response in muscles, fibrous tissues, veins, and arteries in and near the corpora cavernosa.

Damage to nerves, arteries, smooth muscles, and fibrous tissues, often as a result of disease, is the most common cause of Erectile Dysfunction or Impotence. Diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and neurologic disease, account for about 70 percent of Erectile Dysfunction cases. Between 35 and 50 percent of men with diabetes experience Erectile Dysfunction.

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Also, surgery (especially radical prostate and bladder surgery for cancer) can injure nerves and arteries near the penis, causing Erectile Dysfunction. Injury to the penis, spinal cord, prostate, bladder, and pelvis can lead to Erectile Dysfunction by harming nerves, smooth muscles, arteries, and fibrous tissues of the corpora cavernosa.

In addition, many common medicines, blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, and cimetidine (an ulcer drug), can produce Erectile Dysfunction as a side effect.

Experts believe that psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, guilt, depression, low self-esteem, and fear of sexual failure cause 10 to 20 percent of Erectile Dysfunction cases. Men with a physical cause for Erectile Dysfunction frequently experience the same sort of psychological reactions (stress, anxiety, guilt, depression).

Other possible causes are smoking, which affects blood flow in veins and arteries, and hormonal abnormalities, such as not enough testosterone.

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