Sexual dysfunctions are considered taboo in many cultures as it is an embarrassing topic for most men. Males usually consider their penis as a symbol of masculinity and sexual prowess; hence a dysfunction in that area may lower ones self-esteem and confidence. However, these sexual dysfunctions affect a large number of men and are usually brought about by psychological or physical conditions.
The common sexual dysfunction experienced by males is erectile dysfunction (ED). This condition is defined as the inability to get or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. There are two types, namely occasional and frequent. Occasional ED is usually caused by psychological factors, while frequent ED is much more concerning caused by relationship problems or underlying health conditions.
The most common erectile dysfunction symptoms are anxiety, sexual depression, decreased sex drive and soft erections. This condition is not usually permanent and can be treated by various psychological and pharmacological treatment methods. If not treated, associated erection problems may impair one's interpersonal relationships and may cause low self-esteem or self-confidence.
According to Yafi et al. (2017), psychogenic erection occurs when males think about something sexual that results in arousal. Reflex erection occurs when there is a direct stimulation of the penis or other erotic areas on the body (such as ears, neck etc.). These are the two main aspects related to male erections. Therefore, impairment in any of the two aspects can cause males to experience problems in erection. Problems in romantic relationships, anxiety, stress, and depression are a few examples of erectile dysfunction causes.
Physical conditions that cause erectile dysfunction include high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, sleep disorders, hormone imbalances, alcohol consumption and certain medication. Research shows there is a link between obesity and cardiovascular disease, and people suffering from cardiovascular diseases have reported sexual difficulties. People who suffer from obesity are more likely to experience sexual difficulties and studies have shown a decrease in body weight had increased sexual desire and treated dysfunctions in subjects.
Although there are medication that cause the dysfunction, research has shown that there are also some that are safe to use. Blood pressure medication such as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB's), alpha-blockers, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are among a few that do not cause ED. It is important to note that erectile dysfunction treatment can either be direct or underlying conditions must be treated first.
ARB's (such as Diovan and Cozaar) and alpha-blockers (Cardura) have been studied closely and results show that the medication actually improved sexual dysfunction. A study on ARB's in the improvement of sexual dysfunctions reported that the condition had decreased to 10% after the administration of the medication over 12 weeks. Initially, 75% of the males reported suffering from ED. ACE inhibitors, such as Zestril and Prinivil, work by increasing blood circulation and have proven to very rarely cause ED, about 1%, in patients using the medication, while calcium channel blockers such as Verapamil, is a rare erectile dysfunction cause.
Studies have shown a significant increase in the condition over the years due to the surge of internet use, categorizing internet pornography as one of the erectile dysfunction causes. The first researchers to identify pornography induced ED (PIED), were from the Kinsey Institute. The researchers of this institute found that after watching videos of porn, the participants achieved a low responsivity and needed more extreme toys or materials in order to be aroused. The researchers also discovered that responses on a medical forum for those seeking medical attention for ED, reported the use of internet pornography.
Prominent professors like Harry Fisch and Norman Doidge have also managed to study the effects of internet porn on ED. Doidge presented in his book that the elimination of porn actually reversed the effects of ED, while Fisch wrote that his patients viewing porn suffered from sexual dysfunctions. This is due to neuroplasticity, which is how the brain has the ability to reorganize and restructure itself to stimuli.
Another study by Bronner and Ben-zion reported that one patient sought for treatment after watching porn extensively and developing a need for hard-core sex, which caused him to have a low sexual desire during real sex. After 8 months of not watching porn, the subject reported an increased desire for partnered sex and successful ejaculations. Porn is considered one of the main erectile dysfunction causes in young adults.
In recent years, there has been a great increase in the prevalence rate of sexual dysfunctions. In a study in 2012 showed that 8% of men (20-29) reported ED. An Italian study in 2013 found that 1 in 4 men reported dysfunctions with the prevalence being higher for males under 40 years. In 2014, a Canadian study deduced that 53.3% of the participants aged between 16 and 21 reported early onset of sexual problems with ED being the highest (26%).
These studies have been linked to the use of internet pornography, and are relevant as studies show young adults use the internet more than older adults. Although the above mentioned studies have also deduced that erection problems are more prevalent in older men, there are a significant number of males in their 20's that experience this condition for a number of reasons. The common erectile dysfunction causes were previously mentioned and applies to males in their 20's as well.
The use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco has a high prevalence rate for young adults. These substances have been linked to dysfunctions in multiple studies. Other common erectile dysfunction causes incorrect condom use and anxiety (especially for first time sex). This condition is treatable by talk therapy or, like many patients, you can buy erectile dysfunction pills. As some of the main causes of erectile dysfunction in 20s is the overuse of alcohol and other recreational drugs, therapy and lifestyle changes are often employed to help patients.
Sudden ED is more common in younger men and can stem from various factors, including psychological causes such as depression and stress or the development of a physical condition. According to a study, psychological issues are commonly what causes men's erectile dysfunction in younger adults. Finding out what is exactly causing the symptoms would be important in doctors formulating an effective treatment.
Depression, a mood disorder characterized by persistent sadness and loss of interest, can impact sexual desire and function. The study observed a prevalence of depressive symptoms in 43.7% of men seeking treatment for ED. Depression can contribute to a decrease in libido, interfere with arousal mechanisms and is one of the causes of erectile dysfunction. Stress, both acute and chronic, can also affect sexual function.
Stress triggers the release of hormones like cortisol, which can interfere with the normal functioning of the penis. The study found high levels of perceived stress as one of the main causes of erectile dysfunction in 20s - 30s. As these factors can bring on symptoms suddenly, it is important to manage stress and seek treatment for depression in order to overcome the symptoms of ED and regain optimal sexual function.
Psychological factors can create a vicious cycle where ED causes distress, leading to an increased risk of symptoms, further exacerbating the condition. It is essential to recognize the impact of mental health on sexual functioning and overall well-being. Addressing causes of sudden erectile dysfunction requires a multifaceted approach which may use holistic practices, medications and physical therapy.
Seeking professional help from healthcare providers or mental health professionals can provide proper diagnosis and treatment of underlying psychological issues. Understanding what causes erectile dysfunction is the key to treating it as ED can also be a symptom of other underlying medical conditions. Doctors may suggest blood tests and electrocardiogram (ECG) to rule out any physical anomalies which may be the cause.
If the physical condition of a patient is fine and no underlying ailments are present, a doctor would normally rule this out as a psychological problem. Physical training, holistic practices and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be requested as well as ED medications, which can boost confidence in users and help them to overcome any negative feelings about what causes erectile dysfunction.
Medication like some high BP therapeutics, anti-anxiety meds, anti-depressants, muscle relaxants and NSAID's are a few medications that are grouped with erectile dysfunction causes. Although they are designed to treat other conditions, they cause problems with erection by decreasing blood flow in the penis as well as inhibiting sex hormones. Other substances that cause dysfunctions include alcohol, barbiturates, opiates, marijuana and nicotine.
However, they can be treated by medication or psychological methods. This type of medication is designed to aid in blood flow, resulting in an erection and satisfying sex. Examples include Viagra, Stendra, Staxyn and Cialis. Treatment is conveniently available from a reputable online pharmacy like ours; where we save you time and money by allowing a prescription free service with home delivery.
This allows you to order online and simply wait for your medications to be delivered to your door in just a matter of days. To see what products we have to offer be sure to check out our stock list, where we also publish information about each. We also allow our customers to rate and review the medications we stock, as we believe that your feedback is valuable.
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Dr Sophia Miller was born in New York City, USA. As a young woman, she was always interested in science, specifically; chemistry and she was determined to pursue a career in the field.
Checked: 15th March 2023
Review Due: March 2024