When males initiate the arousal process, there are many parts of the body that work together to form an erection. Hormones, muscles, nerves and blood vessels work in contrasting processes to form and maintain an erection. Nerve signals are directed from the brain to the penis, which stimulates the smooth muscles to relax. This promotes blood flow to the penis.
Once blood fills the penis and an erection is formed, blood vessels leading away from the penis close off so the erection can be maintained for the duration of sexual intercourse. After orgasming or following sexual arousal, the blood vessels will open up to release the blood. The penis returns to a flaccid state. A man may occasionally have difficulty forming or maintaining an erection. Erection problems happen to all men at some point in their lives. It is usually not a call for concern, however, it becomes an issue when they cannot maintain an erection for more than 50% of sexual endeavors.
This is known as erection problems, where males cannot achieve and maintain an erection firm enough for penetrative sexual intercourse. They are also known as:
The erectile dysfunction symptoms are when the penis does not get hard enough or becomes firm but softens too soon. These symptoms also include more stimulation to achieve an erection and the inability to maintain it until orgasm. When these symptoms occur regularly, it is time to seek treatment.
The causes of erectile dysfunction can range from physical or psychological reasons. In certain situations, it is a combination of both. Erection problems can also be caused by situational stress, anxiety and even anger.
The table below reads the common causes behind erection problems:
|Physical causes||Psychological causes|
|Multiple sclerosis (MS)||Anxiety disorders|
|High cholesterol||Emotional distress related to social, professional or economic issues|
|High blood pressure||Stress over not being able to perform adequately during sex|
|Cardiovascular disease||Guilt and low self-esteem|
|Kidney or liver disease||Reduced or little confidence|
Other causes of erection problems include:
Some patients' erectile dysfunction treatment aim to lower blood pressure if it is too high. It is possible to do this through lifestyle changes, however, some patients may require effective blood pressure medication. Unfortunately, certain types of blood pressure tablets can induce erection problems. This symptom can make it difficult for patients to remain on their medication, especially if these medications have not caused any side effects before. It is reported that 70% of men who experience side effects from blood pressure treatment stop taking it.
Although many medicines used to treat high blood pressure have been linked to erection problems, some do not pose these problems. Certain medications can even improve ED. Some categories of high blood pressure medications rarely cause ED.
ACE inhibitors, such as captopril, benazepril and lisinopril, widen blood vessels and promote blood flow. With these medications, ED is rarely a side effect and does not occur in any of the patients. Calcium channel blockers such as verapamil and amlodipine, and angiotensin receptor blockers such as losartan rarely cause erection problems.
Pornography is a combination of pictures, audios or videos which depict sexually explicit actions. This is consensual and is intended for sexual arousal in those who watch it. Due to the advancement of the internet, porn is no more than a few clicks away. In this way, it has become a part of modern life.
Almost all men watch porn. While it is enjoyable and cannot pose any harm if used wisely, it can contribute to erection problems. Men who excessively watch porn may require to progressively increase sexual stimulation to begin and remain aroused. Porn can also alter how the brain reacts to arousal, making it difficult for a man to become aroused by a real-life partner.
While porn cannot directly cause ED, it can affect sexual appetite. This makes it difficult for men to achieve an erection with their partners since they have unleashed their true desires through porn. The use of explicit material can also affect self-esteem, as it can cause unrealistic expectations of what sex should look like. This can affect the confidence and self-esteem of the partner, which causes further stress and worsens the severity of ED.
Erection problems affect a large part of the male population, with most of this being the older age groups. As a result, younger men feel as this does not affect them. Although ED affects men in their 40s to 60s, it is still possible to develop this condition in the 20s. A study showed that one out of every four men who buy erectile dysfunction pills are all below the age of forty. There is no singular cause of ED in patients' 20s, as a range of factors can cause erection problems.
There are many medications that can affect a man's sexual performance and sexual arousal. Patients must remember that what may cause ED in one individual will not affect another in the same way. These medications include:
We understand some ED patients may be taking other important treatments. When these patients buy erectile dysfunction medication prescription-free from our trusted online pharmacy, they can work out a schedule to incorporate other medications that have a lower risk of erection problems. Apart from sticking to medications that do not interact negatively, they have peace of mind that our medications are tried, tested, FDA approved and represent the highest industry/quality standards.