The Most Common Reasons for Erectile Dysfunction

The Most Common Reasons for Erectile Dysfunction

There are several reasons why you may have trouble achieving an erection (erectile dysfunction). Take a look at some of the most common.

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to achieve an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse or the inability to sustain an erection long enough to achieve climax. It is almost always the symptom or result of another problem, both physical and psychological, and it can also be a side effect of lifestyle factors or medication.

Erectile dysfunction can be quite distressing for men, and while it may be hard to talk to a doctor about it, there are many very effective options for treatment, so be sure to seek help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch today if you are having problems with impotence. While there are many possible causes, let’s look at some of the common reasons for erectile dysfunction.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction as The Result of Surgery

Men achieve an erection when they are sexually stimulated, which results in nerve messages releasing chemicals that increase blood flow into the penis. Surgery such as cystectomy and prostatectomy, which occur in this region, can disrupt these nerves resulting in erectile dysfunction.

Robotic surgery allows greater precision, control and flexibility of the surgeon’s movements. This allows surgeons to perform delicate and complex procedures and to do so without encroaching on nearby organs and nerve tissue, significantly reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is a prevalent contributor to erectile dysfunction in older men. It is caused by a hardening of the arteries, called atherosclerosis, caused by a buildup of fatty deposits on the artery walls. This affects the flow of blood to the penis, resulting in reduced erectile function.

Other vascular conditions, such as high blood pressure and peripheral vascular disease, can also cause erectile dysfunction.

Smoking and Other Lifestyle Factors

Prolonged smoking is a common health risk factor for erectile dysfunction because it is associated with poor circulation and its impact on cavernosal function, which is crucial for achieving an erection.

Other lifestyle factors that can also cause problems include alcohol and substance abuse, obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise.

Diseases of Conditions That Affect The Nervous System

Diseases that affect the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves) may be associated with erectile dysfunction. These include:

• Epilepsy
• Multiple sclerosis
• Alzheimer disease
• Parkinson’s disease
• Pelvic trauma
• Spinal cord injury
• Brain tumours

Erectile Dysunction

Conditions That Affect The Veins In The Penis

Conditions that affect the veins in the penis can also cause erectile dysfunction. If the veins aren’t properly compressed against the tunica albuginea (the tissue in the penis), it can prevent a firm erection and maintaining an erection. This may be due to penile trauma, old age, diabetes mellitus, or Peyronie’s disease.

Urological Problems

Some urological conditions may be associated with erectile dysfunction.

Prostate cancer
• Pelvic trauma

Endocrine Disorders

The body’s endocrine system produces hormones crucial for mood, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, and sometimes the root of erectile dysfunction is hormonal. Issues such as diabetes, low testosterone, high prolactin and thyroid disease can affect.

Psychological Issues

The brain plays a key role in triggering the physical processes that result in an erection, beginning with sexual excitement. There is a range of psychological issues that may affect erectile function, including:

• Anxiety
• Stress
• Depression and other psychiatric diseases
• Low self-esteem
• Sexual attitudes and upbringing
• Problems in a relationship


Several prescription drugs can cause erectile dysfunction. Be sure to discuss the possible side effects of any medication with your doctor before you begin taking them. Common culprits include:

• Antidepressants
• Drugs to control high blood pressure
• Drugs that lower cholesterol
• Drugs for heart conditions
• Some diuretics
• Antiulcer drugs
• Medications to treat problems with the prostate (prostate cancer, BPH)
• Alpha-adrenergic blockers
• Beta-blockers
• Central nervous system stimulants
• Cancer chemotherapy medications

Treating Erectile Dysfunction with Urology Specialist

Dr Arianayagam is an experienced urologist and specialist urological surgeon based in Sydney. He works from his urology clinic in Bella Vista and at both public and private hospitals across Sydney and treats all kinds of prostate conditions.

If you have any questions about erectile dysfunction or would like to book an appointment, please feel free to call. We will always provide our patients with compassionate care and advice.

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