What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, there are a number of potential causes. Read on to learn about eight of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is a condition, in which men have trouble achieving and maintaining an erection.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is described as the inability to achieve an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse, or alternatively, the inability to sustain an erection long enough to achieve climax. While this is a troubling and unpleasant condition for many men, it is almost always the symptom or result of another underlying problem and can be caused by a number of factors. The following are common causes of erectile dysfunction.


There are a number of surgeries which may result in short or long term erectile dysfunction. Surgery such as cystectomy and prostatectomy can disrupt the nerves and cause erectile dysfunction. Over recent years, robotic surgery has proved as a far more precise procedure which reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Cardiovascular disease 

Cardiovascular disease is a very common contributor to erectile dysfunction in older men. Cardiovascular disease affects the flow of blood to the penis, resulting in reduced erectile function. It is important to note that there are a number of vascular conditions which may result in erectile dysfunction.



Smoking can cause erectile dysfunction because it is associated with poor circulation and its impact on cavernosal function, which is crucial for achieving an erection. Tobacco use can impact erections in men as young as 20-years-old.

Diseases that affect the nervous symptoms

Diseases that affect the nervous system may be may be associated with erectile dysfunction. These include:
• Epilepsy
• Multiple sclerosis
• Alzheimer disease
• Parkinson’s disease
• Pelvic trauma
• Spinal cord injury
• Brain tumours
• Type 2 diabetes

Urological conditions

There are several urological conditions may be associated with erectile dysfunction. They include:
• Prostatitis
• Prostate cancer
• Pelvic trauma

Endocrine disorders

The body’s endocrine system produces hormones that are crucial for mood, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, and sometimes the root of erectile dysfunction is hormonal. Changes to the endocrine system is often be caused by various hormone altering medications and abuse of steroids.

Psychological conditions

The brain plays a key role in triggering the physical processes that result in an erection. Men experiencing sexual performance anxiety, or other unrelated stress, depression, relationship problems, and low self-esteem may also experience erectile dysfunction.


There are a number of prescription drugs that can cause erectile dysfunction. This includes antidepressants, blood pressure medication, diuretics, prostate medication, beta-blockers, chemotherapy, and others. 

Book an appointment with Urology Specialist

If you are experiencing symptoms of erectile dysfunction, you should never ignore discomfort as help is always available. It is important to talk to a trusted professional when it comes to your health. If you have any questions about erectile dysfunction or would like to book an appointment, please feel free to contact or call Dr Arianayagam’s office on 1300 307 990 and his staff will be able to assist.

Interested in learning more about urological health? Check out some of our other blog posts: 

Effective treatments for stress incontinence 

Treatment options for overactive bladder

What the colour of your urine could mean

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