Erectile Dysfunction

What is the cause of Male impotence or erectile dysfunction. Normally, when a man is sexually excited, his penis fills with more blood than usual and it becomes erect or hard. When a man has ED (Erectile Dysfunction), his penis does not fill with enough blood to get erect or hard. Or it may not stay erect long enough to complete sex.

The inability to get a good enough erection for sexual intercourse is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Figures show that 1 in 10 men suffer this problem at some time in their lives, including half of all men aged between 40 and 70 years old. That’s over 3 million in the UK alone, and over 300 million worldwide.

The good news is that regardless of the cause, the majority of cases of erectile dysfunction are treatable. Patients now have a variety of treatment options from which to choose.

What causes ED (Erectile Dysfunction)?

There are many reasons why a man may develop ED (Erectile Dysfunction). Despite the common myth, ED (Erectile Dysfunction) is not simply a result of aging. It is more likely to be caused by an underlying health problem.

Some causes of ED (Erectile Dysfunction) can be:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol / heart disease
  • diabetes
  • depression

These things may also cause ED Erectile Dysfunction:

  • stress
  • injuries, operations
  • certain medicines
  • smoking, drug abuse, or too much alcohol

High blood pressure

High blood pressure and ED (Erectile Dysfunction) are commonly linked. In fact, 2 out of 3 men with high blood pressure also have ED (Erectile Dysfunction) to some degree. Oral drugs have been shown to help treat ED (Erectile Dysfunction) in the majority of men with high blood pressure.

High blood pressure makes the heart work harder and puts strain on the blood vessels. The blood vessels become hard and narrow. This means that the arteries are less able to get the blood to the body’s organs, including the penis.

High cholesterol/heart disease

Heart disease is the most common condition linked to ED (Erectile Dysfunction). In fact, sometimes ED (Erectile Dysfunction) can be an early sign of heart disease.

With heart disease, the blood in the body does not reach the organs as easily as it should. Since an erection occurs when more blood fills the penis, it makes sense that men with heart disease can often have ED (Erectile Dysfunction). Oral drugs can be effective treatment for ED (Erectile Dysfunction) because they increase blood flow to the penis.

Having high cholesterol increases your risk of getting ED (Erectile Dysfunction) by 80%.


Diabetes is one of the more common medical causes of ED (Erectile Dysfunction). More than half of all men with diabetes also have ED (Erectile Dysfunction) to some degree by age 60.

There are 2 types of diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin. People with type 2 diabetes can usually control their diabetes without taking insulin. Oral drugs work for most men with both types of diabetes.

Here are some other facts about ED (Erectile Dysfunction) and diabetes:

Many men with diabetes also have ED (Erectile Dysfunction)

  • About 30% of known cases of ED (Erectile Dysfunction) are in men with diabetes

As men with diabetes get older, they are more likely to have ED (Erectile Dysfunction)

  • ED (Erectile Dysfunction) is found in 9% of men 20 to 29 years old with diabetes. However, 95% of men with diabetes have ED (Erectile Dysfunction) by age 70

Many men with diabetes notice signs of ED (Erectile Dysfunction)

  • Within 10 years of getting diabetes, more than 50% of men notice the beginning of ED (Erectile Dysfunction) symptoms

ED (Erectile Dysfunction) may appear earlier in men who have diabetes

  • In men with diabetes, ED (Erectile Dysfunction) may appear between 10 and 15 years earlier than in men who do not have diabetes


For men with depression, the cause of ED (Erectile Dysfunction) can be psychological, physical, or both. For many men, ED (Erectile Dysfunction) makes their depression worse. This can be because it can lead to low self-esteem, a poor self-image, or problems with their partner. What’s more, certain medicines used to treat depression can cause ED (Erectile Dysfunction) as a side effect.


Stress and anxiety can affect your ability to get an erection. Find a way to reduce stress—exercise, meditate, practice yoga, dance—whatever works for you.

Injuries, operations

An injury to the spine can affect almost every system of the body. In male patients, the most common form of sexual difficulty from spinal injury is ED (Erectile Dysfunction).

Certain medicines

There are many medicines that can cause ED (Erectile Dysfunction)

certain blood pressure-lowering drugs
some heart condition drugs
some cancer drugs
certain antidepressants
some diuretics (often used to treat high blood pressure)


If you smoke, stop. Not only can smoking cause cancer, emphysema, and other illnesses, it affects blood circulation. Smoking causes damage to blood vessels which slows blood flow to the penis. In one study, male smokers with high blood pressure and/or other risk factors were more than twice as likely to have complete ED (Erectile Dysfunction) than those who didn’t smoke.

Using illegal drugs

In addition to many other health risks, the use of drugs such as marijuana and cocaine has been reported to cause ED (Erectile Dysfunction).

Drinking too much alcohol

If you drink alcohol, it’s best to have no more than two drinks a day. Alcohol slows down your central nervous system and can make it more difficult for you to get an erection.

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