A Answers (4)
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredIn spite of the common name for an erection, your penis does not have a bone. It’s true! An erection relies on a pretty amazing system of blood flow to get hard and stay hard. Anything that gets in the way of that blood flow can put a damper on your erection. That includes high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, and of course, heart disease. The same healthy lifestyle that keeps your heart working at its best will also help you perform in bed. There are other causes of erectile dysfunction (ED), from low testosterone to drug problems to depression, but for most men, the heart is where it’s at.
Harris McIlwain, Pain Medicine, answered
The most common causes of erectile dysfunction are:
- neurologic impairment
- prescription medications
- pelvic injury
- psychological disorders
- peyronie’s disease
- vascular disease
- hormonal imbalance
Arthur Crowley, Urology, answered"Normal" erectile function involves a complex relationship between neurologic, vascular, hormonal and psychological components. To attain and maintain a firm erection requires inflow of blood (arteries) and reduction of blood outflow (veins). Diseases (for example hypertension, diabetes, heart disease) and risk factors (for example smoking, obesity) that affect the function of arteries and veins may have a negative impact on erectile function.
There are multiple causes. Psychogenic causes include stress, depression, and anxiety. Clinical causes are either hypogonadism or vascular. Hypoganadism is when there is either too little testosterone, or some other hormone is competing with testosterone. Vascular causes can occur from chronic hypertension or diabetes. Certain medications can cause ED as well.