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What are the most common risk factors for erectile dysfunction?

Among the most common risk factors for erectile dysfunction are:
  • Hardening (or clogging) of the arteries
  • High blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • Stress, anxiety or depression
  • Alcohol use
  • Tobacco use
  • Some prescription medications, including drugs for pain, depression or high blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Brain or spinal-cord injuries
  • Low testosterone and other hormone problems
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Radiation therapy in the pelvic area
  • Stroke
  • Prostate, bladder, colon and rectal surgery
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The process of achieving an erection is complex and involves the brain, hormones, nerves, and blood vessels. Health problems and bad habits that affect any part of this network can cause erectile dysfunction. However, some of the most common risk factors for erectile dysfunction include:
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Low testosterone
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Skipping exercise
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Injuries to the pelvic area or spinal cord

There are other causes of erectile dysfunction, such as taking certain medications. If you have been struggling with persistent problems getting or sustaining erections, see your doctor. He or she will give you a thorough examination and take your medical history, which can help identify the source of the problem.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.