What Causes Ed?

Q:
What causes ED?

A:
In many cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by something physical. Common causes include:

  • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sleep disorders
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
  • Tobacco use
  • Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Peyronie’s disease — development of scar tissue inside the penis

There are also psychological causes. The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual excitement. A number of things can interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. These include:

  • Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
  • Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns
  • Stress

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.