Erectile dysfunction or male impotence is one of the most common health problems of men. Erectile dysfunction can appear at any point in life and may occur as a result of various causes. Most commonly, the inability to achieve and maintain an erection affects men older than 65. However, almost all men have had this problem at some point in their life.
Sometimes, impotence is only temporary and men experience it as a side effect of too much stress, alcohol or tiredness. Problems with erectile dysfunction are something that men unwillingly share with others. This highly unpleasant dysfunction can often affect their lives negatively, ruin their relationships and have severe psychological consequences.
Signs and symptoms of erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is usually described as an inability to obtain and maintain an erection of the penis. This erectile failure is usually regular or repeated. However, some patients are able to obtain full erections, often spontaneously. These spontaneous erections typically occur when men are asleep, or when none of the psychological issues are present. In these cases, doctors may suspect that physical structures are functionally working, and the root of the problem lies in psychological impotence, which occurs due to negative thoughts or feelings.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction occurs for a number of different reasons. As already mentioned, it is often associated with psychological causes. This is especially common among young men who usually suffer from performance anxiety. Stress, various mental disorders, psychological problems and negative feelings can also affect one's ability to achieve an erection.
Various underlying diseases and conditions can also cause male impotence. It is associated with neurogenic disorder, cavernosal disorders, kidney failure, diabetes or hypertension. Certain medical treatments can also result in erectile dysfunction. For example, prostate and bladder cancer surgery often includes removing tissue and nerves surrounding a tumor, which may result in male impotence.
Lifestyle is also an important factor. Among all lifestyle habits, smoking is a key cause of erectile dysfunction. It is known to causes impotence by promoting arterial narrowing. Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, can narrow the smaller blood vessels leading to the penis. This limits the blood flow to the penis and makes the erection impossible.
Recent studies have shown that riding a bike for long periods of time can induce temporary erectile difficulties. According to the medical experts, riding a bike more than three hours per week dramatically increases one’s risk of erectile dysfunction.