How Erectile Dysfunction Actually Occurs (Explained in Detail)
Erectile dysfunction is often presented as the butt-end of jokes, and mentally damaging stigmas, but it’s actually a very serious condition. Not only can it be mentally destructive and frustrating on its own, but it’s often the side effect of very serious physical conditions with much more serious consequences that expand far beyond sexual performance.
How does it occur, though? What seemingly removes a man’s sexual vigor without any sort of warning? Well, it’s not a simple answer.
Luckily, we’re going to go over what erectile dysfunction is, the effects it causes, and ultimately, how erectile dysfunction actually occurs. As a bonus, we’ll mention some ways to deal with it at the end.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is a condition that causes the penis to exhibit a few different sub-optimal behaviors. Naturally, a man becomes aroused, his penis becomes hard, and it doesn’t soften again until either the urge has passed or it has been satisfied by one means or another.
When a man has erectile dysfunction, that doesn’t occur. The man might become aroused mentally, but the penis might refuse to get hard at all. It might get semi-hard, which isn’t ideal for sex, and it might get fully erect just to become flaccid again long before satisfaction has been reached.
All of those occurrences can be very frustrating to experience.
How Erectile Dysfunction Affects a Man and His Sexual Relationships
Erectile dysfunction is more than just a minor inconvenience during sex, it’s a major dilemma and one that impacts a man’s mental health and relationships dramatically.
Sexual performance is a major part of a male’s confidence. Not only is it optimal to receive pleasure himself, but being able to satisfy a partner’s demands provides a massive confidence boost; it also strengthens relationships when it’s done properly.
When that sexual performance drops, a man can take a massive hit to his confidence. He can feel less important in his relationship, like a failure, or even as if he has lost his masculinity. This isn’t helped by the fact that a lack of sexual gratification between partners can cause frustration for both of them. The man’s partner might become resentful, and the frustration of not feeling sexually satisfied can easily become overbearing after a while.
These effects don’t just hurt a man’s bedroom life, though. They can spill into other, assumedly more important, parts of his life. A sexually unsatisfied partner who has developed a sense of resentment might start to distance themselves from the relationship; causing arguments, infidelity, or even a complete end to the relationship. The sexual frustration and lack of romantic connection might start to affect work, social relationships, and mindset, too.
Obviously, none of this is optimal. This has a major effect on a man’s mental state, and it’s by no means a laughing manner or something to be stigmatized.
When does Erectile Dysfunction Occur?
Erectile dysfunction can occur at any time. There have been some rare cases of younger men developing it. However, it is predominantly found in middle-aged men and older. So, when you start getting around age 35, it might be time to start really paying attention to how your penis is acting to hopefully catch any symptoms of the onset of erectile dysfunction early. The longer you allow it to develop, the more serious it gets, and the harder it is to treat it.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is not its own condition. There is no magic penis problem that pops up when you hit middle age. Instead, it tends to stem from other issues.
We’re going to go over how erectile dysfunction actually occurs in this section.
1: Mental Blocks
This is the simplest answer, but it’s rarely the cause of any persistent issues.
Sometimes, your heart just isn’t in it. Maybe you just got with a new partner, and you’re rushing into the bedroom before you’re truly comfortable? Maybe you’ve been having doubts about your partner’s fidelity or loyalty to the relationship, and your mind is preoccupied with that. Maybe there are social implications for your relationship such as dating an older woman and finding out she’s your coworker’s older relative. Any of those things can affect you mentally and take you out of the moment, making it difficult to get an erection even when you think you’re ready.
The difference between this and true erectile dysfunction is that this is typically very short-term. Yes, it might be embarrassing that first time or two, but if you spend more time with the person or overcome whatever mental obstacle you’re facing, you’ll probably start performing admirably again very soon.
Very seldomly is this something that affects a man for weeks, months, or especially years? The rest of this guide is going to focus on more long-term medical issues.
2: Scar Tissue
This is the most common reason erectile dysfunction occurs, and it can be caused by several underlying conditions. It’s also why men mostly experience erectile dysfunction when they’re older; scar tissue takes time to develop to meaningful levels.
Simply put, scar tissue develops in your penis. Now, the penis works by filling spongey chambers with blood when you get aroused. If scar tissue develops and blocks those chambers from filling, whether it blocks vessels from letting blood enter, or it hardens the chambers and prevents them from expanding, you will have trouble getting an erection. The extent of this issue will depend on how much scar tissue you’ve developed.
Scar tissue can develop in a number of ways. Being kicked or otherwise struck in the groin over and over again throughout the years doesn’t just hurt your testicles. It can create injuries in the penis that turn into scar tissue. You might get a little rambunctious during intercourse or self-gratification and create minor injuries that build up over time. You might even start developing it due to medical conditions that create unbalanced blood flow in the penis, or having a penis that is “hooked” or “curved” to too far of a degree can cause it to build up over time from just having sex.
No matter how it develops, scar tissue in the penis is typically what causes most cases of erectile dysfunction in otherwise healthy men.
3: High or Low Blood Pressure
As we mentioned above, an erection is directly caused by blood flow in the penis. So, anything that affects your blood flow is going to likely affect your penis, too. One of the most common causes of unnatural blood flow is high or low blood pressure. Both of these blood pressure issues can cause erectile dysfunction.
If your blood pressure is too high, you might get an erection briefly, but you’ll likely lose it after the spike has gone away. You might also have trouble getting one as people with high blood pressure typically are pumping blood very quickly to other parts of their body, and something spiking it further, such as an erection or an orgasm, can push it right over the edge.
If your blood pressure is too low, there’s simply not enough blood going to the penis to create a stable erection.
This, and every other cause we highlight below this one, is why you should seek medical attention if you notice the onset of erectile dysfunction. Yes, specialists can help you treat erectile dysfunction, but if you have an undiagnosed health issue causing it, you’re still going to need treatment for that health issue. You really want to find out exactly what’s causing the problem to prevent suffering something much worse; as you’ll see below.
4: Heart Disease and Heart Failure
If you ever wondered are heart disease and erectile dysfunction linked, you should know that it often causes erectile dysfunction. After all, the heart is the core of the cardiovascular system, and when it starts to fail, your blood flow drops significantly.
This is probably the most concerning cause of erectile dysfunction, and if you develop erectile dysfunction without knowing whether or not you have a heart problem, it might be the first sign that you need to see a doctor immediately.
Unfortunately, heart disease and heart failure tend to be high-risk conditions, and they are typically far more serious than not being able to get an erection. So, if this is the cause of your erection, not only will treatment be more difficult, but it should also probably take the backseat to heart health overall.
There are still options to help you enjoy a healthy sex life while suffering from heart disease or heart failure, though.
5: Heart-Attack Recovery
Heart attacks aren’t the end of your sex life just because you notice your erections are weaker or unable to occur afterward. A heart attack is a traumatic experience, and it takes time to recover. During that recovery period, it is normal for you to suffer from temporary erectile dysfunction. In this case, it is often best to wait until you’ve fully recovered to see if symptoms persist. If they do, there might be some non-invasive treatment options available in case scar tissue developed and created an erectile dysfunction problem.
How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction: Various Treatment Methods
There are several ways to treat erectile dysfunction. You’ve probably heard of the little blue pills, shots, pumps, etc.
We’re going to go over all of them, and we’ll give our honest opinions on whether each one is worthwhile.
Pills are probably the most commonly used method to treat ED, but they are not optimal.
Pills work by forcing your blood to pump faster and fill the penis. If you have an existing heart condition, even if you don’t know about it, that can kill you.
For obvious reasons, we don’t recommend this approach.
Pumps aren’t entirely bad. Especially when you compare them to pills. These are the pumps you might find in advertisements for “enlargement”. These can help with erectile dysfunction by stimulating and opening up the chambers in the penis. Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks.
First and foremost, improperly using pumps can cause the scar tissue we talked about earlier. So, it might worsen your erectile dysfunction if you’re not careful.
However, the two main problems with them are that they’re inefficient and embarrassing.
They’re inefficient because they don’t provide meaningful results. You can still lose your erection before sexual satisfaction is achieved, and you will have to pump every time you have sex. There are other treatments that don’t need to be used every single time you have sex.
Finally, who wants to get their partner in the mood, lay down to get sensual, and then have to pull out a weird contraption and start airing themselves up like a bike tire for a few seconds? It shouldn’t be embarrassing, but it definitely has a psychological impact.
These are surgically implanted rods in your penis. If that sounds invasive, risky, and if it provides faux results, that’s because all of that is true.
Some specialists can inject your penis directly with medication that helps resolve the issue. These medications are taken regularly, and they do provide results while being safer than pills. However, they still involve sticking a needle into the most private part of your body, and they’re never permanent.
5: Acoustic Wave Therapy
Finally, this is our most recommended method. ED treatment in New Orleans is non-invasive, resolves the actual issue causing most cases of erectile dysfunction, and the results are long-term.
This produces lasting results, and most patients visit once or twice before their ED is fully cured. More importantly, it’s a treatment that can be used regardless of your overall health. If you take a “little blue pill” while suffering a heart problem, you can die. Our ED medications are safe even if you’re suffering from serious ailments, and while it can’t stop heart disease, it can help improve blood flow in the penis to at least aid you in getting an erection even if you have it.