Erectile dysfunction isn’t a disease; it’s a symptom
Men come with their own built-in health gauge: It’s called the penis. The more quickly and vigorously this health gauge responds – so to speak – the less a man has to worry about. That’s because erections depend on important components of a guy’s overall health – his blood flow, heart strength, hormone levels, nerve function, even brain performance – all can be causes of erectile dysfunction. If there are troubles in any of those sectors, his gauge will indicate it.
Health Direct Australia estimates that erectile dysfunction (ED) affects one million men in Australia and is more common in older men. ED is medically defined as the ‘consistent or recurrent inability to attain and/or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual satisfaction.’
Occasional erection trouble isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. Some temporary causes of erectile dysfunction can stem from excessive alcohol consumption, stress, fatigue, or even just having an argument with your partner. But if it interferes with having sex more than 50 per cent of the time, then there’s an underlying physical or psychological issue that needs treatment. Erectile dysfunction isn’t a disease; it’s a symptom. And, as you’re about to find out, some causes of erectile dysfunction can be life-threatening.
Erection trouble is difficult to diagnose even for doctors because it has so many potential causes. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction, along with some advice on remedying them.
Too much fun
Although alcohol and other recreational drugs may heighten sexual desire initially, they usually sap it the more you indulge. Even young men can struggle to get an erection after a hard night of partying. If the trouble disappears with your hangover, then you don’t have anything to worry about. But because so much of a man’s ego is tied to his privates, struggling to perform when you’re under the influence can undermine your confidence and build into the next common cause of erectile dysfunction.
Worrying about being unable to get an erection can actually lead to it happening more often. This is because any type of anxiety triggers the release of adrenaline, which in turn directs blood flow away from less vital organs like the penis. And rich oxygenated blood is the foundation of erections. Without it, nothing happens. Performance anxiety can also stem from worries about premature ejaculation, being with a new partner, or being unable to get a spouse pregnant. Whatever the case, the key is not to get all twisted up about it. Having an understanding and supportive partner helps.