If you normally struggle to get an erection or you cannot maintain your erection during sexual intercourse, then you are suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED).
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is different from premature ejaculation.
With premature ejaculation, you get an erection but you ejaculate too quickly (under 5 minutes of thrusting).
While with ED, it is either, you cannot get an erection or when you get an erection, your penis just goes soft when you are thrusting in your woman’s vagina – no ejaculation it just goes limp!
Erectile dysfunction is a demoralizing condition that can affect any Nigerian man.
Apart from disappointing and causing dissatisfaction to his lover, the inability of a man to perform during sexual intercourse also causes embarrassment and shame to him.
If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, the good news is that erectile dysfunction can be treated!
Now, let us understand more about this male sexual health problem called erectile dysfunction and later on we would discuss how you can deal with it and move to penis enlargement to make your sex life wonderful!
What Exactly Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is more commonly known as impotence or weak erection by Nigerians.
This is a condition where a man cannot achieve or maintain an erection that is strong enough to have sexual intercourse.
Erectile dysfunction is a problem that can shatter your self-confidence and put a lot of stress in your relationship with your lover.
Although there are a few situations when you might find it difficult to get an erection or to maintain it during sexual intercourse, this is NOT the same as true erectile dysfunction.
In the case of a man suffering from erectile dysfunction, he would always have difficulties achieving an erection or maintaining it during sexual intercourse (again this is different from quick ejaculation, in this case the erection just subsides and there is no ejaculation).
The chances of having erectile dysfunction increases as we men grow older. However, as I mentioned in most cases ED can be treated with ease.
If your erection problems only occur rarely, then it means that the problem is not so serious and regular Kegel exercises can even solve the problem.
I also need to point out that most men would have had at least one experience where they could not get an erection or maintain it during sexual intercourse (I have had such experience before).
If you erection problem is becoming more persistent and worse, then it is obvious that the problem is cause by a physiological (physical) factor. In this situation, you need to consult with a medical doctor.
However, if you unexpectedly get erection difficulties but you still get erections when you wake up early in the morning or you can still an erection when you are masturbating, then there is nothing wrong with your body, it just means that your erectile dysfunction is psychological (mental).
What Are The Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction?
The causes of erectile dysfunction are divided into two factors:
- Psychological (Mental)
- Physiological (Physical)
The Psychological Factors That Cause Erectile Dysfunction
These factors include:
Performance Anxiety – This is the most common cause of erectile dysfunction. If you have previously failed to achieve an erection or sustain your erection during sexual intercourse, unnecessary worrying can actually cause it to occur again.
Guilt – this factor is linked to performance anxiety that I just mentioned. When a man feels guilt about his inability to sexual satisfy his partner, or he feels guilty about other issues in his relationship it can lead to performance anxiety which can cause erectile dysfunction.
Stress – Nigeria is a very stressful country, in fact there are some reports (such as this Bloomberg survey) that rank our country as being one of the most stress-out countries.
The fact is that the stress from your job, finances, career and other worries can cause problems for you in achieving or maintaining an erection.
Depression – Although depression is more obvious among women, it also affects a lot of Nigerian men and it affects both the emotional and physical well-being of a man.
Furthermore, a lot of the drugs that are used to treat depression also have the possible negative side effect of causing erectile dysfunction.
All these factors push the body to enter into a “fight or flight” mode.
Then stress hormones such as norepinephrine and epinephrine are triggered.
The increase of these hormones in the body causes the blood vessels in the penis to constrict. This makes it a lot more difficult to maintain or even achieve a healthy erection.
This starts a cycle, where you are troubled about your sexual performance, which causes more anxiety and stress, which causes the body to release more stress hormones and it turns into a self-fulfilling prediction.
The Physiological Factors That Cause Erectile Dysfunction
When erectile dysfunction is caused by a physical problem, it is usually because of blood circulation or nerve sensitivity problems.
The physiological causes of erectile dysfunction are different and they are grouped into three major sub-categories.
Blood Circulation Causes
The blood flow to your penis is very important. This is because your erection depends on blood flowing into the penis and being withheld by the cavernous tissues in the penile shaft.
Most of the cases of erectile dysfunction caused by physical factors are as a result of blood circulation problems. These problems include:
Cardiovascular Disease – cardiovascular disease (also known as heart disease) is usually linked to obesity and other harmful lifestyle choices.
This disease usually restricts the smooth flow of blood because it causes blockages in the blood vessels. This scenario makes it difficult to get and maintain an erection.
The most common causes of erectile dysfunction are: high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high cholesterol level.
Venous leak – For you to achieve and sustain an erection, blood needs to flow into your penis and then the veins constrict to keep the blood in the penis.
But, if the blood flows out the penis too fast, then it is regarded as a venous leak… this can cause erectile dysfunction. In some cases, venous leak is caused by disease and in the other cases it as a result of injury to the penis.
Kidney Disease – Kidney disease affects different areas of the body that are necessary for achieving a healthy erection. Some of these areas include: nervous system, circulatory system and hormone levels.
Kidney disease also affects a man’s physical stamina negatively and this can result in a big decrease in sex drive. And to make matters worse, some drugs that are used to treat kidney disease can cause erectile dysfunction as a side effect.
Surgical Operation Causes
Sometimes, the negative side effects of some surgical operations could be erectile dysfunction.
In this kind of scenario, the erectile dysfunction is physiologically-induced as it is a result of damage caused during the surgery process.
This kind of surgeries could include:
Bladder and Prostrate Cancer Surgery – Even though bladder and prostate cancer do not actually cause erection problems, the treatment for the diseases could cause erectile dysfunction.
The surgery performed for either of these two types of cancer can result in damaged tissues and nerves that are needed to achieve an erection. In a lot of cases, the damage heals itself after some months, but in some unfortunate cases, the damage never heals.
Surgeries Around The Pelvic Area – Any surgery that is done close to the genital area has a chance of causing erectile dysfunction.
Even penis enlargement surgery can cause nerve damage and result in permanent erectile dysfunction.
Drug Use Causes
Drug use, whether prescribed or illicit could cause erectile dysfunction. There are quite a lot of drugs that can adversely affect the ability of the penis to maintain blood during an erection.
These drugs include the following:
Alcohol and Nicotine – These two substances can destroy the blood vessels around the genital area that are important for achieving an erection.
Drinking and smoking can cause atherosclerosis, which decreases the blood flowing to the penis and increase your risks of having erectile dysfunction.
Some Prescription Drugs – There so many prescription drugs that are well known to cause erection problems as a negative side effect. Some of these types of medications include:
- Prostate cancer medications
- Anti-epileptic drugs
- High blood pressure medication
- Parkinson’s medication
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Antidepressants/Anti-anxiety medications
- Muscle relaxants
Nerve Sensitivity Causes
Damage caused as a result of trauma to the penis can cause erectile dysfunction.
There are other nerve damage issues caused by neurological diseases that can lead to erection problems. These neurological diseases include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
The nervous system plays a very important role in getting and maintaining a normal erection. These neurological diseases can interrupt with the signal between your penis and brain, resulting in erectile dysfunction.
Endocrine System Disorders Causes
The endocrine system is made up of a group of glands which include: pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, testes, thyroid gland, hypothalamus and adrenal glands.
These disorders include:
Uncontrolled Diabetes – If you manage your diabetes well, there is nothing to worry about. The problem comes when you don’t control diabetes properly.
Poorly controlled diabetes can damage the nerves and blood vessels that are needed to sustain an erection. Uncontrolled diabetes increases your chances of having erectile dysfunction.
Hormonal Problems – Low levels of testosterone or an imbalance of certain hormones can adversely affect your sex drive.
Hormone problems could be as a result of diseases like kidney disease and pituitary gland tumors or they could be as result of normal aging.
Physical Injury Causes
Injury to the spinal cord, bladder, pelvis and penis can also cause erectile dysfunction.
How To Distinguish Between ED Caused By Mental Factors and Physically-Induced Factors
Have you heard of the stamp test?
I talked about it in my other article about weak erections.
With a simple stamp test, you can know which type erectile dysfunction you suffer from.
When we men sleep at night, we get multiple erections during the night. If you get these unintentional erections, then it means that there is nothing wrong with the arteries, nerves and muscles that are involved in the process of achieving an erection.
To find out, wet a stamp (used for posting letters) and place it on your flaccid penis before you sleep at night.
If the stamp is broken or it is no longer on your penis in the morning then it means you had an erection while you were sleep. This signifies that your ED is not physically-induced but caused by mental issues.
In my next article I would talk about how to deal with the problem of erectile dysfunction.