The health care provider will ask about the firmness and duration of erections at different times (e.g., sex with partners, erections after sleep). Discussing sexual dysfunction with a health care provider is very important because many conditions causing it can be successfully treated. If a man has no diseases that cause ED and can have an erection with masturbation or early morning awakening, he likely has ED due to psychological causes.
For clinical practice, erectile dysfunction is the most important form of male sexual disorders. In the majority of patients causation and course of their erectile disorder is determined by a close interplay of somatic and psychosocial factors. This psychosomatic interaction has to be taken into account during diagnostic assessment and therapy. The old dichotomous concepts (psychogenic versus organic) of erectile dysfunction have to be replaced by multidimensional models that include dispositonal as well as chronifying factors. The main causes of psychogenic erectile disorders can be divided into three groups, each belonging to a different phase of time: 1. immediate factors (performance anxiety), 2. antecedent life events from recent history, 3. developmental vulnerabilities from childhood and adolescence. The most important instrument for the psychological evaluation of sexually dysfunctional patients is a comprehensive sexual history in which partner related aspects should be particularly focused. In treating psychogenic erectile dysfunctions sex therapy is a reliable and efficient treatment option with a reasonably good long-term prognosis. In future, sex therapy should be combined with somatic treatment options to reach a truly integrative approach to this complex disorder.
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ED usually has something physical behind it, particularly in older men. But psychological factors can be a factor in many cases of ED. Experts say stress, depression, poor self-esteem, and performance anxiety can short-circuit the process that leads to an erection. These factors can also make the problem worse in men whose ED stems from something physical.
Yes. Stress definitely can cause erectile dysfunction (ED). It may become an issue with a new relationship or when challenges at work become overwhelming. These issues can interfere with “erotic focus” or “awareness of sensory experience.” Basically, it can take someone out of “the moment” making maintaining an erection a challenge. In fact, while stress is a common cause of erectile dysfunction in those under the age of 40, it can be responsible for ED at any age. Also, while younger men are more likely to have a psychological reason for their ED, physical reasons cannot be excluded. Nevertheless, in younger men the causes are often related to stress, depression, extreme anxiety, or some other disruption in their emotional state. Young men may have physical reasons that cause ED, including issues like abnormal hormone production, trauma that affects the blood vessels of the penis, Peyronie’s disease that causes a bend in the penis, neurological conditions that affect the transmission of signals that result in erections, drug or alcohol use, or the use of medications as simple as antihistamines. Also, in men under the age of 40, ED can be an early sign that vascular disease is beginning to affect them. An erection is an indicator of a man’s general health. It is always worth exploring the possible physical issues that could be at work. Nevertheless, in the younger population stress and depression are not uncommon causes of ED.
Many common prescription drugs—like allergy medication, antidepressants, and blood pressure pills—can cause erectile dysfunction. In fact, 8 of the 12 most commonly prescribed medications list “erectile dysfunction” as a side effect. Prescription medication can cause decreased libido, reduced sensitivity, and even interfere with normal blood flow. Prescription drugs that commonly cause medically induced erectile dysfunction include:
Erectile dysfunction is when a man either can’t have an erection or can’t keep an erection long enough to have sex. For only 20% of men with ED, the cause is due to a psychological problem or disorder.2 When the cause of your ED is due to a physical condition, your ED is not a reflection on you or your sexual partner, since lack of arousal isn’t the problem.
If you are having problems achieving or maintaining an erection you may want to take a look at your medicine cabinet first. There are a number of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that may cause erectile dysfunction. While these drugs may treat a disease or condition, they can also affect a man's hormones, nerves, or blood circulation, resulting in ED or increase the risk of ED.
Difficulty maintaining an erection happens from time to time and often has no underlying causes. It’s very common and doesn’t always mean that anything is wrong. Sometimes all it takes is trying new things with your partner(s) and focusing on ways to help sex work for you. Focusing on past experiences of losing erections can increase feelings of anxiety.
What’s good for the soul (cycle) may not be good for your member. The research is somewhat controversial, but the link between cycling and ED is getting stronger. In fact, anything that places pressure on the pudendal artery can result in penile numbness and impotence. For those of you who don’t remember these from anatomy class, this is the area commonly referred to as the “undercarriage.”
The lab testing obtained for the evaluation of erectile dysfunction may vary with the information obtained on the health history, physical examination, and recent lab testing. A testosterone level is not necessary in all men; however, a physician will order labs to determine a patient's testosterone level if other signs and symptoms of hypogonadism (low testosterone) such as decreased libido, loss of body hair, muscle loss, breast enlargement, osteoporosis, infertility, and decreased penile/testicular size are present.

Sildenafil is available as oral tablets at doses of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. Patients should take sildenafil approximately one hour before sexual activity. In some men, the onset of action of the drug may be as early as 11-20 minutes. It's best for men to take sildenafil on an empty stomach for best results since absorption and effectiveness of sildenafil can be diminished if it is taken shortly after a meal, particularly a meal that is high in fat. Sildenafil and the other PDE5 inhibitors don't cause an immediate erection. Sexual stimulation is necessary for these medications to work.
Does drinking water improve erectile dysfunction? Erectile dysfunction or ED is a common concern for men. Everyday factors, such as hydration levels, may affect a person's ability to get or maintain an erection. Drinking water may, therefore, help some men with ED. In this article, learn about the link between hydration and ED, and other factors that can cause ED. Read now

"Stress and anxiety can adversely affect sexual performance and are common causes of erectile dysfunction,” warns Feloney. “Feelings of stress and anxiety can also lead to depression and a loss of interest in sex." It's important to get these feelings out in the open where you can deal with them. Issues that can lead to erectile dysfunction include fear from previous bad experiences with sex, family or work related stress, poor communication with your partner, and unrealistic goals and expectations.


“Although having sex at 70 is not the same as having sex at 20, erectile dysfunction is not a normal part of aging,” according to Michael Feloney, MD, urologic surgeon and expert on sexual dysfunction issues at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. “You should still be able to have a satisfying sex life as you age." If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, these 10 dos and don'ts may help.
The pills currently available by prescription all work the same way—by boosting the effects of NO in the penis. They typically have mild side effects. Some work faster but others last longer. There is no “best” drug, as some will work better for some men than others, but they all are about equally effective at increasing the hardness of an erection. Pills don’t work for everyone. The main risk is using them with nitroglycerine which can be fatal and must absolutely be avoided.
ED is common among patients with cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Sexual problems usually precede the onset of CVD, and should, therefore, be considered as a risk factor for cardiac events. Similarly, patients with preexisting CVD are at increased risk of experiencing ED. Therefore, ED and CVD might be considered as two different clinical manifestations of the same systemic disease.19
The contents of your medicine cabinet could affect your performance in the bedroom. A long list of common drugs can cause ED, including certain blood pressure drugs, pain medications, and antidepressants. But do not stop taking any medicines without talking to your doctor first. Street drugs like amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana can cause sexual problems in men, too.
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