What are the Physical Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

There are a several underlying physical causes of erectile dysfunction that can make diagnosis and treatment somewhat difficult. Some are temporary, such as the occasional excess use of alcohol, in which case the impotence is not labeled as ED. However, in other cases, it is the result of some long-term diseases, such as diabetes or Parkinson's. disease.

It is not always a simple matter to tell the difference between the two categories, either. Many surgical procedures will introduce temporary impotence that could be labelled as erectile dysfunction, since it may take time to disappear spontaneously. On the other hand, the condition may become permanent.

Certain urological operations such as bladder surgery or removal of a prostate tumor, can cause temporary impotence that can last for weeks or months. In cases of certain spinal injuries and/or surgery, the nerves needed to transmit arousal signals may have sustained damage. Such injuries tend to have long-term, often permanent effects. However 'often' is not always and even then the ED may be treatable.

A wide variety of non-surgical procedures can produce temporary impotence, and in a small percentage of cases, permanent though treatable erectile dysfunction. Radiation therapy to the testicles, one treatment for testicular cancer, falls into that category.

Unfortunately, a dizzying array of diseases can cause erectile dysfunction. For instance, hypogonadism, is a condition in which the testes produce low testosterone while multiple sclerosis is another culprit.

A relatively rare, but hardly unknown, condition called Peyronie's disease can also be the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction. It produces scar tissue under the penis, causing it to curve. If the scar tissue is sufficient, it can produce cell rigidity that prevents the spongy tissue in the penis from being able to fill with enough blood.

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of ED, especially as the disease increases among younger population groups. It can alter hormone balance, produce long-term nerve damage, injure blood vessels and much more. All of those can result in erectile dysfunction.

Fortunately, erectile dysfunction is often treatable to the point of elimination, even though the disease may continue to persist. Diabetes, for example, has many fewer long-term debilitating effects today, thanks to improved disease management techniques. The ED that sometimes accompanies it can often be completely cured.

Since there are varieties of medical conditions that can cause high blood pressure, also a symptom of many underlying diseases, there are an equal number of things that can produce erectile dysfunction. High blood pressure can, over the long term; cause nerve damage that can lead to ED. High blood pressure also increases the odds of a stroke, which is another possible cause of erectile dysfunction.

Thanks to contemporary treatment options, even though there are a bewildering number of possible underlying causes, erectile dysfunction can very often be treated independently. Such treatments are frequently very effective. Starting with a professional diagnosis is the first step.

Page Updated: December 25, 2016
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