Erectile Dysfunction: Treatments and Causes

Erectile Dysfunction - Treatments and Causes | HealthSoul

In simple terms, erectile dysfunction is the inability to hold or keep an erection to perform sexual activities. Most men experience erectile dysfunction from time to time. In such cases, it is not a cause for concern.

However, it may be time to visit the urologist when it starts happening regularly. Erectile dysfunction occurs when there is limited blood flow in the penis.

Other reasons, like stress, atherosclerosis, heart disease, high blood sugar from diabetes, etc., can also cause erectile dysfunction. The only way to cure this is by registering for an Erectile Dysfunction Treatment.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Many factors that affect the vascular, nervous, and endocrine systems can cause erectile dysfunction. These include:

1. Type 2 Diabetes 

Type 2 diabetes is a common type of diabetes detected in people from around the world. This is a disease where the blood glucose, also called blood sugar, gets high than when it should normally be. This problem is found mostly in middle-aged and older people.

People who have a family history of type 2 diabetes or those suffering from obesity are at a higher risk of incurring this disease.

Men with type 2 diabetes often suffer from erectile dysfunction. The reason behind this is limited blood flow or damage to nerves and blood vessels caused as a result of poor long-term blood sugar control.

2. Atherosclerosis

This is a condition where fatty deposits called plaques spread in the arteries. This plaque consists of fats, cholesterol, and other substances. The accumulation of these deposits causes the narrowing of arteries that blocks blood flow.

Sometimes, these plaques burst, causing blood clots. In extreme conditions, atherosclerosis can take a person’s life through heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, peripheral arterial disease, and transient ischemic attacks.

Atherosclerosis can also cause erectile dysfunction. This happens because the blood vessels are unable to provide blood to the penis during sexual stimulation because of endothelial dysfunction.

3. High Blood Pressure 

High blood pressure is also called hypertension. This is a condition where the blood flow in the vessels is registered to be much greater than normal. This can cause heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, etc.

Due to high blood pressure, there is limited blood flow to the penis. This makes it difficult to hold erections, thereby causing erectile dysfunction.

4. Penile Curvature

Penile Curvature, or Peyronie’s Disease, is a condition where scar tissues develop under the skin of the penis. This scar tissue is also called plaque.

This plaque builds inside the thick elastic membrane called the tunica albuginea.

Tunica albuginea is an organ that helps in keeping the penis stiff during erection. As the plaque develops, it pulls the surrounding tissues, resulting in a curved or bent penis during erection.

Penile curvature causes extreme pain and discomfort during erection. The curve of the penis causes erectile dysfunction, making sex difficult, painful, or even impossible.

5. Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system. In this condition, the immune system cells that protect us from viruses, bacteria, etc. attack myelin in the central nervous system.

Myelin is a protective sheath that coats nerve fibers. This results in communication between the brain and other body parts.

Psychological impairment as a result of multiple sclerosis causes difficulty initiating or maintaining an erection in men. Multiple sclerosis affects the lesions in the cortex and spinal cord. This causes numbness or paresthesias that also has a direct effect on the genitals.

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6. Surgery for Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a condition where malignant cancer cells accumulate in the tissues of the bladder. This cancer mostly affects older adults and can cause blood and pain during urination.

The treatment of bladder cancer can cause adverse effects on the sex life of the person. Some treatments damage the nerves that help in holding the erection. Pelvic radiation therapy is a common treatment for bladder cancer.

7. Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is found in the prostate. The prostate is a small gland that produces seminal fluid. This seminal fluid is necessary to nourish and transport sperm. Prostate cancer occurs when these cells start growing aggressively in the prostate. This cancer can cause difficulty in urination.

After prostate cancer surgery, many men experience erectile dysfunction. The radical prostatectomy is where the prostate gland is removed and completed. This operation can also cause injury to tiny nerves, muscles, and blood vessels that are necessary to hold erections.

Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

There are countless treatments available for erectile dysfunction. However, the physician will also advise the patient to change food habits, exercise regularly, stop smoking, and give up on drinking. The treatment for ED includes:

1. Oral Drugs

Oral drugs, like PDE type-5 inhibitors, are prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction. These help in increasing the penile blood flow.

Men are advised to take these pills an hour or two before any sexual activity. However, if you are taking nitrate for your heart, these oral drugs should be avoided at any cost.

2. Vacuum Erection Device

A vacuum erection device is a tube made of plastic where the penis is placed. The tube seals closely with the skin of the penis.

The pump at the tube’s other end helps create a low-pressure vacuum around the erectile tissues. This helps in achieving an erection. Once this is achieved, an elastic ring is placed at the base of the penis, which helps in holding blood in the penis for around 30 minutes.

3. Testosterone Therapy

Testosterone therapy is advised when a low testosterone level is the cause of erectile dysfunction. Low testosterone levels can cause stress, irritability, low libido, reduced muscle mass, and many more. This therapy is administered along with PDE type 5 inhibitors to treat erectile dysfunction.

4. Intraurethral Therapy

Intraurethral therapy is another treatment for erectile dysfunction. In this procedure, a small medicated pellet, Alprostadil, is placed in the urethra.

This helps in increasing the blood flow by expanding the blood vessels. The person is able to hold an erection because of the increase in blood flow to the penis.


Erectile dysfunction is a cause of concern for many men. While countless treatments are available to treat ED, it is always advisable to get a professional opinion. The doctor will suggest the best and most relevant treatment method based on your medical history and lifestyle.