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Causes of ED

Causes of ED

What are the causes of Erectile Dysfunction?

The causes of erectile dysfunction are many and varied, so before I get into the causes you will need to understand how an erection is caused in the first place.

The sexual arousal is a primitive function programmed into all animals including humans, sorry to be so blunt but that is the fact of the matter and there is very little that we can do about it.   The process of getting an erection begins within the subconscious mind.

It starts when certain trigger signals are received by way of one or more of our five senses, Sight, Sound, Taste, Smell and / or Touch.

In most creatures a significant signal is one of the Weather, you only have to consider the behaviour of the birds in Springtime to know that this is the case.   Nature has preprogramed this for very good reasons, mainly to ensure the success of the mating and so propagate the species.  And while we humans have tried to suppress this in-built factor, in many ways it remains true to us as well.

Smell is another easily recognised factor, just think for a moment about the way domestic dogs behave when there is a female of the species in the vicinity, we humans don’t have that degree of sensitivity when it comes to smell but it obvious that the smell of a neighbouring bitch on heat is enough to send the males into a frenzy.

Sight, well, we are all conscious of the fact that when we see someone of the opposite sex who meets our criteria of what we consider attractive it stirs up emotions within us.   But please note I refer here to ‘emotions’ which are psychological factors coming into play. 

The old adage “It is five percent friction and ninety five percent imagination” turns out to be pretty near the truth.

When we human males receive one or more of these signals it sets off a series of events.    The subconscious mind recognises them and sends a number of messages to the major glands, these in turn make all the various chemical signals to increase blood flow to the penis, raises the pulse rate, and many other requirements eventually resulting in an erection.   Getting in close proximity to one’s partner heighten the sensibilities and further signals in the form of Smell, Touch and even Taste click in, causing the changes in the brain that we recognise as desire to rise to a higher level in our conscious.  This in turn sets of the Secretion of the hormone oxytocin leads to rhythmic muscle contraction and ejaculation. The greater the quantity of this hormone the more and greater ejectulation results. 

 Production of further hormones including:

  • , which is the male hormone
  • Vasopressin is the hormone responsible for aggression, memories, and concentration in both sexes.
  • dopamine. Responsible for our feelings of pleasure
  • Arousal causes an output of nitrogen oxide and noradrenaline.

I have only described here a simplified description of what happens when we approach a sexual encounter, you will agree that its more complicated than at face value.   And you know what, when all this is happening to us, we don’t even notice consciously.

Now you are aware of just how complicated getting and maintaining an erection suitable for sex is you will appreciate that quite naturally the causes could be any of the areas described above.

Inability to get and maintain an erection suitable for sex is a description of Erectile Dysfunction, otherwise referred to as ‘Impotence’.

And so, to the causes

Physical causes

A weak body can obviously be counter to sexual activity since such acts will require the expenditure of considerable quantity of energy.

On the other hand, too much physical exercise can actually result in reduced Testosterone or just as bad too much.

Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, low blood pressure, and other conditions associated with the heart can affect one’s responses to sexual stimuli

Diabetes will also tend to lower a person’s sexual ability.

Most of the above will in turn cause reduced blood flow in the penis, and this is the most common symptom presented by ED patients. The causes for this are in themselves varied and complex as we shall see.

If there is damage or disease to the penis then before treatment for erectile dysfunction is considered it needs to be attended to.  This can take quite a few different approaches depending upon the condition.  

The most common being the prescription of oral medicines:

 •       avanafil (Stendra)

•        sildenafil (Viagra)

•        tadalafil (Cialis)

•        vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)

Of course, these medications are designed to treat the blood vessels in the penis and are therefore only addressing the symptoms.

Other physical treatments can be Injections, Creams, Splints inserted under surgery.  

 By far the majority of erectile dysfunction cases (over 85%) respond well to psychological treatments.   The reason for this is that as I have shown above, sexual activity is largely supported by the subconscious part of the brain.

The psychological factors which are predominately responsible for a man becoming impotent are

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Previous failures to achieve a suitable erection
  • Emotional factors such as strained relationships
  • Deep seated and /or forgotten memories from early life including abuse and mistreatment.

All of the above conditions are amenable to hypnotic treatment and most cases are usually relatively easily fixed.

I trust that answers the question of what causes ED.  If you have anything to comment or add you are most welcome to do so.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to explaining more about Erectile Dysfunction and its treatment in the coming weeks.

Alan L. Smith

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