Phone: (713) 798-4001 | Houston, TX

Oct 9, 2014 — by Larry Lipshultz

A man thinking in his apartmentBased in Houston but serving patients throughout the state of Texas, Dr. Larry Lipshultz has helped countless patients deal with erectile dysfunction. There are many ways to address erectile dysfunction and restore a man's sexual performance. To determine the best treatment for ED, it's important to identify its cause.

Last week on this blog, we looked at five psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. Now we want to consider the physical causes of erectile dysfunction.

How common is erectile dysfunction caused by physical issues?

It's estimated that up to 80% of all cases of erectile dysfunction are the result of a physical problem of some kind. Of course, these physical problems may be related to a psychological issue as well or combined with a psychological issue.

Cause #1: Injuries

Any injuries that affect the penis, testicles, or general pelvic region can result in problems achieving or sustaining an erection.

Cause #2: Nerve and Brain Damage

Whether it occurs as a result of an injury, a botched surgery, or a medical condition (e.g., stroke, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis), neurological damage can affect sensation and arousal. This can make sustaining an erection and experiencing pleasure during sexual activity difficult.

Cause #3: Hormone Problems

We've already discussed issues with low testosterone (low T) and how that leads to male infertility. Various hormone can affect sperm quality and sperm count, and the best way to determine a treatment is performing blood work to evaluate hormone levels.

Cause #4: Prostate Problems

An enlarged prostate or medical treatments that are performed to address prostate cancer can both have an impact on your ability to achieve or sustain an erection.

Cause #5: Diabetes

Diabetes is related to plenty of vascular health and general wellness problems, so it should come as no surprise that people with diabetes notice increased instances of erectile dysfunction.

Cause #6: Problems with Blood Vessels

Various kinds of vascular conditions can lead to issues with blood flow. These not only increase the risk of heart disease, but they can affect the circulation around the penis and genitals, causing erectile dysfunction.

Cause #7: Venous Leak

Erections occur when the penis becomes engorged with blood. A venous leak, which can be caused by systemic conditions or trauma, refers to cases in which the veins in the penis cannot keep the blood in place, leading to the loss of an erection.

Cause #8: Obesity

Obesity carries with it many health issues, among them are diabetes and vascular disorders. Many people who are obese also suffer from psychological issues that may contribute to their erectile dysfunction.

Cause #9: Smoking and Tobacco Products

Smoking and tobacco products in general are bad for you in so many ways. Tobacco products will cause vascular and blood flow problems. This is just another reason to quit or not start in the first place.

Cause #10: Prescription Medication and Illegal Drugs

A number of prescription medications and illegal drugs can both cause erectile dysfunction after use. Keep these side effects in mind when taking your medication; keep these consequences in mind the next time you consider using illegal substances.

Learn About Your Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

For more information about erectile dysfunction and how it can be treated, it's important that you contact our men's health center today. Dr. Larry Lipshultz will carefully assess your situation and will determine the ideal therapy to help you.