Impotence is characterized by the inability of a man to consistently achieve or maintain an erection, or inability to ejaculate. There are several factors that lead to the development of impotence. These can range from emotional to physical stress or both. According to the latest studies conducted on men with impotency, an estimated 50% of all men from the age 40 to 70 experience erectile dysfunction atleast once in their lifetime. Another important thing observed in the study was that the risk of impotence generally increased with age. As such, older men were more prone to being at the risk of suffering from impotence or erectile dysfunction(ED).
It has also been noted that men who maintained a healthier lifestyle are less likely to suffer from impotence. Men suffering from impotence experience a profound effect on their mental state, sex life, depression and self-esteem. Hence, there is a need to be better educated about these problems.
The most common potential causes are listed below to help a person identify the reason for their condition.
- Endocrine Diseases
The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things.
A common example of endocrine disease that can cause a person to suffer from impotence is diabetes. Diabetes has an adverse effect on the body’s ability to use insulin produced in the pancreas. Diabetes can affect the sensation in the penis since it can cause nerve damage. Also, it can impair the blood flow and hormone levels. Both of these factors are well known to cause impotence.
- Neurological and Nerve Disorders
Neurological disorders are diseases of the brain, spine and the nerves that connect them. There are more than 600 diseases of the nervous system, such as brain tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and stroke as well as less familiar ones such as frontotemporal dementia.
Neurological disorders damage the brain’s capability to communicate with the reproductive organs. This results in a person’s inability to achieve an erection.
Several neurological disorders which can cause impotence are:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Brain or spinal tumors
- Multiple sclerosis
- Temporal lobe epilepsy
Prostate gland surgery can also cause nerve damage leading to impotence. Bicycle riders also encounter temporary impotence.
- Taking medications
Certain medications affect the blood flow which can lead to erectile dysfunction. However, it is not advisable to stop those medication without the doctor’s permission.
Medications which are known to cause impotence include:
- Alpha-adrenergic blockers, including tamsulosin (Flomax)
- Beta-blockers, such as carvedilol (Coreg) and metoprolol (Lopressor)
- Cancer chemotherapy medications, such as cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Central nervous system depressants, such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) and codeine
- Central nervous system stimulants such as cocaine or amphetamines
- Diuretics, such as furosemide (Lasix) and spironolactone (Aldactone)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs (Prozac, Paxil)
- Synthetic hormones such as leuprolide (Eligard)
- Cardiac Conditions
Cardiac conditions affect the ability of the heart to pump blood. As a result, not enough blood flows to the penis hindering the person from achieving an erection.
Atherosclerosis, high cholesterol and high blood pressure can cause an increase risk for impotence.
- Lifestyle and Emotional Disorders
To achieve an erection, the person first has to receive enough sexual stimulation. This can be classified as an emotional response. Men with emotional disorder find it difficult to become sexually excited.
Emotional disorders like depression and anxiety can contribute to impotency.
Usually men also suffer from impotency due to performance anxiety. A person with erectile dysfunction due to performance anxiety may be able to achieve erections while masturbating.
Alcohol can also cause erectile dysfunction.
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