Erectile Dysfunction 101: Understanding the Basics

If there are times when a man has a difficult time having an erection, it is not always a cause for concern. However, if the issue persists, then a significant amount of stress can take place and affect relationships and self-confidence.

When an erection is hard to obtain or maintain, there may also be other health conditions going on that need to be uncovered. When you are concerned about your health, you need to consult healthcare experts. This way, when an underlying condition is treated, you will have a higher chance of the condition being reversed.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

In order to understand how impotence is caused, it is important to understand what an erection is. For a man to have an erection, there must be a certain amount of communication going on in the body that involves a man’s nerves, hormones, blood, and emotions.

If issues are found within any of these areas, an erection may be difficult. When impotence occurs it may be caused by the following:

  • Trauma to the groin area
  • Neurological condition
  • Vascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Psychological conditions
  • Low testosterone levels

Definition of Erectile Dysfunction

Also known as impotence, erectile dysfunction inhibits a man’s ability to obtain and maintain an erection in order to enjoy sex. It is estimated that 1 out of 10 men may experience the effects of impotence as they get older. Knowing this means that the ED may suggest another deep problem. While impotence is not considered normal, it is able to cause significant interference with other normal activities such as enjoying sexual intercourse.

How ED Affects Men of Different Ages

While not every man will develop impotence as they get older, age does play a role in a man’s risk of having ED. In fact, by the time the age of 40 is reached, his chance of impotence increases by more than 45%. When the man is older than 40, the chance of ED is increased by 15%.

Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction

When diagnosing impotence, a lot of times it only needs an examination by your doctor and reviewing your medical history. Once you are examined and diagnosed with the condition, then a treatment plan can be developed. When ED is thought to be caused by other means, then further testing may be ordered, such as the following:

  • Psychological testing
  • Ultrasounds
  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests
  • Physical exam
  • Possible Physical Causes of Impotence

Before the causes of impotence were known, it was believed to be caused by physical conditions such as arterial plaque buildup and preceded any heart problem that arose. The belief was that blood flow was restricted because of the buildup of plaque, and resulting in dysfunction.

Despite this, it is believed that the cause for impotence is more due to a problem with the smooth muscle and endothelium of the blood vessel. When a dysfunction is taking place within the endothelium, the blood supply is inadequate and causes the penis’ blood flow to become impaired, which can then turn into atherosclerosis.

Although ED may not suggest that heart health is involved, it is believed that if there are no obvious physical causes, then an exam should be obtained by a doctor so that proper treatments can begin.

Psychological Causes

Sometimes when a physical cause is not present and the individual has no cardiovascular issues, then there may be a psychological issue going on. If this the case, then the following causes may be taking place:

A feeling of indifference

This may be caused by the lack of sexual interest, medications, the man’s age, or relationship problems in general.

Self-esteem is decreased

The decrease in self-esteem may result due to multiple episodes of ED. It can also be caused by unrelated issues.


From the moment that impotence is experienced, the man may become concerned about the issue recurring. When anxiety happens, it may affect sexual performance or create a fear of not being able to perform.


The stress a man experiences can stem from having problems related to a marriage, job, or money and can be a factor in impotence.

Feeling depressed

Depression has been shown to be a contributing factor to impotence. Besides having a physical effect, depression can also be psychological in nature. Impotence caused by depression can even take place while the man feels comfortable prior to a sexual event. Be aware of the drugs used to treat depression as they could also lead to erectile dysfunction.

Feeling guilty

When a man is feeling guilty, they may feel that their partner is not feeling satisfied.

Lifestyle Factors

Many factors in life can cause impotence, so sometimes there needs to be some lifestyle changes made. These could involve losing weight, decreasing your alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking.

When exercise is increased, erectile dysfunction can actually improve and is actually a form of natural treatment. In fact, a man has more than a 40% chance of decreasing impotence just by exercising for 30 minutes.

If stress is an issue, then attending yoga classes or meditating will provide a positive lifestyle change that can help reverse erectile dysfunction.

Available Treatments

While there are many different medications to treat impotence, there are many other remedies that are just as effective and are less invasive. The well-known types of treatments for this condition include:

Traditional Treatments

The traditional treatments involved include a variety of methods and changes surrounding a person’s diet being changed, ensuring that enough sleep is obtained, and the inclusion of herbal supplements may also help.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

BHRT from Evolve can help you experience better sexual health and improve erectile dysfunction issues. Evolve offers personalized treatments that fit your lifestyle, and the best part is you can receive treatment delivered right to your door. A physician will work with you to figure out the best solution for your needs.

Addressing the Stigma

Experiencing impotence can be an overwhelming experience for a man and could have a lot of impact on how the way a man feels overall. Below are a few things that need to be understood to eliminate the stigma.

The Emotional Impact

There are many commonalities between men who are experiencing impotence and many involve feeling frustrated, guilty, ashamed, unloved, or rejected by their partner. It can be exceptionally difficult to have an understanding of why this is happening.

Coping Strategies

When impotence needs to be dealt with, it needs to be understood by the partner. This is because it affects them in a sexual manner. Regardless, this does not mean the man will openly discuss the issue. This may be due to a feeling of embarrassment and feeling less of a man. This is a lot for a man to handle, but when a partner is actively involved positively, they can provide a significant amount of support.

In order to approach the sensitive nature of impotence with a partner, there are a few strategies that can be used.

  • Using other ways to express love
  • Use reassurance
  • Talk about it openly
  • Attend doctor appointments together
  • Be familiar with available treatments for the condition


Erectile dysfunction is not something a man ever wants to experience. Not only can it be a devastating condition physically, but the man’s mentality can be adversely affected. However, having the right attitude and knowing how to go about it in a positive light will be able to help you overcome the condition and even reverse it. If you are in need of additional information, you need to get in touch with Evolve Telemedicine today to schedule a consultation.

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