Five common causes for impotence or erectile dysfunction

Five common causes for impotence.

Impotence is a condition that consistently affects a man’s ability to achieve or maintain an erection, or ability to achieve ejaculation. It’s a form of erectile dysfunction (ED).

There can be several contributing factors for impotence. These include both emotional and physical disorders. 

Approximately 50 percent of men ages 40 to 70 experience some ED at one time or another and the risk of impotence increases with age. Source: The Merck Manual

Impotence more often than not has a negative effect on more than sex life, causing depression, stress and low self-esteem.

It is a complicated problem. Here are five of the most common potential causes to help you understand why you may be experiencing impotence or erectile dysfunction.

1. Endocrine Diseases

The body’s endocrine system produces hormones that regulate metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, mood, and much more.

Diabetes is an example of an endocrine disease. A side effect associated with chronic diabetes is nerve damage which can affect penis sensation. Other diabetic complications are impaired blood flow and hormone levels. Both of which can contribute to impotence.

2. Neurological and nerve disorders.

Several neurologic conditions can increase the risk for impotence as impaired nerve function can affect the brain’s ability to communicate with the reproductive system. Neurological disorders that may be associated with impotence include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • brainor spinal tumors
  • multiple sclerosis
  • stroke
  • temporal lobe epilepsy

Men who’ve had surgery on their prostate gland may also experience nerve damage which may cause impotence.

Activities such as long distance bicycle, bike or horse riding which involve prolonged pressure on the buttocks or genitals may cause temporary impotence.

3. Medication.

Certain medications can affect blood flow, though we strongly warn against stopping prescribed medication without consulting your doctor.

Medications known to cause impotence include:

  • alpha-adrenergic blockers
  • beta-blockers
  • cancer chemotherapy medications
  • central nervous system depressants
  • central nervous system stimulants
  • diuretics
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • synthetic hormones

4. Heart-related conditions.

Any condition that affects the heart and its ability to pump blood properly can cause impotence. Without enough blood flow to the penis, an erection cannot be achieved or maintained.

A condition called Atherosclerosis causes blood vessels to become clogged. High cholesterol and high blood pressure (hypertension) are also associated with increased risks for impotence.

5. Lifestyle and emotional problems.

To achieve an erection, they need an emotional ‘excited’ response. When you are experiencing an emotional disorder, it affects the ability to become sexually excited.  

Depression, anxiety and fatigue can hinder sexual arousal. 

Performance anxiety (not to be under-estimated) can be a cause of impotence. 

Abuse of drugs like cocaine and amphetamines as well as alcohol can also cause impotence.