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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get and maintain an erection firm enough during sex.

Most men will experience this a few times in their lifetime and it’s not a cause for concern, however if it’s happening more often than not, it might be time to discuss this with your doctor.

Arousal is a complex process as there are many internal factors involved – brain, emotions, nerves, muscles, blood vessels and hormones. If one or many of these are not quite right, erectile dysfunction can result. Not just arousal can affect this however, stress, mental health or external factors can also play a huge part such as alcohol and/or drugs.

Physical Causes

In many cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by something physical. Common causes include:

  • Heart disease
  • Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome — a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Tobacco use
  • Peyronie’s disease — development of scar tissue inside the penis
  • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
  • Sleep disorders
  • Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
  • Low testosterone

Psychological Causes

The brain plays a powerful role in triggering the right events to cause an erection, such as arousal and excitement. Though factors can interfere with this and can cause or worsen ED. These could include:

  • Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns

Other Causes

ED is not a simple one cause fixes all kind of scenario and there are even more causes than just physical and psychological. Such as…

  • Age
  • Tobacco use
  • Being overweight
  • Certain medications
  • Injuries
  • Drug and alcohol use

So, what should you do?

The best way to prevent ED is to make healthy lifestyle choices and to manage any existing health conditions. For example:

  • Work with your doctor to manage diabetes, heart disease or other chronic health conditions.
  • See your doctor for regularly.
  • Stop smoking, limit or avoid alcohol, and don’t use illegal drugs.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Take steps to reduce stress.
  • Get help for anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns.

ED is more common than you think, and something all men should feel comfortable talking about. Let Stagger assist your ED concerns. When you choose Stagger, you can skip the uncomfortable waiting room and the awkward trip to the chemist. Get Started now, we even handle your repeats!

This guide is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your medical practitioner.