There are many factors that can contribute to ED as arousal is a complex process influenced by the brain, nerves, hormones, emotions, muscles and blood vessels.

Risk factors associated with ED include:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Medications
  • Stress or depression.

While ED itself is not a life-threatening disorder, it can be a sign of a more serious medical condition, including heart disease. This is because coronary heart disease occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries. This reduces the blood flow to the heart and affects the functioning of blood vessels, and this normally affects the blood vessels of the penis first.

It is advisable for men to see their doctor if they experience ED, so that they can be screened for underlying disease and potentially prevent a serious cardiac event in the future.

Because ED can be the first symptom of underlying heart disease, it is important to speak to your doctor about this condition and to address what the underlying cause might be.

Experiencing the occasional difficulty maintaining an erection is normal. But ongoing untreated erectile dysfunction can also have a profound psychological effect on a man’s self-esteem and on his personal relationships.

With an estimated one quarter of newly diagnosed erectile dysfunction patients being under the age of 40, seeing a medical practitioner about this condition is vital. The good news is that ED medications have evolved and improved and that there are many options available.