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As men, we struggle to talk about erectile dysfunction (ED). It can be embarrassing. Not feeling like yourself can impact your self-esteem and how you interact with others. You may feel like you’re alone, but one in two men over the age of 40 are affected by ED. Let’s talk about it.
What is erectile dysfunction and what are some common causes? ED is the consistent inability to get an erection sufficient for sex. This can include not getting an erection at all, getting one inconsistently, or getting one that does not stay hard enough for sex.
ED occurs when your brain doesn’t send enough or any signals to the penis, when there isn’t enough blood flow, or when tissue in the penis is damaged. For more than 80 percent of men with ED, the cause is from a physical problem or disorder.
Common causes of ED include aging, physical injuries, diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, surgery, or even substance use, such as drugs, alcohol, or prescription medications.
The cause of your ED can usually be identified, and proper treatment can help you return to a healthy and satisfying sex life. Talk with your urologist to learn more about erectile dysfunction and potential treatment options.