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Why Can’t I Get an Erection?

by | Apr 1, 2021 | Resources

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (or impotence) means that you cannot get or maintain an erection. It is very common, especially in men over the age of 40. It is usually not serious and can be treated with lifestyle changes or medication.

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What causes erectile dysfunction?

Usually it’s caused by non-physical problems such as:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Tiredness
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Cycling

The common physical causes of erectile dysfunction can include:

  • Reduced blood flow to the penis
  • Diabetes
  • Nerve damage
  • Hormonal causes
  • Side effects of certain medications (including antidepressants, beta-blockers and diuretics)
  • Excess outflow of blood from the penis through the veins
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When should I see a doctor for erectile dysfunction?

See a doctor if you’re frequently and consistently finding it difficult to get an erection, and especially if not getting early morning erections.

 

What can I do about my erectile dysfunction?

  • WEIGHT LOSS : Maintaining a healthy weight not only reduces your risk of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, but it can also prevent you from developing erectile dysfunction
  • STOP SMOKING : Research has shown that smoking increases your risk of developing erectile dysfunction; the build-up of plaque in arteries can cause circulatory problems, which can affect the blood vessels that supply the penis
  • REDUCE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION : A high consumption of alcohol can affect your ability to maintain an erection, so you should aim to limit drinking to no more than 14 units of alcohol per week
  • REDUCE STRESS AND ANXIETY : Psychological factors can have a significant impact on your ability to achieve and maintain an erection, so it is important to find ways to reduce stress and anxiety; talk to your doctor about whether you and your partner might benefit from counselling to help with this
  • EXERCISE : Physical exercise is vital to reduce your risk of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, but can also reduce your levels of stress, contribute to weight loss and prevent erectile dysfunction; avoid cycling for a few weeks as this can make erectile dysfunction worse
  • MEDICATION : If your doctor or pharmacist has prescribed or recommended any medications to treat erectile dysfunction, you should take these as advised

 

References

NHS Choices: Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)

Patient.info: Erectile Dysfunction

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