Erectile dysfunction - the sexual dysfunction most men dread the most. But while so many men fear it, there is still a big knowledge gap when it comes to what causes it.
Most of us know that erectile dysfunction is usually caused by blood flow issues. Some of us also heard that diabetes can lead to erectile dysfunction. But the truth is the male erection is a result of a complex physiological and psychological process that can be interrupted in a number of different ways.
In this article, we will review some of the less-discussed (but still common) causes of erectile dysfunction.
Medication side effects
Most people or unaware of this, but there are quite a few medications that can cause erectile issues as a side effect. This of course isn’t a permanent issue, and when you stop using the medication, your erectile issues will most probably be resolved, but this is still not a pleasant experience. Especially when you don’t know what’s going on.
So, what types of medications can lead to erectile dysfunction? Different high blood pressure medications and certain heartburn medications can be at fault. So, if you’ve started taking this kind of medication and suddenly experienced erectile issues, speak to your doctor.
Another type of medication that can lead to erectile problems is antidepressants, but here things get a bit tricky since depression is also a cause of erectile dysfunction. Luckily, there are different types of antidepressants that act differently from one another. If you’re on antidepressants and have erectile issues, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about switching medications.
Porn induced erectile dysfunction
Can watching too much porn directly lead to erectile dysfunction? This question is still in debate. But what we do know is that there is a large number of men who complain about the fact that their porn-watching habits have caused them to experience erectile issues.
So, what is it about watching too much porn that can lead to erectile dysfunction? The more conventional explanation is that men who watch too much porn are more prone to developing performance anxiety. Porn creates an unreal image of what sex looks like, and of how men are expected to perform sexually.
This distorted image puts men under a lot of pressure to perform, which can lead to performance anxiety. This is especially true for younger men. Recent data shows that the average age that men start watching porn went down all the way to 13.67 years old. For these younger men, porn is their first introduction to sex, which is definitely not positive.
Another more controversial theory explains that continuous exposure to hardcore sexual content desensitizes a person up to a point where real-life sex doesn’t provide enough arousal for him to get an erection. This theory is based on models taken from substance addiction research. It’s important to note that although this theory is common online, most sexual health organizations do not accept this theory. The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapist, for example, went as far as to warn their therapists not to link porn to sexual issues when treating patients.
So, how can you overcome erectile dysfunction? Well, if the problem has been caused by anxiety, techniques such as mindfulness meditation and guided imagery can help you overcome porn-induced erectile dysfunction.
If erectile dysfunction has been caused by the desensitization process we have mentioned before, it might be a good idea to reduce porn consumption or stop all together.
Being depressed is definitely bad, but when it comes to a man’s sex life, depression can have devastating effects. Research tells us that depression and erectile dysfunction are linked. The problem is that erectile dysfunction can also lead to depression, so the connection goes both ways.
It’s therefore important to understand which problem came first. The thing is that figuring this out on your own can be a difficult task. The best thing to do in this case is to consult a sex therapist. Many sex therapists are also mental health professionals so they are able to help with depression that was not caused by sexual issues as well, while also addressing erectile issues.
Sometimes, taking antidepressants can help, but as we mentioned earlier, it is important to monitor side effects as some of these medications can lead to reduced sex drive and erectile issues.
To sum things up
Erectile dysfunction can seem like the end of the world. But like we’ve seen here, many of the causes that lead to erectile dysfunction can be addressed. It’s important for men to know that taking erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra or Cialis is not always the right answer. When dealing with erectile dysfunction, it’s important to identify to root cause before deciding on a treatment plan. Choosing the right treatment option is the key to successfully overcoming most sexual issues!