What Are The Causes Of Impotence?

What Are The Causes Of Impotence?

Today’s life is considerably different in comparison with the past decades. Technological advancements in medical science have particularly had a lot of effect on every task in the day to day life.

Not only have these developments simplified complicated procedures, but also increased life expectancy.

Many of the health conditions that were previously considered deadly now have effective and fast treatments. Most are not even seen as often as they used to be due to effective prevention methods and guidelines.

However, if anyone examines the diseases and health concerns of previous centuries, he/she can see that each of the centuries had some specific conditions that were prevalent and responsible for causing the highest number of deaths.

Looking around today, there are also a number of rising health concerns that can have extremely negative effects and lower life expectancies. Asides from deadly diseases, allergies, intolerance, sensitivities and similar problems are becoming a big worry.

One of such problems is impotence or what is commonly referred to as erectile dysfunction. Impotence can be an extremely frustrating problem which can be caused by both physiological and psychological issues.

Erectile dysfunction can vary from person to person. Some men can achieve an erection but are not able to maintain it while others are not able to achieve one at all.

Majority of the times, impotence is caused by a medical issue that can also lead to low libido. A number of studies have also shown that mental health and emotional problems have a big role in causing erectile dysfunction.

What Is Impotence?

Impotence or erectile dysfunction is one of the biggest concerns today in men’s sexual health. A person experiencing impotency is unable to maintain an erection long enough for a sexual intercourse to take place.

For understanding the reasons for erectile dysfunction, knowing how an erection is achieved is important. The first step towards erection begins in the brain when a chemical message is sent from the mind to the reproductive organs.

This triggers increased blood flow to the reproductive organs as the blood vessels leading to the entire reproductive system are relaxed. The higher circulation of blood causes it to be trapped inside the reproductive organ.

The essential trapping of blood is what actually leads to an ‘erection’. This whole process needs a number of fundamental functions to take place and to begin such as problem-free circulation of blood, chemical reactions in the brain, and relaxing of blood vessels.

What Are The Causes Of Impotence?
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Who Is At The Highest Risk Of Impotence?

Erectile dysfunction is a term that commonly appears everywhere especially in segments related to men’s health but how many people are there in reality which suffer from this health condition in their life?

In accordance with a number of studies including the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, men between the ages of 40-70 are at the highest risk of having impotence. Around 52% of men belonging to this age group have erectile dysfunction.

This means more than half of the population over the age of 40 has symptoms of erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, even 30% of the men between the ages of 18-30 also have visible effects of impotence.

The studies also highlight another important point that the risk of erectile dysfunction increases with the age. Up to 70% of the men in their 60s and 70s have serious impotence whereas 40% of the men in their 40s have sexual dysfunction.

The latest statistics on the rising cases of erectile dysfunction even in younger men have received a lot of concern. Each year, more than 617,000 cases of impotence in men are reported solely in the United States.

What Is The Difference Between Erectile Dysfunction And Sexual Dysfunction?

The terms impotence and erectile are typically confused by people and many seem to think they are two different things. Erectile dysfunction is another name for impotence and both are the same condition in which the person is unable to maintain a pain-free and normal erection.

A diagnosis of erectile dysfunction is only given along with treatment only if the symptoms last for more than several weeks since there are many common habits that can cause problems in having a lasting erection.

Nearly every man can have symptoms similar to erectile dysfunction from time to time due to an excess consumption of alcohol, poor diet, fatigue, dehydration, or high levels of stress.

On the other hand, sexual dysfunction is different from erectile dysfunction. A man with sexual dysfunction is able to get and maintain an erection but faces a problem in ejaculation.

It is also typically called premature ejaculation because the man having it is mainly unable to control ejaculation and it happens sooner than he would intend or like it to happen. This can damage a relationship as well as bring embarrassment to the man having it.

What Are The Symptoms Of Erectile Dysfunction?

Following are the signs person experiences when having erectile dysfunction:

  • Problems with normal ejaculation
  • Lowered sexual desire
  • Painful erections
  • Inability to have or maintain an erection
  • Pain during sex which happens especially to a person with issues that affect the blood flow
  • Anxiety or even depression due to problems caused during relationships due to impotence
What Are The Causes Of Impotence?
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What Causes Impotence?

Just like impotence can vary from a person to person, the reasons that cause the condition can also be different. In accordance with Cleveland Clinic since the issues are caused by a complex set of vascular, neurologic, and psychosocial factors, the specific cause may remain unknown.

The leading causes of erectile dysfunction that are diagnosed are mostly related to dysfunction or blockage of the blood flow. For instance, erectile dysfunction can be linked to diabetes, atherosclerosis, problems related to mental health, or hormonal imbalances.

The most common causes of erectile dysfunction have been found to be:

Older age

According to nearly all of the studies on impotence, age is the biggest factor increasing the risk of having erectile dysfunction. A man’s risk of developing the conditions specifically increases after crossing the age of 40. This is because of the heart problems and complications regarding normal blood flow. Changing hormones and decreasing sexual desire also occur with age.

Low levels of reproductive hormones

Lesser levels of the fundamental hormone testosterone can cause a number of problems in men including impotence. It can both decrease desire as well as make it difficult to maintain an erection.


A number of medicines can affect the blood circulation in the body along with sexual desires. For example, psychotropic medicines and hypertensive medicines can cause lead to impotence in men.

History of medical diseases

A history of health problems especially the ones like the peripheral vascular disease, hypertension, heart diseases, chronic kidney or liver disease, diabetes, stroke or neurologic disease can increase risks for both erectile and sexual dysfunction.

Poor diet

Eating a poor diet that lacks the essential nutrients and is filled with foods that cause inflammation can have a big effect on sexual health in general.

Mental health

Taking too much stress, anxiety, and depression can have a big impact on the general health of a person and can lower sexual desire.

 Heavy metal poisoning
Smoking or tobacco use

Smoking cigarettes or using tobacco in any way can also contribute to increased risk of erectile dysfunction as both have been linked with heart diseases as well as other health issues.

Restless leg syndrome

A number of studies done recently have shown the link between erectile dysfunction and restless leg syndrome. However, there is not enough research to support this point.




Andrea White

As a graduate of Public Health and Policy, Andrea developed an interest in disease development, food and safety and the latest advancements in health. She is a Freelance writer who had affiliations with multiple blogs. Andrea is now pursuing her post-doctorate in Behavioral Sciences.

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