What Are The Risk Factors Of Erectile Dysfunction?

Q: At 38 yrs. of age, I think I’m suffering from ED problem, because I am not getting erection properly at the time of sex with my partner. What may be the possible reason behind it and how to cure my ED problem? Please help me out!
Expert Answer

Erectile dysfunction is a condition whereby a man is unable to have and maintain an erection required for a sexual intercourse. You can suffer a mild form of erectile dysfunction whereby an erection occurs but it’s too weak to give pleasure in sex. It’s a common problem in men and the trend increases with old age. However, there is no specific age that ED becomes a normal condition and men below the age of 40 still report the problem. Most cases of ED go unreported as most men take it as a sensitive issue for discussion. Most of men who open up with their doctors are usually diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, vascular disease, low testosterone levels, psychological illnesses among others. Common risk factors of ED include:

Medical Conditions

You are at a higher risk of ED if you suffer from diabetes or heart disease. According to National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, men with diabetes are 3 times more likely to suffer from ED than those without. Failure to reach and maintain an erection is a major cue of detecting diabetes in men under the age of 45. An increased blood sugar results to damages of the blood vessels and the nervous system. Heart disease on the other hand interferes with the normal blood flow over your body parts including the penis.



Depression refers to a mental health condition that occurs due to poor communication within the brain cells. Health experts believe there is a strong connection between depression and erectile dysfunction in the sense that sexual desires start in the brain and go down to the reproductive organs. An imbalance in the brain chemicals referred to as neurotransmitters alter communication between brain cells which triggers an increased or decreased flow of blood to the sex organs. Majority of men with depression will often claim to have lost desire in sex.

Being Overweight

Several studies conducted to establish the relationship between being obese or over weight with ED indicate that, there is a great correlation. Obese or overweight persons have notable low levels of testosterone which can potentially lead to erectile dysfunction. In another study, conditions linked to being overweight especially hypertension (high blood pressure) greatly contribute to mental illnesses which can cause ED. Additionally, abnormal blood flow in to the penis was also linked with high blood pressure.

Certain Medical Treatments

There are strong scientific reports that certain medications used in the treatment of underlying medical conditions can actually cause ED. Although some may only induce a short-lived ED-like condition, others required in the treatment of lifelong conditions can impact permanently. These include most antidepressants used in treating depression and medications for preventing erections for a quicker healing after prostrate surgery.


When you are much bothered from challenges you face in life, thoughts about sex are usually kept at a distance. Your energy is concentrated on how to overcome the stressing situation you are in which takes away your interests in sex. Stress can be work related, conflicts with your partner, financial worries, poor sexual performances, a sense of infidelity etc.

How To Cure Erectile Dysfunction?

The most effective treatment for erectile dysfunction is through the use of medication pills. They increase the blood flow to the penis and upon stimulation, you are able to get and maintain an erection. Observing a health lifestyle including stress management, regular exercise, and treatment of underlying medical conditions can also alleviate ED symptoms. It is always important to seek medical assistance in the establishment of the actual cause and for the best treatment approach.


Other than age which majority believes that is a risk factor for ED, several other factors can increase your chances of suffering from the condition. It’s crucial to consult with your physician about the possible side effects for some medications used in the treatment of heart disease. Ask your doctor to carry out a diagnosis for other medical illnesses including diabetes and heart disease in case you suffer erectile dysfunction. Use pill medications to alleviate severe symptoms of ED.

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Expert Author : Mark Simms (Consumer Health Digest)

Mark Simms is a prolific freelance health and beauty writer, independent researcher with a long history and expertise of providing reliable and relatable health content for magazines, newsletters, websites including blogs and journals. He also enjoy exploring men’s and women’s health category writing articles about sex and relationships, product review and providing information on sexual health.