In the past, sexual impotence was considered only as a health problem that affected men over the age of 40 years. However, as erectile dysfunction becomes more and more common in our society, that age is dropping rapidly with many younger men around the age of 20-30 being diagnosed with the problem. Being able to perform well sexually is considered a high worth factor that contributes to the maintenance of most men’s self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Due to this being the case, men who are sexually impotent may undergo a number of negative psychological feelings and conditions – feeling lesser than they would normally and incapable of satisfying their partners in the bedroom. A huge problem with this is that a large proportion of cases go unreported, with the act of sharing such details with a doctor being associated with feelings of shame or weakness. This article will look at the various causes of erectile dysfunction and briefly outline the available treatments that exist for those suffering from this health complication.
What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?
The most common causes of sexual impotence for men can be subdivided into three main categories – lifestyle, physical and psychological. Each of these contributing factors are discussed further in the table below.
Lifestyle Factors – The use of drugs amongst men (heroin, cocaine, nicotine for example) has been strongly linked to sexual incompetence. Similarly, men who are heavily overweight or obese also tend to have a higher chance of being sexually impotent. These individuals may be more conscious of their body and, therefore, develop a lack of interest in having sex. As expected, the effect of having a strong, well-toned body and balanced diet is linked with a healthy sex life.
Physical Factors – Some factors that contribute to sexual impotence in men may be genetic and, therefore, unavoidable. These cases may involve treatment or surgery. A large proportion of cases of erectile dysfunction can be linked to nervous system damage, the side-effects of medicines or drug use, hormonal imbalances or a damaged structure of the penis.
Psychological Factors – Anxiety, depression and low self-esteem are all contributors to a lack of sex drive, libido and sexual impotence. These effects may come as a result of a traumatic period in the person’s life, leading to a lack of confidence and self-doubt. Stress is another contributing factor that has been linked with sexual impotence in men. Men who have highly stressful, demanding jobs and busy lives are more likely to be dysfunctional during sex when compared with another man whose life is more relaxed and unstressful. Fatigue or a poor relationship may also cause a man to lose interest in having sex and thus lead to a lack of sex in their lives.
How can sexual impotence be treated?
Depending upon the cause of sexual impotence, the treatment plans for this health complication will vary. For individuals with symptoms that are the result of negative psychology, seeing a therapist may be more beneficial for their overall well-being. On the other hand, for men who are physically unable to achieve an erection due to a biological reason, surgery or medication may be more helpful in the long-term.