Occasional erectile difficulties are quite common. Many men experience difficulties during times of stress, or if they are encountering certain health problems or other issues. Frequent erectile difficulties, however, might be a sign of an underlying health condition or emotional issue that needs to be addressed by a healthcare professional.
Some of the most common causes of erectile difficulties include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hypertension, or high blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Low testosterone levels or other hormone imbalances
- Kidney disease
- Stress or anxiety
- Certain prescription medications
- Sleep disorders
- Drug use
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Certain health conditions
- Damage to the pelvic area through injury or surgery
- Peyronie’s disease
The treatment for ED starts with taking care of your heart and vascular health, if that is determined to be a factor. Your doctor may point out ‘risk factors' that can be changed or improved, or you may be asked to change certain food habits, stop smoking, increase workouts, or stop using drugs or alcohol. If your erectile issues are being caused by emotional difficulties, such as relationship conflicts, life stressors, depression, or anxiety, it’s important to work with your doctor to determine the right treatment course of action for you.
The best way to prevent erectile dysfunction is to make healthy lifestyle choices and to manage any existing health conditions.
What can help with erectile difficulties?
More often than not, your healthcare provider will recommend a noninvasive course of action. It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor about the different potential side effects that could result. A few common options include:
- Oral medications (phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors)
- Vacuum pumps
- Testosterone therapy
- Penile injections
- Intraurethral medication
Once you and your healthcare provider determine the possible causes of your erectile difficulties, consider helping your physical symptoms through penile exercises and vacuum pumps that can help restore sexual function and improve erectile difficulties. When used, vacuum pumps create a vacuum around the penis, quickly drawing in blood, resulting in an erection. VaxAid delivers more vacuum power than other pumps, with many users reporting that this leads to quicker (and longer lasting) erections.
Additionally, taking up healthy habits such as exercise (particularly aerobic exercise) have been shown to help with erectile issues and overall cardiovascular health.