Erection Problems (Erectile Dysfunction)
What Increases Your Risk
Your risk of having an erection problem increases with age. Other things that increase your risk include:
- Diseases that affect blood vessels, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. About half of men with diabetes develop erection problems.
- Diseases that affect nerves. These include multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.
- Smoking or using tobacco.
- Other health problems, such as low Reference testosterone Opens New Window levels.
- Injuries to the pelvic area, a spinal cord injury, or treatment such as pelvic surgery or radiation in the pelvic area.
- Using substances, such as long-term (chronic) alcohol abuse.
- Psychological risk factors, such as Reference depression Opens New Window or a recent life change.
Activities that constrict blood flow to the penis may increase the risk for erection problems. For example, frequent long-distance bicycle riding on a hard, narrow saddle may increase risk. But the possible link between bike riding and erection problems has not been proved. Experts continue to debate this issue.
A Reference vasectomy Opens New Window usually doesn't cause erection problems. But pain after the operation may affect sexual performance for a time. And if a man wasn't comfortable with his decision to have a vasectomy, or if he's having second thoughts, it could affect him psychologically.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology