Erectile Dysfunction (ED)


This is when a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection. It most often affects older men. It can be embarrassing. It might upset you. And, it's sometimes difficult to talk about.

Physical causes

What causes ED? Well, it's a complex problem. It can involve the body and the mind. First, let's learn about some physical causes. To have an erection, blood must flow into the penis. Problems with the blood vessels or nerves can stop this. ED is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. There's also a link to alcohol, tobacco and drug use. ED can be caused by injury of the spinal cord or nerves in the pelvic area, and by multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. And, prostate cancer treatments have caused ED.

Psychological causes

It's important to remember that erectile dysfunction may be more than just a physical problem. It also involves the mind. If you aren't aroused mentally, you may not be able to get or keep an erection. Depression, anxiety and stress can cause ED. So can relationship problems with your partner.


For many men, ED can be treated successfully. The important thing is to talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor will create a care plan that's right for you.