Several bottles of alcohol on a shelf and can be a cause of impotence for men.

Published On December 2, 2019

5 Common Causes of Impotence

What is erectile dysfunction?

Impotence, ED, erectile dysfunction, problems getting it up – whatever you want to call it, this condition affects millions of men all over the world. In fact, 1 in every 10 guys have experienced erectile dysfunction symptoms at some point in their lives. The more you age, the higher your chances of having difficulty attaining and maintaining an erection that is sufficiently hard for sexual intercourse. The probability goes up about 10 percent each decade. Regardless, impotence is not an inevitable part of growing older. 

If it happens occasionally and does not interfere with your sex life, erection difficulties are not necessarily a cause for concern. Stress, fatigue, depression, anxiety, alcohol consumption, fights with your partner and other psychological factors can cause short-term erectile dysfunction in some men. If, however, you find that ED is disrupting your sex life to the point where you are unable to “perform” less than half of the time, then it’s likely there’s an underlying physical or mental issue that requires medical treatment. 

Knowledge and information are crucial for defeating ED. Understanding the most common causes can you help you recognize why you are experiencing this condition.

1 – Medical Conditions

Impotence and erectile dysfunction are often linked to serious medical conditions that should be diagnosed by a physician. Cardiovascular issues such as atherosclerosis (the narrowing of the blood vessels) are believed to be the most common causes of erectile dysfunction. Furthermore, any type of heart disease is always serious and an indicator of a future heart attack or stroke.

The most common medical conditions of impotence are:

  • heart disease
  • clogged blood vessels
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease

2 – Performance Anxiety

Erection problems brought on by psychological issues like performance anxiety can affect men of all ages. Worrying about being able to perform and satisfy your partner can, ironically, impair your performance abilities and cause temporary episodes of erectile dysfunction. Negative thoughts about your sex skills, such as inadequacy or the failure to please your partner, are sometimes enough to screw up your entire system. This is due to the fact that anxiety generates adrenaline, which directs blood flow away from less important organs like the penis. Understanding why you are having these thoughts is key to identifying and solving the problem.

3 – Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Many factors can increase your chances of experiencing erectile dysfunction symptoms, including alcohol and drug abuse. In fact, these are perhaps the two most common causes of impotence in men under 40. Although at first it may seem like booze and recreational drugs intensify your sexual desire, in the long run they can do serious, even irreparable damage.

Alcohol is a depressant: the more you consume, the more your body’s functions slow down. Blood flow, breathing and nerve ending sensitivity are all suppressed when you are under the influence of alcohol. If you indulge, keep it under control. 

Drugs, whether legal or illegal, are known to have detrimental effects on male sexual performance. Despite certain drugs being seen as aphrodisiacs, male drug users are prone to impotence, decreased sexual desire and ejaculation latency.

4 – Medications

If you are taking over-the-counter or prescribed medication and find yourself experiencing ED symptoms, speak with your doctor. Not surprisingly, many medications list erectile dysfunction as a possible side effect, so make sure to weigh the benefits and health risks of your current medication with your physician. While these drugs may treat one condition, they may also affect your blood flow, hormones and nerves. 

Drugs that may cause impotence include:

  • antidepressants
  • chemotherapy drugs
  • blood pressure drugs
  • drugs that decrease or block testosterone
  • antihistamine drugs
  • antiarryhymics drugs
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Aspirin and Aleve.

5 – Lifestyle Choices and Emotional Disorders

The small and big decisions you make in your day-to-day life will have a direct impact on your sexual performance. Eating unhealthy foods, avoiding exercise, smoking and drinking excessively, abusing a substance – these choices make you a prime candidate for erectile dysfunction. There are numerous benefits to getting daily exercise, eating healthy and maintain an ideal weight, including a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction.

Depression, fatigue and anxiety have a direct connection to an increased risk of impotence in men of all ages. No matter how healthy you are, physically, if your emotions are unbalanced and your mood is low, your libido can suffer drastically. Moreover, impotence can be the result of performance anxiety. If you find yourself overthinking sex, or placing too much importance on satisfying your partner, it becomes more difficult to achieve and maintain an erection, especially if you’ve suffered from ED in the past.