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50% of all men in the world suffer from impotence. Among the physiological factors causing this disorder are cardiovascular conditions, infections, diabetes, neurological and hormonal conditions. Impotence triggered by physiological factors is treated with PDE-5 inhibitors, vacuum devices, penile injections or surgery. Psychological conditions causing impotence can’t be treated with Viagra but should be resolved by counseling. ED is also caused by certain surgeries, radiation treatment, antidepressants. Current ED treatment techniques help 98% of patients.

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Causes of Impotence and Available Treatments

Impotence is a common condition affecting more than 50% of men over 40 years old in the US, according to the International Journal of Impotence Research. This disorder is fully treatable nowadays.

As stated in the same article in the International Journal of Impotence Research, 30% of men with impotence receive treatment while the remaining 70% choose to refrain from it and from sexual life altogether. Below is the list of factors that cause erectile disfunction.

Physiological Factors of Impotence

causes of impotence and available treatments

Up to 90% of all cases of impotence result from physiological factors such as diseases and aging.

Cardiovascular conditions

Heart disorders or vascular conditions interfere with normal sexual function. A study carried out in New England Research Institute reports that 39% of men with treated heart disease suffer from erectile dysfunction, which is 4 times higher than the same showing in healthy male population of the same age.

The list of cardiovascular disorders causing erectile dysfunction of varying severity includes coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, history of infarction, PVD (peripheral vascular disease), hyperlipidemia. Having high blood pressure worsens men’s sexual performance over time.

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Comorbidity of diabetes and erectile dysfunction is widespread. Between 35% and 75% of diabetics experience erection problems. Men with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to get erectile dysfunction compared to patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes causes cardiovascular problems and neuropathy. Both the vascular and the nervous systems are involved in erection mechanism, so damage to them may result in sexual disorders.

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Neurological Disorders

Correct functioning of the nervous system is vital for healthy sexual performance since erection is triggered by chemical nerve signals (nitric oxide) being released when a man is receiving sexual stimulation. The list of neurological conditions that affect the ability to achieve erection includes stroke (over 50% of men with a history of stroke experience partial or complete impotence), multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, etc. Impotence may result from spinal cord injury in sacral region of the spine.

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Hormonal Disorders

ED treatment had long been shaped by the belief that impotence can be caused by testosterone deficiency. However, recent studies show that low testosterone levels do not necessarily result in erection problems.

Certain hormonal disorders are often accompanied by impotence. These include overt hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, high estradiol and prolactin levels. The exact causes of such dependency are unclear.

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Pelvic Trauma or Penis Injury

Healthy blood circulation in pelvic region is necessary for male sexual function. Many conditions such as direct injury of the penis or blunt trauma of the perineum result in decreased blood flow and, consequently, erectile dysfunction.

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Psychological Factors Causing Impotence

Viagra and other PDE-5 inhibitors are not used to treat ED caused by psychological factors. That is because this type of ED calls for libido management rather than an erection pill. The psychological causes of impotence listed below are managed with the help of counseling.


Impotence is a common symptom experienced by up to 70% of men suffering from depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. Some medications used to treat depression (including SSRIs) affect sexual performance in a negative way.

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Stress and Performance Anxiety

It’s not only difficult to get sexually excited when you’re worried about your performance, body image or something else. When we’re anxious, our bodies release epinephrine and norepinephrine – the stress hormones that narrow blood vessels making it physically impossible to achieve erection.

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Loss of Interest Towards Your Partner or Sex Altogether

Psychologically induced ED occurs when a man is no longer physically attracted to his sexual partner due to relationship problems, negative body image or other factors. A general loss of libido may have an underlying physiological cause, so it’s best to discuss it with your GP if your relationship is doing fine but you feel you’re losing interest in sex.

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Iatrogenic Factors Causing Impotence

Surgery and Radiation Treatment

Invasive surgery and radiation therapy in the pelvic region affect a man’s erectile function. This happens mostly when the therapy damages nerves or muscles that are involved in the mechanism of producing an erection.

Moderate to severe erectile dysfunction develops in patients undergoing therapy for prostate cancer. 85% of men after radical prostatectomy get ED.

ED is observed in patients receiving treatment for rectal cancer, intestinal fistulas and some orthopedic conditions affecting the pelvis.

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Medications affecting potency

Research by Slag et al shows that the use of medications listed below affects the prevalence of impotence heavily. Up to 25% of all ED cases are directly linked to drugs’ side effects. Here are the groups of drugs that cause ED:

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Sexual performance in men is compromised by diseases, stress, depression, physical injury and age. Regardless of that, you should stay positive even if your erection isn’t as good as before. Impotence responds to treatment with PDE-5 inhibitors well helping over 80% patients. Vacuum erection devices are effective in 85% of the cases and intracavernous injections – in over 90%. NuMale Medical Center, for instance, reports successful treatment in over 98% of patients with impotence. Pick a treatment that works for you and you’ll be able to enjoy sex again.



interesting article

Marcus, 2018-09-12