America is growing dysfunctional. Erectile dysfunction affects 18.4% of men aged 20 years or older in the United States.

One reason why this statistic is so high is that the common causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) are extensive. Yet many causes of ED are treatable or preventable once you know what they are. 

What are the causes of erectile dysfunction? How can sleep impact sexual performance? What medications and psychological conditions can trigger ED? 

Answer these questions and you can have a functional sex life in no time. Here is your quick guide.

Heart Disease

Erections require increased blood flow to the penis. It does not matter how aroused a person may feel. If a high amount of good-quality blood does not get to the penis, a person will not experience an erection. 

Any type of heart disease can contribute to or cause ED. Coronary heart disease impacts the blood vessels that give the heart muscle blood.

If vessels become narrow, blood may not reach the heart muscle. This makes it hard for the muscle to pump blood out into the extremities. It also increases the chance of a heart attack, especially during strenuous activities like sexual intercourse.

Blood Conditions

The heart may be fine, but the blood may not. High cholesterol can build up inside the arteries, causing the blood vessels to become narrow. This keeps blood from reaching the penis in a timely fashion. 

High blood sugar can make muscles, nerves, and blood vessels weak. It can eventually lead to diabetes, which causes heart damage. If high blood sugar goes untreated, a person may be unable to experience an erection at all.

Old Age

Old age is one of the biggest risk factors for ED. Old people tend to experience ED more often than young people. This may be due to several reasons. 

An old person may have less stamina than a young person. It can be harder for their heart to pump blood down to their penis. It may take more effort to get them sexually aroused, and blood may not remain in their penis for long. 

Older people are more likely to have heart disease and blood problems. Yet these conditions are avoidable, so a healthy person in their 60s and 70s can avoid ED. 

The tubes that carry sperm can become less elastic over time. Even if an older person is able to get an erection, they may not be able to ejaculate. They may only ejaculate once and need extensive time to produce sperm again.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep deprivation can contribute to ED in a few ways. A person may feel too tired to have sex or maintain an erection. 

A person produces testosterone while they are sleeping. Testosterone affects the human body in several ways, increasing muscle mass and fueling the sex drive. Less sleep means less testosterone, even in the morning. 

Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing stops while they are sleeping. It can wake them up in the middle of the night and decrease the amount of oxygen in their blood. A lack of oxygen can cause cells to die, including in the penis. 

Sleep deprivation can conceal some erectile dysfunction symptoms. Both can cause irritability and reduced sexual desire. This means that ED treatment should include sleep therapy so an individual learns to sleep better.


The National Library of Medicine provides a list of medications that can cause erection problems. High blood pressure medications like Aldomet impact the kidneys and heart. They can also decrease libido and increase fatigue, making it harder to become aroused. 

Many psychiatric medicines have similar effects. They can impact how the brain sends signals through the rest of the body, decreasing chemicals that create arousal. Valium, Prozac, and Zoloft can cause these effects. 

The benefits of many of these prescriptions outweigh the risks. A person who takes them and experiences symptoms of ED should talk to their doctor. Adjusting the dosage may help, but withdrawing from the medications may exacerbate medical problems. 

Substance Abuse

Alcohol can have a significant impact on the brain. It can delay chemical messages from the brain that help the penis fill with blood. It can also reduce how much testosterone the brain creates. 

Other illicit drugs affect the body in ways that deter erections. Cocaine use can cause an individual to feel less arousal through time. Opioids can delay the ejaculation process. 

Certain stimulants may help someone feel more aroused at first. But over time, the effects of the drug will cause side effects that curb sexual performance.


Stress and ED can form a cycle. Someone may feel so stressed out that they cannot focus on getting aroused, leading to ED. The ED then causes further stress, making it hard for someone to receive treatment. 

Any type of stress can contribute to ED in this way. Relationship troubles tend to be especially difficult. Someone may feel like they cannot communicate with their partner, which makes it hard to be intimate.

The Most Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Common causes of erectile dysfunction may be surprising. Heart and blood diseases can impede blood flow into the penis. Old age can cause these diseases and fatigue, which prevents arousal.

Sleep disorders and prescriptions can skew how the brain receives and transmits chemicals for arousal. Substance abuse can damage the body as well as impact chemical transmission. 

Stress can spark ED, and ED can lead to increased stress. ED treatment can include testosterone injections as well as psychological support. 

Don’t let ED make your life dysfunctional. Tampa Testosterone serves Tampa residents. Contact us today.

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