Erectile dysfunction affects millions of men around the world, robbing them of their dignity and making their romantic life impossible. If you’re unfamiliar with what erectile dysfunction (more commonly known as ED) is, it refers to the inability to get or maintain an erection. Men with ED often have a lack of libido and poor sexual stamina. While we know that old age and low testosterone are the most common causes of erectile dysfunction, there are several other things that can cause ED and many people aren’t even aware of them. Find out five unexpected causes of erectile dysfunction below:
1. Sleep Apnea
A recent study found that men who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction. Researchers believe that chronic intermittent hypoxia-oxygen deprivation (CIH) – the consistent lack of oxygen that occurs with sleep apnea – could lead to the inability to get or maintain an erection, as well as lower a man’s libido.
2. Cardiac Conditions
Heart disease has been directly linked to erectile dysfunction, most likely because cardiac conditions affect blood flow. Without proper or adequate blood flow, it is difficult to achieve or maintain an erection, because the mechanism of an erection is to fill the blood vessels in the penis until it is erect. When blood flow is restricted by heart disease, this function is impaired.
Men with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction for a variety of diseases. First, diabetes is often linked to other conditions, such as heart disease, which, as we already mentioned, can lead to erectile dysfunction through restricted blood flow. The second way is through nerve damage. Overtime, type 2 diabetes can cause severe nerve damage, which can lead to sexual dysfunction.
Research has shown that smoking cigarettes can increase the chances of developing erectile dysfunction by as much as 60%. This is because smoking restricts the blood vessels, blocking blood flow to the penis and making it more difficult to get or maintain an erection. Men who quit smoking immediately decreased their risk of getting erectile dysfunction.
5. Mental Health
Mental health issues are a common culprit when it comes to erectile dysfunction. Whether it be depression or anxiety, it is hard to achieve sexual satisfaction when you are feeling out of sorts. Men who suffer from these conditions often have low libido and struggle to achieve or maintain an erection, whereas men without any known mental health issues were far less likely to have any kind of sexual dysfunction.