Little-known causes of erectile dysfunction – including one popular exercise

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition most commonly associated with older men.

However, a recent study conducted by online medical prescription service UK Meds revealed that men aged 30-39 are the most likely to experience ED or know someone who does.

With that in mind, experts at the firm put together the top ten least-known causes of erectile dysfunction, aiming to address the lack of knowledge and eliminate the stigma associated with the condition.

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And there are some that may surprise you…

1. Medication side effects

Certain medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines, and blood pressure drugs, can have a side effect of causing or worsening erectile dysfunction. And with 8million people estimated to be using antidepressant medication in the UK, it’s likely to be a potential side effect for some.

2. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterised by interrupted breathing, can lead to oxygen deprivation and stress, impacting erectile function. Treating sleep apnea can help to improve sexual health.

3. Hormonal imbalances

Hormonal imbalances, particularly low testosterone levels, can significantly affect sexual function. Regular hormone level checks are essential to identify and address any imbalances contributing to erectile difficulties.

4. Peyronie's Disease

Peyronie's disease involves the development of scar tissue within the penis, leading to curvature and potential difficulties maintaining and developing an erection. It is more common among men over 40.

5. Cycling

After a stint cycling or on the spin bike, you may notice swelling or pain in your groin area. This is usually fine, but excessive cycling, especially on a hard or narrow bicycle seat, can compress nerves and blood vessels in the perineal area, and you may find this can cause issues with erections. Using a well-padded seat and making proper cycling adjustments can prevent erectile dysfunction.

6. Substance abuse

Substance abuse, including excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and illicit drug use, can all contribute to having troubles in the bedroom. This is because these substances disrupt the vascular system and affect nerve function, resulting in difficulties in achieving and maintaining an erection.

If you think that overuse of any of these substances could be behind your erectile dysfunction, speak to your GP about reducing or stopping your consumption.

7. Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease affects kidney function, leading to hormonal imbalances and vascular problems that contribute to erectile dysfunction. It can be caused by different factors including high blood pressure, smoking and obesity. Proper management of kidney disease, along with consultation with a healthcare professional, can help address any concerns.

8. Penile injury or trauma

Previous injuries or trauma to the penis can cause structural damage and impair normal erectile function. If you’ve suffered from trauma to your penis, seeking medical attention is crucial to ensure there’s no long-lasting damage and to ensure accurate treatment.

9. Pelvic floor dysfunction

Weak or dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles can impact erectile function by affecting blood flow and nerve signalling. The pelvic floor can be weakened by obesity, chronic bowel movement, heavy lifting or chronic coughing from health problems. Pelvic floor exercises or physical therapy may help improve erectile function if you are a sufferer.

10. Psychological factors

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Another factor which you might not think could be the reason for your erectile dysfunction could be psychological factors. This includes excessive stress, performance anxiety or unresolved relationship issues which have manifested themselves in the bedroom. Having conversations with your partner about this or addressing the issues that may be causing you additional stress is the first step to solving erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction can arise from various causes, some of which are often overlooked or less known. UK Meds is aiming to highlight the need for open discussions and increased awareness surrounding this condition. By understanding these lesser-known causes, individuals can seek appropriate medical attention, overcome the stigma, and find effective solutions for erectile dysfunction.

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