Erectile Dysfunction: The Physical and Emotional Connection

Blake Martin

Erectile dysfunction, also referred to as ED, is the inability to achieve and sustain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. If you suffer from ED, you might feel a sense of shame about this condition. But it’s incredibly common and something that’s often treatable.

Roughly one in five men report having issues with ED, and those figures get more prominent with age. One Massachusetts Male Aging Study revealed that 52 percent of men aged 40-70 suffer from ED.

In the past, ED was commonly believed to be a psychological issue. While there is undoubtedly an emotional connection to sexual performance, it is now known that physical problems can play a role in ED. The good news is that many advances have occurred in the diagnosis and treatment of ED.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction

Male sexual arousal is a complex process involving hormones, nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and emotions. Many of these elements are physical, but not all of them. Some of the common physical causes of ED include:

  • Obesity
  • Tobacco use
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Metabolic syndrome — a condition involving high cholesterol, high insulin levels, increased blood pressure, and increased body fat around the waist
  • Peyronie’s disease — development of scar tissue inside the penis
  • Sleep disorders
  • Low testosterone
  • Alcoholism or substance abuse
  • Enlarged prostate or treatment for prostate cancer
  • Injuries or issues around the spinal cord
  • Use of certain prescription medications
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction

The brain plays a vital role in stimulating the physical activity that produces an erection. Experts have found links between a number of psychological and emotional issues that can cause or worsen existing ED. These include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low self-confidence
  • Guilt
  • Sexual indifference
  • Sleep issues
  • Relationship difficulties

Stress or anxiety doesn’t have to be related to sex. It can be money or job-related. Unfortunately, some drugs used to treat depression and anxiety can cause or impact ED.

Physical or emotional – which is it?

Sometimes, the cause of ED is physical, emotional, or a combination of the two. For example, a minor physical condition might slow the sexual response to the point that it causes additional stress. This resulting anxiety can lead to or exacerbate ED. When you work with a qualified physician, they can help identify and address the underlying cause of your ED.

Connexus offers new hope for ED

If you or someone you love is suffering from ED, there is new hope for restoring connection and intimacy between couples. At Connexus, we understand that a large part of joyful intimacy involves having confidence in yourself and your body. We provide a safe environment to help you discuss and address these issues.

For clients suffering from ED, Connexus offers a non-invasive treatment called FocusedWave therapy. This procedure uses low-intensity acoustic waves to improve blood flow and facility new blood vessel growth in the penis. To learn more about this groundbreaking treatment and find out if you are a candidate, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.