9 Factors That Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction

DISCLAIMER: If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to your doctor. Our content is based on research that has been reviewed by experts in the field and on information from medical societies and government agencies. But they are not a replacement for advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a health care professional.
9 things that can cause erectile dysfunction
Most guys struggle to get and maintain an erection at times. This is usually caused by stress, exhaustion, anxiety, or excessive alcohol use, and it’s nothing to be concerned about.

The British Journal of Urology was notified in 2009 of the findings of studies on healthy men that stimulation points were a common indicator of erection.

When men were asked about the trigger points that helped them have erections, they were unanimous in their answers. For most men, the glans, or the tip of the penis, was the most sensitive area.

The supersensitive area below the glans is where the foreskin attaches to the glans. This area is also present in circumcised men.

Surprise! Researchers thought that these areas might have been good stimulation points, but they were not high up on the list.

It was not the scrotum, the nipples, or the neck that made men stand up. It is evident that the penis needs stimulation.

What Is An Erection?

A penis signal sent from the brain to tell the penis that the penile blood vessels must relax is called an erection. This relaxation of blood vessels allows blood to flow into the penis. To sustain an erection, this blood is trapped in the penis.

As you can see, an erection is a combination of multiple actions.

  • Thought
  • Message from the brain to the penis
  • Blood flows
  • The penis is the best place to trap excess blood.

Although it sounds simple and straightforward, it is not.

The mind must feel stimulated in order to transmit the message to the penis. Blood flow must be normal for the penis to grow.

The efficient trapping of excess blood is essential for sustained erection. It all depends on other factors, so it is complicated. This is why dysfunction occurs in the first place. I will break it down into several areas to help you understand the causes.

Prostate Problems

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by conditions like prostate cancer, benign prostatitis, hormonal disorders, and prostatitis.

It could be a sign of prostate cancer if a man’s penis becomes difficult to hold up suddenly. A doctor might order a PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, test. To confirm this suspicion, the doctor might also request a digital rectal exam.

There is a risk that prostate cancer surgery could result in the loss of nerves or arteries that control a man’s ability to get an erection.

Prostatectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the prostate gland. A year after the surgery, 40% to 50% of men will experience pre-treatment function.

Although there are “nerve-sparing” prostatectomy options that attempt to avoid severed erectile nerves, even these methods have a 50% chance of causing erectile dysfunction.

This is due to several factors, such as the surgeon’s skill, age, and location of the tumor. It can take 6 to 18 months for nerve fibers to fully regenerate, even if they aren’t permanently damaged.

Erectile dysfunction can still be caused by avoiding surgery for prostate cancer. Radiation treatment can cause damage to tissues that are essential for erections.

Radiation treatment for prostate cancer can cause erectile dysfunction in half of men. This is due to both the radiation-emitting seeds and the external radiation beam.

Erectile dysfunction can occur even after non-radioactive and surgical treatments for cancers beyond the prostate. Goserelin (a.k.a. Zoladex) and leuprolide (a.k.a. Lupron) are two examples of these medications.

Bicalutamide, also known as A.K.A. Lupron, is a hormone-based medication that can cause erectile disfunction. Flutamide (also known as Casodex) and flutamide are both hormone-based medications.

Another medical condition that can lead to erectile dysfunction is BPH. It is a benign form of prostate enlargement and is not cancerous. Erectile dysfunction is not caused by the condition but by the treatment methods such as finasteride (a.k.a. prescription anti-testosterone drug) that are used to treat it. Learn  about safe prostate supplements.

Alpha-blockers like doxazosin (a.k.a. Cardura), tamsulosin (a.k.a. Flomax), and terazosin are two of the most common BPH treatments. Hyrtrin is a BPH treatment option that has a lower chance of erectile dysfunction.

Prostatitis is a condition in which the prostate is chronically or acutely inflamed. Prostatitis can be characterized by frequent, often painful urination and penile discharges.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by severe cases of prostatitis. Milder cases may cause ejaculatory pain, which decreases sexual pleasure and makes it more difficult to have a normal erection.


The testosterone level in a man’s body is an important factor in sexual desire. Low testosterone levels can lead to a reduction in sexual desire, horniness, and, ultimately, the ability for men to have erections.

According to some estimates, between 20% and 40% of men suffering from erectile dysfunction have hormonal issues such as hypogonadism and low testosterone levels.


The body releases cortisol, or adrenaline, when it feels stressed. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by chronically high levels of cortisol and adrenaline in men who are constantly stressed.

Stress can cause a weaker libido, which could lead to fewer, or worse, failed erections. The two stress hormones can directly affect blood flow. Erections are all about flow, so it increases the chance of developing erectile dysfunction.


Unfortunately, depression and libido are closely linked. Mark Held, PhD, a Denver-based clinical psychologist, says that depression can affect a person’s biochemistry, which, in turn, can impact libido.

He also noted-and I agreed-that it is difficult or virtually impossible to be both horny and depressed simultaneously. Men, in particular, are at greater risk of a weakened libido from taking medications for depression.


How a person views himself is a big part of having erections. A person’s sexuality will determine how frequent and long-lasting his erections are.

A man who is not confident in himself might find it difficult to feel sexy. Erections can be as frequent and as long as supermarket lines and rain in the desert, respectively.

Substance Abuse

It doesn’t hurt to have a little alcohol. A small amount of alcohol can make a man more confident and relaxed. However, too much can lead to a negative effect on the nervous system and increased fatigue, which can both negatively affect a man’s ability to libido.

You may also experience a drop in your libido from drugs like marijuana. This suppresses testosterone production and inhibits the pituitary.


Although it can be difficult to get enough sleep, this is not a reason why. Good quality sleep is crucial for good health, mental performance, and libido. It’s almost impossible to get aroused by even the most beautiful woman alive if a man is constantly tired from lack of sleep.

In order to be able to have sex, it is essential that you get enough sleep. As such, the sleep card will often outweigh the horniness card. This can lead to erectile dysfunction.


Side effects can vary in their intensity, duration, and type. Erectile dysfunction is more common in medicines that are used to manage blood pressure, depression, and other issues. Men who take medication know that this is a risk.

The most common medications used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures are benzodiazepines. Popular benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax, and Librium have a sedative effect that reduces anxiety.

However, the sedating effects don’t just apply to anxiety. They can also affect a man’s sexual function. It can be very difficult to have frequent, lasting erections when the libido has been sedated.

Depression is a way to reduce libido and, therefore, prevent erections. However, the treatment may not be the best for the problem. It is known that SSRIs, which are popular antidepressants such as Prozac and Celexa, Lexapro, Lexapro, and Zoloft, affect around 54% of men who use them.

Although there is no way to know why, it is believed that erectile dysfunction may be caused by the drug’s effect on serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters. The well-being of all three neurotransmitters can have an impact on libido, which can ultimately affect the ability to have erections.

Beta-blockers, which are blood pressure medications, can affect men’s ability to get and maintain erections. Lopressor, Sectral, and Tenormin, as well as Cogard, can have the same effect on neurotransmitters as antidepressants, particularly epinephrine.

This affects a man’s ability to feel enthusiastic. Studies have also shown that beta-blockers can interfere with men’s nervous system functions responsible for sexual arousal and, consequently, erections.

Although allergies may not be directly related to erectile dysfunction, the medications used to treat them can have a significant impact on it. Dramamine and Benadryl, which are antihistamines, have been shown to cause erectile dysfunction.

However, there is no evidence to support this claim. It could be because it affects the same parts of the nervous system that are responsible for arousal. The good news about erectile dysfunction is that it is usually temporary and disappears quickly after discontinuing such medication.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by medications used to treat digestive conditions such as heartburn, erosive stomachitis, and acid reflux. These medicines are also called H2 blockers. The H2 blockers can also reduce sperm count.

If side-effects of medicines worries you, then look at safe, over-the-counter supplements for erectile dysfunction.


  • Team, S. (2019, April 23). Sex On Antidepressants: Exploring the Sexual Side Effects Of SSRIs. The Checkup. https://www.singlecare.com/blog/news/sex-on-ssris/.
  • Robb-Dover, K. (2020, November 9). Why Marijuana May Be To Blame for Low Libido Issues. FHE Health – Addiction & Mental Health Care. https://fherehab.com/learning/why-marijuana-libido-problems.
  • Relationship Between Testosterone And Erectile Dysfunction. (2000, January 1). PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1476110/.
  • Medications That Cause Erectile Dysfunction: Types And Treatment. (n.d.). Medications that cause erectile dysfunction: Types and treatment. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/medications-that-cause-erectile-dysfunction.
  • Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Cancer | Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2022, January 1). Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Cancer | Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/prostate-cancer/erectile-dysfunction-after-prostate-cancer.
  • Z.9, A. (2014, July 2). Article Of the Month – Good Vibrations: Better Erectile Function With Penile Vibratory Stimulation – BJUI. BJUI. https://www.bjuinternational.com/article-of-the-week/article-of-the-month-good-vibrations/.

HealthNip does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.