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Why You Can't Keep It Up

There are many physical and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction (ED). Reduced blood flow to the penis and certain types of nerve damage are the most common physical causes. However, Black men can often be diagnosed with ED due to other health conditions. Some underlying conditions associated with erectile dysfunction include the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Vascular disease - Arteriosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, causes a reduction in blood flow throughout the body and can lead to impotence. It is associated with age and accounts for 50% to 60% of impotence in men over 60.
  • Low testosterone or hormonal disorders
  • Drugs use
  • Neurologic conditions
  • Surgery, chemo and/or radiation therapy
  • Peyronie's disease - The formation of hardened tissue (fibrosis) in the penis that causes pain, curvature, and distortion, usually during erection.
  • Psychological conditions

What Is ED?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sex. Most men experience ED at some point in their lives, usually by age 40, and are not psychologically affected by it. While some men experience chronic erectile dysfunction (impotence), others may have partial erections, or weak erections as the result of a number of physical or psychological factors.

How Does Diabetes Mellitus Cause ED Problems?
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common diseases among Black men, and in the Black community. High levels of blood sugar associated with diabetes mellitus will often damage small blood vessels throughout the body. This may impede nerve impulses and blood flow necessary for achieving an erection. Almost 60% of men with diabetes experience impotence at some point.

When Can Vascular Disease Effect Erections?
Arteriosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, causes a reduction in blood flow throughout the body and to the penis. It is associated with age and accounts for more than half of the impotence cases in men over 60 years of age.

What Hormonal Disorders Cause ED?
Testosterone deficiency, or low testosterone levels, can result in a loss of libido (sexual desire) and loss of erection. Among other conditions, an excess of the hormone prolactin, which is caused by a pituitary gland tumor, will reduce the levels of testosterone in the body. Hormone imbalances can also be a result of liver or kidney disease.

What Type Of Drug Use Can Contribute To ED?
Many popular prescribed drugs are known to cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction, including drugs for high blood pressure, antidepressants, and sedatives. Also, there are a few over-the-counter medications that can lead to impotence. The long-term use of alcohol, smoking, and illicit drugs may affect the vascular system and are associated with erectile dysfunction.

What About Neurologic Conditions
Spinal cord and brain injuries can cause impotence because they interrupt the delivery of nerve impulses from the brain to the penis. Other nerve disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease, may also result in impotence.

How Can Surgeries, Chemotherapy And Radiation Therapy Cause ED?
Trauma to the spinal cord area can damage veins and nerves needed to achieve and maintain an erection. Circumcisions, prostate surgery, or surgery of the rectum may damage the nerves and blood vessels involved in achieving erection. Prostate cancer surgery will often require removing tissue and nerves surrounding a tumor, which increases the risk for impotence.

Chemo and/or radiation therapy for prostate or bladder cancer can also permanently damage these nerves.

What Is Peyronie's And Its Effects?
Peyronie's disease is an inflammatory condition that causes the hardening of tissue (fibrosis) in the penis, further causing scarring of erectile tissue. The scarring produces a curvature in the penis that can interfere with sexual function and cause painful erections.

How Does My Mind Effect Erections?
Psychological conditions are probably the most common cause of temporary ED. Depression, stress, and anxiety all contribute to loss of libido and erectile dysfunction. Oftentimes when a man experiences the loss of erection, he begins to worry that it will continue to occur during subsequent sexual encounters. This can produce anxiety associated with performance and may lead to chronic problems during sex. When this cycle continues indefinitely, it can result in impotence.

If you feel that you may be experiencing erectile dysfunction, make an appointment to see a urologist. Only a trained medical professional specializing in urological health sciences can help you determine the best course of action to take.

About The Author - Mybrotha.COM Staff Writer

©Copyright 2002-2013 Mybrotha.COM. This article was written by a Mybrotha.COM staff writer. Health and medical information contained within is provided for informational purposes only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by a medical doctor. You should not use the information available through this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem.
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