Erectile Dysfunction Overview

Erectile dysfunction — commonly known as impotence — affects 15 to 30 million American men and more than 140 million men worldwide. It is estimated that in the past only 10 percent of men affected by erectile dysfunction (ED) sought treatment; the vast majority of them simply lived with it, keeping silent out of fear, embarrassment, and the mistaken belief that nothing much could be done to help. Today, however, approximately 60 percent of affected men seek treatment. But for those who don’t, their relationships suffer and their self-esteem plummets. That’s extremely unfortunate, because ED is not only common, it’s treatable. And since ED is often caused by some other health problem, seeking treatment is crucial to more than just your sex life: Your life itself could depend on it.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

There are two main causes of erectile dysfunction. The first cause is a preexisting medical condition. For instance, many cardiovascular disorders will affect blood flow, and, consequently, the ability to form an erection. There are also many prescription medications that can affect sexual desire and cause ED. Finally, abuse of either tobacco or nicotine may also cause ED. The other main cause of erectile dysfunction is psychological factors such as excess stress or depression. We will also explain how ED can cause a mental “vicious cycle” of insecurity and frustration.

source: http://health.howstuffworks.com/sexual-health/sexual-dysfunction/how-erectile-dysfunction-works.htm