Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Common Causes and Treatments

Erectile dysfunction (ED) or male impotence is a common issue for men.

Yet it’s one that’s very uncomfortable to talk about and deal with.

ED describes a situation where a man consistently has difficulty getting and/or keeping a firm erection. Those who experience this issue occasionally issues generally don’t need to seek treatment.

The good news is that this problem is one that’s well understood. And there are a number of effective treatments. Which treatment works best depends on the cause of your ED. So let’s look at the causes or ED and then examine the treatments.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes

Experiencing ED is something no guy wants to experience. But if you do have it, know you’re not alone.

It’s estimated as many as 30 million men suffer from it and it affects up to 25% of 65 year old men.

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Injury to penis, pelvis, bladder or spinal cord
  • Alcoholism, tobacco or drug use
  • Surgical complications (often for prostate or bladder cancer)
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Nervous system issues/diseases such as Alzheimer’s, a stroke, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis
  • Kidney disease
  • Blood vessel issues/diseases including high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Reaction to prescription drugs

The good news is, there are plenty of treatments available if one of the causes above might be part of your ED issue.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Treatments

We’ve already discussed the causes of ED. And the key to treatment is to identify the cause of your ED.

So the first thing to do is to talk to a doctor and get help understanding what’s causing ED in your situation.

The good news here is that there are lots of treatment options.

Sometimes the treatment may be as simple as making some lifestyle changes. Things like cutting back or eliminating your alcohol or tobacco consumption can help. As can losing weight.

In the case where ED is caused by a prescription drug, changing meds or lowering your dose may do the trick.

Other treatments for ED include:


This can help if stress and anxiety are the root cause of your ED. Going to a few counseling sessions (sometimes going with your partner) can help reduce the stress and anxiety enough to get over ED issues.


There are a number of prescription drug options available to help those who suffer from ED.

Some of them are pills such as Cialis, Levitra, Stendra and Viagra. Studies show these work for about 80% of those who take them.

There are also some medications that can be administered by injection or as a suppository.

Vacuum Pumps

These devices are also known as vacuum erection devices or vacuum constriction devices. These are often used for those who have had prostate surgery.

These devices involved a plastic tube and a pump that work by increasing blood flow to the penis. They are very effective, but may take a while to work and are not ideal for spontaneity.


When all else fails, having surgery to place an implant in the penis is an option your doctor may recommend. There is also vascular reconstructive surgery that helps improve blood flow in and around the penis.