Causes of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) : Physical , Psychological, and More

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

A population-based cross-sectional study of 729 men aged 30 and beyond was conducted in Singapore (1) . It used the abridged five-item version of the IIEF (International Index of Erectile Function), and the score of less than 21 was used for the same purpose. 

The results were surprising. 51.3% of people taking part had some degree of erectile dysfunction, with 77.4% of them suffering it in their sixties.

In case you are suffering from it occasionally, there is not much to worry about. It can be because of temporary factors, such as excessive alcohol intake, stress, or too much workload.

This article discusses the basics of erectile dysfunction and its causes.

The article is a part of our comprehensive series on Erectile Dysfunction

How does the penis function?

The organ penis has two chambers called the corpus cavernosum and a urethra. Each of these chambers house an artery to spread and connect smaller blood vessels in the area. The urethra, being the outlet for sperm and urine, is found below the corpus cavernosal.

The shaft is the longest part of the penis, with the glans (the head) being located at the end of it. The opening through which semen and urine pass from the head is called the meatus.

The science behind erection

When a man is not sexually aroused, the penis is soft and doesn’t hold its shape. The size often varies because of the weather and the thoughts in his mind.

On being sexually aroused, nerves release chemicals that trigger increased blood flow into the penis. 

It allows for blood to flow into the corpus cavernosum. The spongy tissues present in the chambers start relaxing and trap blood. The sudden increased blood pressure makes the organ firm and causes it to erect.

As soon as he gets an orgasm, the nerves signal the penis to release the blood back. It causes the muscular tissues to contract, and the erection recedes. Once it happens, the second erection takes considerably longer to take place as the muscles take time to get activated.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the phenomenon where a man is unable to get or keep an erection enough during sexual intercourse. It means that he is more likely to find it challenging to have sex or satisfy his partner. The repercussions of the same can be seen across other aspects of his life and will ultimately impact his well-being.

The degree of ED vary and can be measured based on the factors, such as –

  • Rate your ability to gain and retain an erection out of five
  • Rate the difficulty to penetrate your partner after erection out of five
  • How satisfied are you with your sex life?
  • How difficult do you find it to hold on to the erection during sex?

There is an increasing awareness that ED is a treatable condition. Still, people suffering from this condition often find it embarrassing and uncomfortable to visit a medical professional for the same purpose.

Causes of erectile dysfunction

We understand that you realizing that you have ED can bring your life, both sexual and otherwise, to a complete halt. But it is imperative to know that it can happen because of emotional or physical reasons, or both. Let’s delve deeper.

Physical causes

1. Nerve damage

As discussed earlier, the erection is because of extra blood flow into the penis. But if the neural pathways that lead to the penis cannot conduct the impulses and inform the brain of the same, it can be difficult for you to achieve the desired shape. There can be several reasons for it, such as injury, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and more.

2. Reduced blood flow

This is the most common cause of ED in men. Once you reach a certain age, over 40, in most cases, the arteries start contracting. It can reduce the blood flow to the chambers, causing a lack of enough reasons for muscles to relax and the penis to erect. 

The same can be because of other issues, such as excessive smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure. This form of ED is often manageable with treatment plans from andSons offering you quick, discreet and timely support for ED.

3. Hormonal issues

The lack of testosterone is one of the most common issues leading to ED. Also, if you have suffered a head injury, it can lead to reduced hormone production from the pituitary gland in the brain.

4. Side effects of medicines

Consuming specific types of medicines, such as antidepressants and beta-blockers, has also been found to cause ED.

5. Excessive intake of marijuana or alcohol

Several studies have pointed to the use of recreational drugs or alcohol resulting in a man suffering from ED.

6. Cycling

If you are a regular cyclist, the pressure exerted on the nerves leading to the penis can be a cause of erectile dysfunction.

Psychological issues

It is not always necessary that you have a physical situation leading to ED. There can often be psychological ones, such as anxiety, depression, relationship troubles, and stress that can ignite it.

Wrap up

ED can be disastrous for a man, especially if he cannot control his emotions and think them through. But it is imperative to understand that if you figure out the issue leading to it and try to resolve it, the situation will improve.

While we understand that you may not be comfortable discussing it with a medical professional, there is a need for you to do it. It will allow them to find suitable ED treatment options.  

Reach out to andSons Singapore to start a treatment plan and check out our range of ED medications here.


  1. Erectile dysfunction in Singapore: prevalence and its associated factors–a population-based study – J K Tan, C Y Hong, D J C Png, L C H Liew, M L Wong https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12762559/

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