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Erectile Dysfunction: What are the Causes?

April 10, 2017

The idea of erectile dysfunction (ED) often comes with a great deal of fear. The inability to achieve an erection is nothing short of a nightmare for many men. Erectile dysfunction is not uncommon and many things can cause it. Let’s take a look at some common causes of erectile dysfunction below.


erectile dysfunction


What is Erectile Dysfunction?


Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence is characterised by the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse.

The erection of the penis is a rush of blood entering and being retained in sponge-like bodies within the penis.

There could be several factors causing erectile dysfunction, including both emotional and physical disorders. Understanding the potential causes can help a man identify why they may be experiencing the condition.




Being overweight and not getting enough exercise as well as smoking and drinking alcohol all can work against the good blood flow that is key to achieving an erection.

In some cases, men like a little alcohol before sex to help take the edge off. However, too much alcohol, as Shakespeare wrote, “provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.”


erectile dysfunction


To get an erection, a person must first go through a certain phase of excitement. This phase is usually an emotional response. If a person has an emotional disorder, such as anxiety, depression or serious stress, these conditions do affect the ability to become sexually excited.




Taking certain medications can affect blood flow, which can lead to ED. In particular blood pressure drugs (especially beta-blockers) and certain antidepressants, can make it tough to get an erection.


erectile dysfunction


That being said, a person should never stop taking a medicine without clearance from the doctor. If you think your medication could be causing erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor. He may be able to switch you to another solution or recommend taking an ED medication too.




Conditions that affect the heart and its ability to pump blood can cause erectile dysfunction. Without enough blood flow to the penis, a person can’t achieve an erection. High cholesterol and high blood pressure (hypertension) are also associated with increased risks of ED.


erectile dysfunction


LetGetChecked offer a personal Heart Check test which indicates a person’s level of risk for cardiovascular (heart) disease by determining the levels of lipids or fats in your blood. To learn more about the LetsGetChecked Heart Check click here.

Diabetes can also damage the blood vessels and nerves that control erection. Therefore, even if you have normal amounts of male hormones and you have the desire to have sex, you still may not be able to achieve a firm erection.



Low Testosterone


Testosterone is the male sex hormone. It is secreted by a man’s testes and is responsible for maintaining muscle mass and strength, adequate levels of red blood cells, bone density, a sense of well-being, fertility and sexual function. 

When a man’s levels of testosterone drop below normal, his sex life might be affected. When testosterone levels are too low a man may have difficulty achieving an erection. He may also experience spontaneous erections, for example during sleep. Click here to learn more about the symptoms of low testosterone.


erectile dysfunction


As mentioned above, erectile dysfunction can be caused by a number of different health issues. LetsGetChecked offer a simple test to measure your testosterone levels from the convenience of home. To learn more about the LetsGetChecked Testosterone Check, click here.


For more information on the LetsGetChecked range of personal health tests, go to


Written by Matthew Hennessy