Erectile dysfunction is a repeated inability to have an erection, or maintain it. It should be noted that an occasional “failure” is completely normal and should not cause concern, either in humans or in their partners.
Although women may feel very concerned about the problem and even directly targeted, they should be aware that erectile dysfunction is a common problem that affects half of men aged 40 to 70. Nowadays, many medical and psychological means are available to them and most see their disorder resolved quickly.
It is estimated that 20% of men aged 50 to 59 suffer from erectile dysfunction. This proportion increases with age to 70% after age 70. Other factors may explain the phenomenon.
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction
In 20% of cases, erectile dysfunction is psychological. The way to find out if this is the case is rather simple: if the nocturnal or morning erection continues as well as during masturbation, but during sexual intercourse, the man experiences erectile dysfunction, the cause is psychological. They are still young men (under 45).
Several psychological factors may be responsible for erectile dysfunction:
Performance anxiety: it is the main psychological cause of erectile dysfunction. It may occur during the first relationship with a new partner.
Fear of insufficient erection: in this case, the man fears that he will not be able to maintain a sufficient erection over the duration of the intercourse. The intensity of his erection can also generate anxiety. This form of erectile dysfunction is not permanent, but related to the situation, to the partner and is therefore reversible from the moment the man regains his confidence.
Routine: When the routine sets in in a couple, the man may suffer from erectile dysfunction. The eroticism of the early times has subsided and the weariness has unfortunately settled within the couple. Preliminaries are becoming rarer, reports are less numerous and more “programmed”, resulting in a loss of confidence and an erection disorder.
The atmosphere of the couple: factors related to the couple can also have direct consequences on the erections of the man. Jealousy, lack or inability to communicate, lack of emotional relationship are all factors.
The partner’s behaviour: when the woman shows a systematically negative attitude towards her partner, if she devalues him, shows her frustration in public, the man can feel guilty about his lack of performance.
Stress: When a man is faced with a stressful situation, erectile dysfunction, or worsening of it, can be seen if it was already present. The loss of a job, an unwanted retirement, problems with money, family, death are examples of stressful situations.
Accident, depression: Erectile dysfunction can also occur as a result of a serious accident or illness or nervous breakdown.
Erectile dysfunction does not appear systematically. It can indeed manifest itself in a targeted way, with a specific partner, whereas with others, this will not be the case. Other personal causes: Among the psychological causes related to erectile dysfunction, we will find things as varied as fear of women, rivalry with other men, or a general distaste for sexuality.
It is important that psychogenic dysfunction is managed by a psychiatrist or sexologist trained in sexotherapie techniques.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunction
In 80% of cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by physical illness or aging. Here are the most common physical causes.
- Vascular causes (cardiopathia, coronary heart disease, arteriotes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis) account for 40% of erectile dysfunction.
- Erectile dysfunction is found in 35-75% of diabetics.
- Neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke can also cause erectile dysfunction.
- Surgical intervention related to the treatment of prostate cancer (total prostatectomy) can lead to the temporary disappearance of erections.
- Smoking, alcohol and drugs can also be a cause of erectile dysfunction.
- Some medications, such as those for high blood pressure, excess cholesterol or heart problems, can cause erectile difficulties.
- Hormonal problems
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Taking anxiolytics or antidepressants
The main symptoms
Erectile dysfunction manifests itself in:
An inability to get an erection of the penis.
An inability to maintain erection over time.
It is estimated that there is a “problem” when the situation continues for more than three months. Before that, it is still a transient situation, often caused by an external disturbance (conflict, concern, etc.).
Where erectile dysfunction exists, it is necessary to use a health professional to determine what are the causes of the problem: psychological or physical?
The physician will conduct a detailed questionnaire, examination and various medical analyses to find the appropriate treatment for each situation. Modern technology achieves excellent results in 90% of cases.
Possible risk of complications
In the majority of cases, erectile dysfunction mainly causes psychological complications in men and/or their partners, such as low self-esteem. The man no longer feels “manly”, the woman no longer feels “wanted” … And it can often happen that the situation creates real complications and misunderstandings in married life, which can lead to break-up.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction
Treatments for erectile dysfunction are very effective. There are several oral medications, the best known of which is obviously Viagra. In addition to the little blue pill, the options are:
- Another drug
- Injections into the penis
- A mechanical device to use before sex (ring at the base of the penis)
- Penile implants
- Restorative surgery (when dysfunction is caused by malformation or injury)
Temporary erectile dysfunction can be resolved by promoting a healthy lifestyle:
- Regular physical activity
- Healthy eating
- Adequate sleep
- No abuse of tobacco, alcohol, drugs.
Did you know that…
In case of erectile dysfunction, communication in the couple remains paramount.
- Know that only 20% of erection disorders are psychological and 80% medical. Clinical consultation is therefore an almost essential and life-saving option.
- Avoid silence, avoidance. He must understand that there is a reason for his problem and that if he confronts it, he will have a good chance of solving it. Ideally, he should talk to his wife about it in order to maintain the complicity. It is often the latter that leads him to consult a psychologist, a sexologist or a doctor and thus to solve his problem.
- Understand that he is not alone in his situation and that he does not have to suffer shame.
- Learn to value other aspects of physical love by avoiding focusing on penetration and orgasm as a goal. Instead of controlling his erection, he should focus his attention on the pleasure of his couple on other levels.
His wife should…
- Knowing that she may not be responsible for her spouse’s situation and that criticizing him only makes the situation worse. Feeling guilty, worried, ashamed doesn’t solve the problem either. Patience, respectful discussion and understanding are more of a must.
- Understanding that at a certain age, man needs more stimulation to generate erection and maintain it. More sensuality, investment and the use of the five senses are ways to achieve this. She must listen to her needs, while expressing her own.
- To be able to help him de-dramatize the situation, if his spouse is unable to do so, by tinging it with a humorous touch, by telling him that the problem can be solved, that there are known and recognized ways to do so.
The information in this card is provided for information only and will allow you to ask informed questions to your doctor. Under no circumstances can they replace the advice of a health professional. Our team of editors and experts makes every effort to provide you with quality information. However, Canal Vie cannot be held responsible if the contents of a card turn out to be incomplete or outdated. We remind you that it is highly recommended to see a doctor if you think you have a health problem.