3 Causes of Erection Problems and Who to See for Help

I don’t like the term “erectile dysfunction”, because this is an issue that happens to every man at some time in their life, therefore, I call it erectile difficulties, or erection problems. These erection difficulties are also varied in who they effect. Both young men in their twenties and thirties, as well as experienced men in their 60’s, as well as everything in between, have been in my office, either alone or with a partner, to address the issue.

Often the suffering man feels like something is very wrong, and the partner tends to feel rejected, or tries to “help” (usually through oral or manual stimulation). This added pressure usually hurts more than helps, leaving both frustrated.

It is for this reason I wanted to explain more about the 3 main causes of erection problems, as well as who to see for help. Take a look at the symptoms for each to get insight and guidance towards the right provider for fastest results.

Erection Problem 1: Physiological Cause

Symptoms of this cause include:

Low blood flow to the penis. This can be caused by poor diet and exercise, medication side effects, smoking, and a generally unhealthy lifestyle including diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Cardiovascular problems. Erectile problems can be an early sign of cardiovascular issues and blockage of the arteries.

Venous leakage. Blood valves, veins, and structures age over time and allow blood flow to the penis to slowly leave (“leak”) during an erection, causing it to not be as firm as it was in younger years. This is a normal part of aging and can be addressed with treatment.

Who to See

If you are experiencing these symptoms, see your general doctor. He or she can recommend changes such as those that support a healthier lifestyle, a change in problematic medications, or even prescribe medications that support erectile function. Sometimes penile injections or implants can be used to treat physiological causes as well.

Your doctor will also want to check for other cardiovascular issues, which is highly recommended. You can also try using a cock ring to help keep blood flow from leaking out of  the penis once it is erect.

Erection Problem 2: Hormones

Symptoms of this cause include:

Decreased sex drive. Lower than normal interest in sex or sexual activity.

Erection decreases. Few to no morning erections, difficulty with both masturbation and partnered sex

Sleep disturbances. A change in your ability to sleep and stay asleep.

Decreased energy. Feeling tired during the day, which hadn’t happened before.

Decreased strength. Lower endurance and increased weakness can be a sign of low T

Depression. Feeling low emotionally and/or finding it difficult to focus.

Who to See

If you are experiencing these symptoms, especially if they are new symptoms, see a Urologist. In the past, men’s hormone health wasn’t particularly studied or recognized, but that is changing. Even men in their 30’s are seeing symptoms of low Testosterone. Tests are done by a Urologist to determine available testosterone and levels.

If it is too high, you can see increased aggression and other behavioral issues, so it’s important to see a Urologist to get the right solution in place, which usually includes testosterone given by patch, pill, injection or pellet implants.

Erection Problem 3: Psychological

Symptoms of this cause include:

Anxiety. Performance anxiety is a clear symptom of this cause. Once erection problems have happened once, worry comes up that it will happen again, and so it often does.

Overwhelm. Partners or sexual situation has changed recently (such as opening the relationship or being in a group setting).

Erections while alone. Usually have good morning erections and with masturbation.

ED Drug Failure. Usually blood flow and hormone levels are good so typical erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra, do not work – the brain will override these and not allow performance.

Who to See

If these symptoms are in alignment with what you are experiencing, you will want to see a certified sex therapist. This is often the last place men want to go, but it is an important part of their sexual health and understanding. Alone, or with a partner to discuss issues and work to overcome them, is the best way to work through the cause for the erection difficulty in a safe environment. Sometimes traditional talk therapy, relaxation techniques, addressing relationship or life issues and even clinical hypnosis can be used.

Concluding Thoughts

Erection difficulties are not the end to your sex life. While causes may be intertwined, with attention, you can get your sex drive and erections back. A sex therapist can help you find other ways of showing both physical and emotional intimacy with your partner(s) and help you overcome feelings of loss or other challenges related to erection difficulties.

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