Anything that affects one or more of the elements involved in the erection can cause erectile dysfunction (impotence). In very general lines, we refer to organic causes when the vessels, nerves or corpora cavernosa of the penis are altered and psychogenic causes when the origin is at the level of the brain. On a large number of occasions, both organic and psychogenic causes can be found in the same individual. Apart from a large number of psychogenic problems such as depression, poor relationship, work or other problems, the fact of not having a proper erection condition a concern that makes the situation worse.
Among the organic causes, the most frequent are those that affect the blood vessels making it difficult to enter or maintain the blood in the penis. This may be due to obstructions (atherosclerosis), trauma or injury to the arteries. Since the penis is like a large blood vessel, it shares all the risk factors of cardiocirculatory disease (high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity). In many cases, it is possible to discover an important disease such as hypertension or diabetes, whose first manifestation is an erectile dysfunction by affecting small arterial vessels before. If the disease progresses, it can subsequently affect the arteries of the heart. For this reason,
Certain diseases, injuries or other nerve injuries can also cause erectile dysfunction. A frequent situation is that which occurs when the complete removal of the prostate is performed due to cancer. In these cases, it is very difficult that the erection nerves that are attached to the prostate are not injured.
Advanced age by itself is not a cause of erectile dysfunction, however, it is very common due to the diseases that the individual presents and that can affect the erection.
There are a lot of drugs (antihypertensives, antidepressants, etc.), drugs and other toxins that can affect the erection by acting at different levels.
Certain diseases of the penis such as the so-called Peyronie’s disease (fibrosis of the penis) can also cause dysfunction.
The decrease in testosterone mostly affects sexual desire, but it can also negatively influence erection.
Apart from those mentioned, there are many other known and unknown causes of erectile dysfunction.