What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Nearly twelve percent of American men suffer from erectile dysfunction (E.D.) That’s more than suffer from diabetes and more than twice as many as suffer from cancer.

So why are diabetes and cancer discussed more often than erectile dysfunction? In a word: shame. Most men don’t like to discuss their health at all – and definitely not E.D. But solutions are available for men who muster the courage to broach the subject with a qualified doctor.

The assumption that E.D. invalidates masculinity ignores the many innocent yet prevalent causes of E.D. and leaves men pointlessly stigmatized about something that is treatable! The first step toward resuming a satisfying and pleasant sex life is acknowledging the cause of the problem, which you can do by speaking with one of our telehealth doctors from the comfort of your home.

Common ED Causes:

The most prevalent causes of erectile dysfunction in otherwise healthy men include both physical and psychological factors, most of which can be treated or managed. If you are experiencing E.D., talk with a doctor about any of the common causes that you might also be experiencing, including:

Low Testosterone

Low-T can lead to erectile dysfunction because normal sexual functioning requires high levels of free testosterone. You may recognize the symptoms of Low-T, such as loss of body or facial hair, lower sex drive, or reduction in muscle mass or strength.

High Blood Pressure

Since sexual functioning requires cardiovascular health, high or erratic blood pressure can play a part in undermining sexual health in men. Similarly, blood pressure medications can be involved.

Tobacco Usage

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Use of tobacco products can lead to worsening E.D. because of their effect on cardiovascular health. Avoid tobacco use and tell your doctor if you’re having difficulty doing so.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is a condition in which high blood pressure and high insulin levels interact to undermine the vascular health required to achieve and maintain an erection. Both conditions are treatable and should be discussed with your doctor.

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol can diminish the health of blood vessels throughout the body, including the sexual organs.


Carrying extra weight can interfere with achieving and maintaining an erection as the heart works harder to route blood through excessive cellulite. Maintaining a healthy weight for your height is important to men’s blood pressure, to our heart health, and to our sexual health as well.

Alcohol Consumption

Many men may be familiar with the difficulty in performing sexually when intoxicated. But ongoing usage of too much alcohol can also lead to long-lasting problems with erectile dysfunction. Talk to your doctor candidly about alcohol usage in case it is playing a part in the problem.

In addition to these physical causes of E.D., psychological factors may also play a part. The most powerful erogenous zone in humans is the brain – the source of sexual stimulation but also the source of sexual anxiety. Some of the psychological factors that can create problems with E.D. include:

Depression or Anxiety

One of the main things that affect men’s sexual performance is our thoughts about sexual performance! And for anyone who has experienced E.D. in any form, the fear of inability to perform often creates anxiety that creates … inability to perform.


As animals, it is natural for us to desire to reproduce when times are good. When we are happy, and when resources are plentiful, we naturally think to reproduce – it’s in our DNA. Similarly, unhappiness, stress, and dissatisfaction with life depress our natural instinct to mate, sometimes leading to the inability to perform sexually.

Relationship Problems

Conflict in the relationship is the primary psychological factor leading to decreased enjoyment of sexual activity and loss of interest. In men, these emotions often translate to loss of natural enthusiasm and natural ability, even in healthy men.

All of this should remind us that sexual health in men is an intricate function involving hormones, emotions, nerve endings, muscles, the brain, the heart, and blood vessels! Problems in any of these functions can lead to the conditions that create erectile dysfunction. And the anxiety that accompanies fear of E.D. can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, worsening the physical condition solely through mental activity.

Finally, men can discuss their sexual health with a doc virtually by video call.

Opt Health is a telemedicine platform that reconnects men with wellness, fitness, strength, and sexual vitality through scientific preventive medicine. From your own home, you can schedule with a physician, meet one-on-one via video conference, receive test results, and have medications delivered to your door.

For questions, inquiries, or appointments, don’t hesitate to contact us. Get personalized support and insight from top-tier physicians available 24/7.

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