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ED can occur because of problems at any stage of the erection process. An erection is the result of increased blood flow into your penis. Sexual thoughts or direct contact with your penis usually stimulate this blood flow.

When a person with a penis is sexually excited, a muscle within the blood vessels in the penis relaxes. This allows for increased blood flow through the penile arteries, filling two chambers inside the penis.

As the chambers fill with blood, the penis grows rigid. Penile veins will constrict to help keep blood in the penis and maintain the erection.

When the muscles in the blood vessels are not working, an erection ends.

ED is the inability to have an erection that is strong enough to have sex. It is sometimes referred to as “impotence” but it is less often used.

ED may be occasional or frequent.

  • Occasional ED is not uncommon. It can be a result of a recent lifestyle change or Stress..
  • Health problems that need treatment can be a sign of frequent ED. It can be a symptom of emotional or relationship difficulties that you may want to address with a professional.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, around 30 million U.S. men have ED.

The prevalence of ED increases with age. The University of Wisconsin estimates that mild or moderate ED affects 10% more men for each decade of life. For example, 60% of men in their 60s might experience some form of ED.

However, ED can also occur among younger people. One 2013 study found that 1 in 4 men seeking their first treatment for ED was under 40 years old. Researchers observed a stronger correlation between smoking, Drug use., and ED in these men when compared with older men. This suggests that lifestyle choices are an important factor for ED in younger men.

Although the risk of ED increases with age, ED isn’t inevitable. In general, the healthier you are, the better your sexual function. Learn more about aging and ED.

If you have There is a disease called diabetes., it’s important that you work with your doctor to manage your blood sugar levels. This can help to prevent damage that can lead to ED. Explore the connection between ED and type 2 There is a disease called diabetes..

There are many possible causes of ED, and they can include both emotional and physical conditions. Physical causes include:

Common emotional causes include:

ED can be caused by only one of these factors or by several of them. That’s why it’s important to work with your doctor so that they can rule out or treat any underlying medical conditions. Learn more about the causes of ED.

Trouble getting an erection and difficulty maintaining an erection during sexual activities are the most common symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

Other sexual disorders are related to ED.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should speak with your doctor. They can help determine if your symptoms are caused by a condition that requires treatment.

Testing for ED can involve a variety of steps, including a physical examination and examining your health and sexual history. Your doctor may order additional tests to determine if your symptoms are caused by an underlying condition.

Physical exam

Expect a physical exam, where your doctor will:

  • Listen to your lungs and heart.
  • check your blood pressure
  • examine your testicles and penis
  • The person looks for signs of reduced blood in the area.
  • The nerve function in the pelvic region is checked.

They may also recommend a rectal exam to check your prostate.

Psychosocial history

Your doctor will ask you questions about your health and sexual history, and you will fill out a questionnaire. The responses can help them evaluate the ED.

Some questions that they may ask include:

  • How long have you been experiencing ED? Did it come on suddenly or slowly?
  • Are you having any problems with feeling sexual desire, ejaculating, or reaching orgasm?
  • How often do you have sex? Has this Frequency changed recently?
  • How firm are your erections? Is this affected by specific situations or stimulation?
  • Do you wake up in the morning or in the middle of the night with erections?
  • How is your relationship? What are your expectations for your partner? Have there been any changes?
  • Have you recently been experiencing a lot of Stress.?
  • What are your current medications? Do you use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs?
  • Do you have any underlying conditions or have you had any surgery on or injury to your pelvic area?

Additional tests

Your doctor may perform additional testing to help diagnose your ED. The tests can include:

  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound can be used to examine the blood vessels of the penis to determine if there’s a problem with penile blood flow.
  • Nocturnal penile tumescence test: A portable, battery-powered device is used to evaluate the quality of your nocturnal erections. The device is worn on the thigh. It stores data your doctor can access later. However, it’s not used as often today as it had been in the past.
  • Injection test: During this test, a medication is injected into your penis to stimulate an erection. This allows your doctor to evaluate the firmness of the erection and how long it lasts. This type of test can also be combined with ultrasound to further asses the erection.
  • Urine tests: Urine tests can check for There is a disease called diabetes. or other underlying health conditions.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests can check for conditions such as There is a disease called diabetes., heart disease, thyroid issues, and low levels of testosterone.

These tests can help your doctor guide your treatment as well as determine if an underlying condition may be causing your ED. Find out more about how blood tests can help diagnose ED.

Treatment for ED will depend on the underlying cause. You may need to use a combination of treatments.


Your doctor may prescribe medication to help you manage the symptoms of ED. You may need to try several medications before you find one that works. The following oral medications stimulate blood flow to your penis to help treat ED:

Alprostadil is a medication that can be used to treat ED. It can be administered as a penile suppository or as a self-injection.

Alprostadil is not used alone as an injection, and the combination drug Trimix is used instead.

Your doctor may recommend testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) if you have low levels of testosterone.

ED may be caused by medications used for other conditions. Talk to your doctor about your medications. You can take others instead. Before you stop taking your medication, talk to your doctor.

Medications for ED can cause side effects. If you’re experiencing unpleasant side effects, talk with your doctor. They may be able to recommend a different medication.

You can also get ED medications online, including Viagra and Cialis. Here are our roundups of the best places to buy Viagra and Cialis online.

Talk therapy

There are a number of psychological factors that can cause ED.

Talk therapy can help you if you are experiencing psychological ED. You and your therapist will talk over several sessions.

  • major Stress. or anxiety factors
  • Your feelings about sex.
  • Conflicts that could affect your sexual well-being.

If ED is affecting your relationship, consider speaking with a relationship counselor as well. Relationship counseling can help you and your partner reconnect emotionally, which may also help your ED. Explore the effects of Stress. and anxiety on ED.

Vacuum pumps

The treatment uses a vacuum to get an erection. The device draws blood into the penis.

A vacuum pump device has a few different components.

  • You put a plastic tube over your penis.
  • A pump works to create the vacuum by drawing air out of the plastic tube.
  • an elastic ring, which you’ll move to the base of your penis as you remove the plastic tube

The elastic ring keeps the erection going and prevents the blood from returning to circulation. You can leave it in place for 30 minutes.

There is more about vacuum pumps.

Erectile dysfunction exercises

Certain exercises can help with ED.

Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises are simple movements you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Here’s how:

  1. Pick out your muscles. Stop peeing when you are done. The muscles that you use to do this are the Pelvic floor muscles.
  2. Contract the muscles for 3 seconds when you know where they are. Then let them go.
  3. Three times per day, repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times.

A small 2005 study compared two groups of men with ED. The first group of men performed regular pelvic floor muscle exercises with a physiotherapist. They also received biofeedback and advice on lifestyle changes. The second group only received advice on lifestyle changes.

Men in the first group saw their penile function improve after 3 months of regular exercises. The men in the second group did not see a lot of improvement.

All participants were given at- home exercises to perform. 40% of all participants, including some men who had belonged to the second group, regained normal sexual function after 6 months.

A 2019 literature review also concluded that pelvic floor exercises were effective at treating both ED and premature ejaculation.. However, the researchers didn’t identify an ideal exercise plan in terms of conditions such as frequency and intensity.

It is easier to do Kegels while lying down. You can try them when you are sitting or standing.

Aerobic exercise

Moderate to vigorous exercise is not only good for your overall health. It also can increase blood flow, possibly helping with ED. Examples include running and swimming.

A 2018 review of 10 studies examined the effect of aerobic exercise on ED. From their review, investigators concluded that 160 minutes of weekly exercise for 6 months could lead to a decrease in erectile problems.

Another 2018 study examined physical fitness and testosterone levels in 87 men with ED. Researchers found that testosterone levels were negatively correlated with levels of body fat and abdominal fat. This suggests that exercise may increase testosterone in addition to reducing body fat.

Before you start a new exercise plan, always discuss it with your doctor. This is particularly important for people with heart disease or another underlying condition that could be aggravated by vigorous activity. Learn more about exercise and ED.


Yoga can help to relax your mind and body. Since Stress. or anxiety can cause or contribute to ED, practicing yoga may be an effective way to ease ED symptoms.

In fact, an older 2010 study of 65 men between 24 and 60 years old found that sexual function increased significantly after a 12-week program of yoga sessions. Discover five yoga poses that could help with ED.

Erectile dysfunction foods

Problems with blood flow are related to ED. Maintaining your blood vessel health may help you prevent and treat ED. You can achieve this by eating a healthy diet.

A small 2021 study indicates that a plant-based diet can be helpful in treating ED. Find out what other foods you may want to add to your grocery cart.

Erectile dysfunction natural treatments

Natural remedies may help treat ED.

Herbs and supplements

Certain herbs and supplements have been studied to treat ED, with varying degrees of success, including:

Horny goat weed and zinc may help as well.

Keep in mind

“Unless you speak with your doctor first, don’t buy herbs and supplements for ED treatment. Many are not regulated by the FDA, which means they may have additional ingredients not listed on their labels.”

Some supplements, such as yohimbe, can have dangerous side effects.

Your doctor may be able to recommend reputable brands as well. Avoid purchasing products online, unless your doctor confirms that they’re safe. Get more expert advice on herbs for ED.


Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese medicine in which needles are inserted into the skin at specific locations or acupoints. Acupuncture is believed to work through nerve stimulation, which then has an effect on the release of neurotransmitters.

It’s unclear how acupuncture works to treat ED. Studies on its effectiveness are limited, and the ones that do exist are often inconclusive. Some evidence from a 2019 review indicates that acupuncture may help to treat psychological ED.

When choosing an acupuncturist, look for a certified practitioner who uses disposable needles and follows FDA guidelines for needle disposal and sterilization. Learn more about the use of acupuncture in treating ED.

“In cases where the medication isn’t effective, your doctor may recommend surgery. Implants and vascular surgery are two types of procedures that can be used.”


A surgeon can place a penile implant, also referred to as a prosthesis, in the penis.

There are two types of implants.

  • An inflatable implant can be used to make your penis bigger.
  • A malleable implant can be used to adjust the position of your penis.

Penile implants are usually reserved for ED that has been unresponsive to traditional ED treatments. The satisfaction and complication rates can vary among participants and could lead to someone having the implant removed.

If you are considering a penile implant, it is worth talking with your doctor about what you can expect from the surgery.

Vascular surgery

A surgery that repairs arteries. This type of surgery is rare and only used for people with trauma to the uterus.

This type of surgery can help to restore blood flow to the penis. Younger people are more likely to be candidates for this procedure.

Every surgery has pros and cons. If you decide to have surgery for ED, you should have a discussion with your doctor.

This guide will show you how to place penile implants, how to recover from them, and what recovery is like.

ED and There is a disease called diabetes. can occur together. In fact, according to a 2014 review, the risk of developing ED is approximately 50% in men who have There is a disease called diabetes.. But why is this?

Diabetes affects how your body processes glucose. When your body doesn’t store glucose correctly, excess glucose can be found in your blood, leading to high blood sugar. There are two major types of There is a disease called diabetes.: type 1 There is a disease called diabetes. and type 2 There is a disease called diabetes..

It is possible to have high amounts of sugar in your blood. The blood vessels and nerves around the penis can be damaged, leading to difficulties getting an erection.

You can take steps to prevent ED. Making healthy lifestyle changes is one of the steps involved. They are good for preventing ED and improving your health.

The advice below is to help prevent ED.

Also, be sure to keep up with your regular checkups. Your doctor will monitor important clinical measurements, such as your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This can help with the early identification and treatment of conditions that can potentially lead to ED. Find out more ways to prevent ED.

It can be difficult to talk about ED with your partner. ED is more common than you might think. If you want to have your doctor diagnose your symptoms, talk to them.

It’s not uncommon to lose an erection from time to time, especially during periods of increased Stress. or sudden changes to your diet or lifestyle. But if you are unable to have or keep an erection frequently over the period of a few weeks, it is worth contacting your doctor.

In some cases, your symptoms may not be related to ED but are symptoms of another medical condition. Your doctor can run a series of tests to screen for medical conditions and ultimately rule them out as potential causes.

Many resources are available that can help with the symptoms of ED. If you are worried about ED, you should reach out to your doctor to discuss your options.

What causes erectile dysfunction?

There are many causes of ED. Some of them may include.

  • There are health conditions.
  • diseases
  • Stress.
  • Drug use.
  • Alcohol use
  • relationship issues
  • Increased age.

How young can you develop ED?

While ED is more common in older people, it can occur in younger people too.

A 2013 study found that of the 439 participants ages 17 to 40 years old, 114 of them (26%) had experienced ED. This indicates that ED can start in someone’s late teens or early 20s, but it is still most common in people above 40.

How do I know whether my erectile dysfunction is physical or mental?

If your doctor diagnoses you with ED, they will look for the root cause. They will probably give you a physical exam where they will check your vitals and genitals.

They may ask you questions about your health history, including your sexual and mental health, during a psychological exam.

The results of these exams will help determine if your erection is physical or mental.

Can I combine erectile dysfunction treatments?

Your doctor will decide on your treatment plan and the causes of your ED.

You may need to try different treatments before you find one that works.

You can improve your ED symptoms. There are many treatments and medications available. vacuum pumps can help you manage your symptoms so that you can continue to engage in sexual intercourse.

The severity of your ED and whether it is caused by a specific health condition are some of the factors that will affect your treatment plan. Your doctor will explain the benefits and risks of each treatment to you.

ED is a common condition. Discuss ED symptoms with your doctor as soon as possible. They can rule out underlying causes and begin a treatment plan.