Eric Bakker N.D.May 24, 2022
15 minutes

Erectile dysfunction can occur when  a man is unable to obtain or maintain an adequate erection in order to achieve sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can indicate either a medical or psychological problem. It can lead to anxiety, relational conflict, and low self-esteem. The main symptom is a man's inability to get or maintain a hard adequate erection for sexual activity.


Understanding Erectile Dysfunction: Causes Symptoms, and Solutions

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can happen when  a man is unable to obtain or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.

This condition can be a sign of  a medical or psychological problem. It can lead to anxiety, relationship conflict, and low self-esteem.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED, is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. It affects up to one in five men and becomes more common with age. Many men may be too embarrassed to seek help, but ED is a common issue that can be addressed with the right approach.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

  • Difficulty getting and maintaining an erection every time you want to have sex.
  • Inability to maintain an erection long enough to have sexual intercourse.
  •  Inability to get or maintain an erection on demand.

Who is Affected?

Younger men generally have no problems with sexual performance, but aging can lead to inconsistent erections. Over half of men aged 50 to 70 experience ED to varying degrees. This can cause a lack of confidence and self-esteem, potentially leading to emotional and relationship problems.


Improving Erectile Dysfunction

Simple lifestyle changes can significantly improve ED. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management are crucial. Men with diabetes or heart disease are at a higher risk of ED, particularly if they are physically inactive.


Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

– Diabetes: 20-50% of men with diabetes may experience ED.

– Kidney Disease

– Alcoholism: Even moderate to heavy drinking can lead to ED.

– Atherosclerosis: Plaque build-up in arteries, more common in smokers.

– Heart Disease: Conditions like angina and myocardial infarction.

– Neurological and Psychological Factors: Stress, anxiety, depression, and fear of sexual failure.

– Surgery: Especially prostate or bladder surgery.

– Prescription Drugs: Blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, and more.

Main Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

ED is often due to physical issues with the arteries or veins in and around the penis. Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is a common cause, although trauma can also be a factor.

Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease


ED can be an early warning sign of heart disease. Factors increasing this risk include diabetes, age, carrying excess weight, high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, depression, and a sedentary lifestyle. Addressing these factors can improve both heart health and ED.


What Can You Do About Erectile Dysfunction

Several lifestyle changes can help manage ED:

– Learn to deal with stress.

– Exercise regularly.

– Improve your nutrition.

– Reduce alcohol intake.

– Get adequate sleep.

– Address personal conflicts.

– Stop smoking.

Medical Treatments for ED

Pharmaceutical Drugs

Oral medications like Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis enhance the effects of nitric oxide, relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow to the penis. However, these can be expensive and have side- effects.

Injection Therapy

Prostaglandin E injections into the penis can produce an erection, but this method can be costly and uncomfortable.

 Vacuum Pump Devices

A vacuum pump with a constriction ring can help maintain an erection, though satisfaction rates may decrease over time.

Penile Implants

Surgical implants can be bendable or inflatable, offering a more natural option. However, this is usually reserved for severe cases.

Vascular Surgery

Bypassing blocked arteries can improve blood flow to the penis, but this procedure is complex and not always effective.

Natural Remedies for ED


Maca root, known for its sexual enhancement properties, supports normal testosterone levels and boosts libido. It contains p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which enhances sexual performance and overall male energy.

How Does Maca work?

Science tells us that Maca contains a particular chemical called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, and this chemical is the primary reason for its sexual enhancement properties and its ability to boost libido in both men and women.

Maca root contains almost 60 naturally occurring beneficial phytochemicals. Modern scientific research has shown that Maca supports normal testosterone levels, and testosterone is the male hormone which is primarily implicated in male sexual performance and is vital for libido, muscular growth and strength as well as having the ability to generate overall male energy, confidence and stamina.

Further Reading and Resources

WebMD: Erectile Dysfunction Overview

LGBT Foundation: Sexual Health

Men’s Health – Eric Bakker

By understanding the causes and treatment options for ED, we can take proactive steps to improving our sexual health and overall well-being.



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