erectile dysfunction mechanism

Erectile Dysfunction Explained on a Physical Level

Erectile dysfunction is a disorder which stands for inability to achieve and maintain an erection of the penis, which is necessary for the full satisfaction of both persons in a couple. Such a problem significantly worsens the quality of life of a man and his sexual partner, often leading to lowered self-esteem or even depressive disorders and apathy.

It is worth noting that the quality of life with this disease is reduced regardless of the cause. Some males try to understand the situation independently, but it’s obviously better to have a conversation with a specially educated person. Do not be shy to consult a doctor, because everyone has a chance to rectify the situation and start living a full life.

How Does a Male Erection Occur?

Normally, an erection appears when sexual arousal occurs in the brain, and when the penis or scrotum are mechanically irritated. Such a reaction of a man’s body occurs due to the nerve center’s functioning, which is located in the lumbar spinal cord. Impulses generated by it enter the vessels and muscles of the penis. This leads to a sharp influx of blood to the penis through adjacent arteries.

erection mechanism

The genital organ consists of cavernous bodies, the muscles of which relax, the blood gradually fills them, and the penis enlarges and reaches the desired state. Once the penis is filled with blood, reverse outflow stops due to contraction of the muscles of the pelvis and the organ is able to be in the desired state for a long time. A normal erection is impossible without adequate production of testosterone by the body, the balance of which is affected by both physical health and emotional state.

Why Does Erectile Dysfunction Occur?

If a mature or young man regularly encounters erectile dysfunction, he experiences a lot of unpleasant emotions and often develops a depression. It is obligatory to reveal the causes of the disease and quickly provide a therapeutic solution.

In many cases, sclerotic changes in vessels lead to a penile hardness decrease, which becomes insufficient for active sex life. Blood filling of the corpora cavernosa, which are responsible for ‘pumping’, decreases, and lethargy and weakness of the penis appear during an erection. This cause is one of the most frequent when it comes to analysis of complaints of patients at doctors’ appointments.

Vascular problems also often provoke the condition. For example, insufficient venous occlusion in the corpora cavernosa can provoke sudden blood outflow from an erect penis at the wrong time. Weak erection can also be a consequence of hypertension due to the fact that pathological processes and irreversible changes in the blood vessels disrupt the normal blood circulation in the genital area.

erectile dysfunction causes statistics
A chart representing statistics on the causes of erectile dysfunction (ED), made by Boston Scientific

The weakening and even complete absence of an erection can be triggered not only by vascular disorders in the body. The risk of developing erectile dysfunction is significantly increased due to the following factors:

  • psychological
  • hormonal
  • neurological
  • medication-related (taking certain types of drugs)

Often men, feeling guilty due to of erectile dysfunction, can justify their condition by stress, malnutrition, fatigue, problems at work and family, a sedentary lifestyle, a respectable age, an improper lifestyle, and lack of regular physical activity and activity. It is worth noting that all of these factors are only a complement to an existing problem. They may have an effect on the ‘bandwidth’ of the penile vessels.

ed doctor

Sometimes erectile dysfunction is temporary and disappears on its own, with the exception of provoking factors. This means that physiological changes were reversible and / or minor. However, if the problem persists for a pretty long time, you need to contact a doctor. The earlier medical intervention, the better the effect. Wondering what to anticipate from a doctor’s consultation? Read our article:

What To Expect When Visiting Your Doctor About ED