Erectile Dysfunction, or inability to consistently attain or sustain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance occurs commonly and there may be need to get help if it lasts longer than two months or is recurring. It is a concern if the man has diabetes, heart disease or other health factors that can affect erectile function.
Is it normal?
Most males, at some point in their lives, will have difficulty getting or keeping an erection. This is normal in males of all age groups, not just older men.
Why it happens
Due to the increase of available prescription medications to treat erectile dysfunction, many people believe that ED is almost always caused by a physical or medical problem. But for most young persons who are healthy, erectile problems are usually the result of issues that are interpersonal (having to do with the relationship), situational or emotional in nature. If a man is able to get and maintain an erection during masturbation, it is unlikely that the cause of erectile problems is physical or medical.
Many factors can influence a man’s ability to get or maintain an erection. Erectile functioning is complex, and combines cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, and physical features.
The most common causes include anxiety (work, school); stress; Fatigue; Sexual problems are often rooted in relationship problems (power, trust, intimacy). Feelings about partner (can influence sexual response). Depression affects sexual desire; too much alcohol may alter sexual response, causing anxiety about attaining an erection in the future.
Other causes are medications diabetes. hormone deficiency, smoking and diet, are contributing factors.
How erections work
Three steps need to take place in order for the erection to occur, and then be maintained. First is sexual arousal. The second step is the brain’s communication of the sexual arousal to the body’s nervous system (which activates the blood flow).
Thirdly, a relaxation of the blood vessels that supply blood must occur, allowing the erection to take place. If something affects any of these three steps, arousal, nervous system response or the vascular system response or the interplay between them, erectile dysfunction can result.
Men are always capable of having sex – Feeling tired or having concerns about schoolwork or family can affect the degree of a man’s desire and sexual functioning. Men should not attempt intercourse if they are not in the mood.
Alcohol use causes erectile problems – While it is true that consuming too much alcohol can affect a man’s ability to get an erection, this doesn’t always happen and is usually the case with high doses of alcohol. For some men, particularly young men, alcohol use can reduce anxiety and actually facilitate erections.