Certain medical conditions have also been found to be related to erectile dysfunction such as diabetes, heart disease, leaking veins, neurological disorders, hormonal imbalances, Peyronie’s disease, and pelvic injury or surgery. Certain prescription medications have been found to directly cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction. Such include drugs for high blood pressure, antidepressants, tranquilizers, sedatives, and even some over-the-counter medicines.
Alcohol and illegal drugs like cocaine and heroine have also been associated with the medical condition (American Medical Association, 2006). An erection occurs with sensory and/or mental stimulation which makes blood flow through the corpora cavernosa, a chamber in the penis, which creates pressure and makes the penis expand while the tunica albuginea traps the blood to maintain the erection. ED occurs when there exists a disruption in any one of the steps of the erection process which may be a result of the aforementioned diseases and medical conditions (NKUDIC, 2005).
Despite the fact that erectile dysfunction is a medical condition and caused mainly by physical factors, there are also psychological related to the condition. One common psychological cause is performance anxiety wherein a man fears that he cannot achieve a sexual performance that would satisfy his partner. An initial erection failure may result in consequent erection failures. Stress, tension, depression, worry, guilt, and anger have also been noted to affect sexual performance and may add to the physical causes (American Medical Association, 2006).
IV. Effects of Erectile Dysfunction According to the Sexual Dysfunction Association, erectile dysfunction is quite a common condition among men. In fact, one out of ten men is suffering from this condition but only 10 percent actually seek and get medical treatment. This condition can ruin a completely good marriage and the couple should discuss the matter. They should simply not overlook it because the situation as it could lead to more serious psychological problems and even into failure of the marriage (Brooks, 2006).
The usual scenario is that men find out that they have a problem about not having or having limited ability to maintain an erection and this result in sexual dissatisfaction of both partners. Men are often embarrassed to get medical treatment for the condition. It could affect the psychological being of a man making him feel “worthless”. It could also affect the emotional status of the female partner if the issue is not discussed openly. Discussing it with the partner is necessary to maintain an understanding of each other’s situations (Brooks, 2006).
Regardless if the condition is caused by physiological or psychological factors, both partners develop a sense of hopelessness and their self esteem is affected. Sexual performance plays a major role in the self-esteem of a man which is why erectile dysfunction is a devastating condition to be in. It not only affects his sex life but also his sense of being. The foregoing psychological affects could even affect the social life and work ethic and performance of the man. The effects are so devastating that the man rarely wants to discuss the matter with a doctor or even with his lifelong partner (UrologyChannel).