Erectile Dysfunction Home > Cause of Erectile Dysfunction

The most common erectile dysfunction cause is damage to the nerves, arteries, smooth muscles, or fibrous tissue. However, the problem could be due to anything that disrupts the sequence of events leading to an erection. Lifestyle choices, surgery, medications, and psychological factors can also lead to erectile dysfunction.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

The cause of erectile dysfunction (ED) can be anything that disrupts the precise sequence of events that produces an erection. This sequence of events includes:
  • Nerve impulses in the brain, spinal column, and area around the penis
  • Response in muscles, fibrous tissues, veins, and arteries in and near the corpora cavernosa.

Specific Causes

Specific erectile dysfunction causes include:
  • Other medical conditions
  • Lifestyle
  • Surgery
  • Injury
  • Medicine
  • Psychological factors.

Other Medical Conditions

The most common cause of erectile dysfunction is damage to the nerves, arteries, smooth muscles, and fibrous tissues -- often resulting from a disease. Diseases that may result in erectile dysfunction can include:
These medical conditions account for about 70 percent of erectile dysfunction cases. Studies show that between 35 percent and 50 percent of men with diabetes experience erectile dysfunction.
Hormonal abnormalities, such as not having enough testosterone, can also result in erectile dysfunction.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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