Erectile dysfunction refers to a male's inability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. It's important to note that erectile dysfunction is more than just an occasional issue. But sometimes it can occur for many other reasons too. Male sexual arousal involves a host of psychological, hormonal, and physical factors – such as brain levels of neurotransmitters, hormones, and the health of blood vessels – that interact with your emotions.
Anxiety about maintaining an erection can make it specifically difficult to maintain one. Some factors that can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction are broken blood vessels in the penis, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, taking certain medications (including some SSRI antidepressants), and neurological disorders affecting the spinal cord or peripheral nerves. Erectile dysfunction is a problem that many men will face at least once in their lifetime. It can be embarrassing, humiliating, and otherwise physically stressful. The main symptom is an inability to keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse at some point or another. Patients struggling with ED should first be evaluated by their doctor to rule out any physical and psychological conditions that may be causing their problems. If the underlying causes aren't treated, medications and assistive devices such as pumps can be prescribed to help patients overcome the condition.