Hormonal complications, such as thyroid dysfunction or pituitary tumors or malfunction, can lead to erectile dysfunction as well. Even though testosterone deficiency plays a part, those hormone levels affect libido, not erectile function. If a man’s libido is low, that definitely can affect his erections, but it does it indirectly, Dudley said.
Whats more, it can be hard to tell whether erectile dysfunction is linked to low testosterone, as men with low T can also have signs like fatigue, and weaker erections. Whether or not that is associated with testosterone deficiency or usual things like not sleeping enough, poor lifestyle and lack of exercise are very challenging to discern, Stahl said.
Although testosterone replacement therapy isn’t a customary treatment for ED, studies propose it improves erectile function in men with both erectile dysfunction and testosterone deficiency, Stahl said.
When men have performance anxiety, the sympathetic nervous system gets triggered, adrenaline is created, and blood flow gets diverted away from the penis, which can result in a slight loss of firmness, albeit initially, Stahl said.
Yet the anxiety can lead to more anxiety, diminishing blood flow to the penis and affecting a man’s capability to get an erection. It can happen to anyone, and it can be very difficult to break this cycle, Stahl said.
One way to tell whether erectile dysfunction is related to anxiety or another medical illness is to have a nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test. Using a device similar to a blood pressure cuff, the test will measure your capability to get an erection through sleep, when psychological obstacles are absent.
If you get erections, its unlikely related to a physical problem. In that case, talk to your doctor or a therapist about things you can do to prevent ED.
Finasteride used to treat prostate enlargement and male pattern baldness, can cause erectile dysfunction and, in a small subgroup of patients, permanent sexual dysfunction.
Drugs for high blood pressure like beta blockers, thiazide diuretics, and calcium channel blockers may cause slight ED. SSRIs and SNRIs for depression and anxiety can also affect arousal or libido, desire, and orgasmic function. Yet trying a different kind of medication is usually all that’s required to reverse the outcome.
Julie Revelant is a health journalist and a consultant who provides content marketing and copywriting services for the healthcare industry. She’s also a mom of two. Learn more about Julie at revelantwriting.com.
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