Causes of impotence

There are many causes of impotence (erectile dysfunction) which can be categorised as follows:

These four categories are discussed in greater detail within this section.

Physical causes of impotence refer to any number of medical conditions which reduce blood flow to the penis which then prevents them from achieving an erection.

Older men are more likely to have a physical cause of their impotency.

Psychological causes of impotence include anxiety, depression and chronic stress. However, impotence is usually a combination of both physical and psychological causes.

Most cases of impotence in teenagers and young men have a psychological cause.

There are several other causes of impotence which do not fit into either of these two categories. These are known as ‘ lifestyle factors’ and include obesity, smoking, fatigue and sport such as cycling.

Another cause is the side effects of certain forms of medication.

Both of these are discussed in separate sections.

To recap: an erection happens when the brain transmits signals to the nerves in the penis during sexual arousal. These nerves increase blood flow to the penis which causes spongy tissue to fill with blood. This enables the penis to harden and increase in size.

But, if this blood flow is obstructed or there is a problem with the nervous system in general then impotence occurs.

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