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Erectile Dysfunction - Why Does a Man Have Trouble Getting an Erection? Causes and Symptoms

psychiatrist, sexologist, psychotherapist
  • Published:
    19 May 2022
  • Updated:
    22 February 2024
signs of erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction may not always be obvious, but there are symptoms by which it can be identified long before it manifests.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

  • Reduced blood flow. A flaccid penis cannot be inserted into the vagina/anal orifice.

  • Decreased frequency of spontaneous erections. Erections do not occur when watching pornography. Decreased aural erotic arousal.

  • Partial or complete absence of nocturnal and morning erections.

  • Lack of response of the penis to sexual fantasies.

  • Decreased sensitivity of the genital organ. Erection occurs but does not reach full hardness.

  • Physical stimulation is required to achieve a sustained erection (penis massage, rubbing, kneading).

  • Erection completely disappears before ejaculation.

  • Good erection at the beginning of sexual intercourse is followed by a sharp deterioration during the process.

  • Flaccid glans penis during erection (poor glans blood flow).

  • Decreased angle of penile erection.

  • Incomplete erection throughout the intercourse. Full erection occurs immediately before ejaculation.

  • Erectile fullness often fluctuates during intercourse. Normal erection is replaced by weak, and vice versa.

Causes of Poor Erection in Men

The main causes negatively affecting erection are chronic diseases, improper nutrition, and the use of medications.

Chronic Diseases: Throughout their lives, men encounter various illnesses. With age, some of them become chronic and negatively affect erection. The most common ones include arterial hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and diabetes mellitus.

Improper Nutrition: Frequent consumption of alcohol, bread, pastries, fatty, fried, and smoked foods negatively affects the circulatory system, leading to atherosclerosis. Unhealthy eating also lowers testosterone levels, increases prolactin, and leads to fertility and erection problems.

Medications: Some medications significantly reduce a man's sexual abilities. 

These include:

  • Blood pressure-lowering drugs.

  • Tranquilizers.

  • Neuroleptics.

  • Antidepressants.

  • Muscle relaxants.

  • Steroids.

What to do if a man develops symptoms of erectile dysfunction, read in the next article.

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