There are few subjects that are as difficult to talk about as reproductive health. This is particularly true when talking about sexual dysfunction. However, despite the difficulty of broaching the subject, there are several sexual and reproductive health issues that are both common and easily treatable if we allow ourselves to have the conversation. One of these is the issue of erectile dysfunction or ED. ED can be designed as the inability to get or maintain an erection long enough to have sexual intercourse.

It's Common

Erectile dysfunction or ED affects about ten percent of men per decade of life. That means approximately forty percent of men between forty and fifty-years-old experience mild to severe erectile dysfunction. With so many men experiencing ED at least on occasion it is important to take note of the common causes for this phenomenon.

Common Causes

Unsurprisingly, the most common causes of ED have to do with your blood flow. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease top the list of common culprits. Diabetes, obesity, chronic smoking, and atherosclerosis (hardening arteries) are also large culprits. But, these are just physical ailments and can be overcome with changes to your diet and lifestyle. In extreme cases, serious illnesses can cause the onset of ED or the medication needed to treat your current condition may have ED as a side-effect.

How Emotions Affect It

There are other, more emotional, and psychological reasons that can cause moderate to severe ED. Depression, anxiety, or any other mental health diagnosis can result in bouts of erectile dysfunction. Stress and relationship problems are also major contributors to ED. It is important to remember that the inability to maintain or achieve an erection is as much a function of your mental state as it is of your physical health. After consulting your physician, if you are still experiencing erectile dysfunction, it may be a good idea to speak with a counselor.

Low Testosterone

For men who are older, ED may be a sign of low testosterone and may need testosterone therapy. This is a common occurrence in older men and is usually accompanied by loss of muscle mass, loss of sex drive, and general lethargy. A sudden weight gain is also a sign of low testosterone in men. If you have moderate to severe erectile dysfunction your doctor may want to test you for low testosterone.

A combination of lifestyle changes and medication can help you to regain control of your health and your love life. Erectile Dysfunction doesn't have to rule your life.

Author's Bio: 

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.