Often erectile dysfunction is caused by a temporary problem, and this is usually psychological. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all cause erectile dysfunction, but you should see a return to normal when your mental wellbeing starts to improve. In the short-term, medication, such as sildenafil Viagra, can help you get back on track. 

There are lots of other physical causes of erectile dysfunction, including: 

  • obesity and being overweight 
  • diabetes 
  • heart problems, including heart disease 
  • high blood pressure, including hypertension 
  • injuries (these can affect you both mentally and physically) 
  • cancer or surgery affecting the penis 
  • high cholesterol 
  • long-term substance abuse 
  • conditions that affect the nervous system 

These can be long-term or permanent problems, but often, as in the case of obesity or high cholesterol, they can be remedied with simple lifestyle changes. 

The biggest risk factor in men is age, and the likelihood of suffering from erectile dysfunction increases from the age of 40 upwards. It will affect most men at some point in their life, but this much-stigmatised problem is often kept quiet.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Aug 22, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Jun 27, 2022 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm