An increasing number of people are reporting experiencing erectile dysfunction, with different cases arising from varying circumstances.
Photo: Bing AI
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a concern documented even in ancient records from Egypt and China. Blamed on spells, curses, or a lack of sperm, the inability to hold an erection has historically been of great cultural significance — a direct determinant of a man’s masculinity.
Research over the years reveals strong associations between erectile dysfunction and psychological conditions, lifestyle, and metabolic health. ED is now known as a non-lethal medical condition, defined as the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex.
While not a life-threatening disorder by itself, erectile dysfunction can cause or exacerbate mental health issues — even leading to thoughts of suicide. Even with more widespread attention, it remains an often unattended condition among people.
Here’s why a growing portion of the population is experiencing it.
Sexuality is considered a direct determinant of a man’s age, one that sits divorced from their chronological age. This makes erectile dysfunction a multifaceted condition: seemingly an inevitable consequence of aging, yet one that makes growing older harder to deal with.
Aging-related sexual dysfunction is believed to be caused by the loss and degradation of corporal smooth muscle cells — which play a role in penis contraction.
However, the condition is becoming more and more common in otherwise, fit, healthy men — drawing more attention to other psychological and physiological factors.
While tough to diagnose, erectile dysfunction is prevalent among people with psychological issues, often associated with a low quality of life.
Another widely debated cause is pornography, a claim that currently lacks substantial evidence.
While masturbation can be weakly linked to erectile dysfunction, experts suggest the dependence on porn to be more serious. Some say that the incidence of ED in men under 40 rose after high-definition porn became easily accessible — a connection that is still being explored.
Its cardiovascular system-related symptoms might just be the iceberg. Reports of a COVID-19 infection causing multi-organ dysfunction continue to emerge, including sexual dysfunction.
Other possible causes of ED include:
While an occasional case of ED can go away on its own, you may want your condition diagnosed. This often requires a physical exam, something people can still be hesitant about.