5 Common Causes of Impotence
What Is Impotence?
Impotence is a condition that consistently affects a person’s ability to achieve or maintain an erection, or ability to achieve ejaculation. It’s a form of erectile dysfunction (ED).
There can be several contributing factors for impotence. These include both emotional and physical disorders. According to The Merck Manual, an estimated 50 percent of men ages 40 to 70 experience some ED at one time or another. The risk of impotence increases with age.
It’s also been noted that men with more education are less likely to experience impotence, probably because they have healthier lifestyles on average.
Impotence often has a negative affect on sex life, and can cause additional stress, depression, and low self-esteem.
Understanding the most common potential causes can help a person identify why they may be experiencing the condition.
1. Endocrine Diseases
The body’s endocrine system produces hormones that regulate metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, mood, and much more.
Diabetes is an example of an endocrine disease that can cause a person to experience impotence. Diabetes affects the body’s ability to utilize the hormone insulin. One of the side effects associated with chronic diabetes is nerve damage. This affects penis sensations. Other complications associated with diabetes are impaired blood flow and hormone levels. Both of these factors can contribute to impotence.
2. Neurological and Nerve Disorders
Several neurologic conditions can increase the risk for impotence. Nerve conditions affect the brain’s ability to communicate with the reproductive system. This can prevent a person from achieving an erection.
Neurological disorders associated with impotence include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- brain or spinal tumors
- multiple sclerosis
- temporal lobe epilepsy
People who have had prostate gland surgery can also experience nerve damage that causes impotence.
Long distance bicycle riders can also experience temporary impotence. This is because repeated pressure on the buttocks and genitals can affect the function of the nerves.
Treatments are available for impotence, including prescription medications, natural remedies, and lifestyle changes.
There are a variety of medical treatments that can be used to treat impotence. Prescription treatments and other medical interventions to help treat impotence include:
For those who want to avoid prescription medication, there are a variety of natural remedies known to help treat impotence.
Some natural or alternative remedies for impotence include:
Before you use any natural remedies, make sure that you consult your doctor first.
Whether a person’s impotence has a physical or an emotional cause, there are many cases where lifestyle changes can reduce their struggle with ED.
According to the Mayo Clinic. these lifestyle and behavior changes include:
- smoking and drinking less
- strengthening communication in a romantic relationship
- reducing anxiety
- exercising more and following a healthy diet
Impotence has a large number of causes, but there are still measures you can take to help prevent it.
Methods of possible prevention include:
- taking part in physical exercise, which decreases the risk of impotence
- avoiding smoking, drugs, or alcohol abuse
- getting enough sleep
- following a healthy diet
- reducing stress, anxiety, and depression
Impotence can change a person’s life and affect their self-esteem. Although aging is often associated with erectile dysfunction, growing older isn’t necessarily one of the biggest causes of impotence. ED isn’t considered a natural part of aging. Aging is just a risk factor. Some never struggle with impotence.
Though erectile dysfunction can have a negative impact on sex life, it’s a treatable condition. Many interventions exist that can help a person regain their sexual function, including natural remedies, medications, and lifestyle changes.
Because impotence can signal an underlying health problem, make an appointment with your doctor if it becomes a consistent problem, even if you think it’s just stress.
- Can over-the-counter treatments help with ED? If so, which ones?
There are no FDA-approved OTC products to treat ED, and in general, scientific data are sorely lacking in terms of such OTC and herbal products. Having said that, there are numerous products out there that CLAIM to help treat or reverse ED. Some of the more commonly mentioned products include: L-arginine (an amino acid), Ginkgo biloba (seed extract from a Chinese plant), Korean red ginseng (a root with claimed medicinal properties), and pomegranate juice. There are countless anecdotal claims for each product in treating ED, but very little research data. As always, discuss using such options with your doctor, before taking on your own.