How Does Erectile Dysfunction Affect Sexual Desire?

How Does Erectile Dysfunction Affect Sexual Desire?

When you can’t achieve or maintain an erection that’s sufficient to enjoy sexual activity, you have erectile dysfunction (ED). Most men experience ED from time to time, affecting about one-quarter of men under 40, with this rate climbing as you get older. 

In some cases, the urge to have sex, called sexual desire or libido, may decline along with the ability to achieve an erection. Are the two connected? There’s a strong chance they are. 

Interruptions in a man’s sexuality can be a confidence shaker for him. Urologist Mike Hsieh, MD, specializes in men’s health and ED in La Jolla, California. Make an appointment to discover the reasons behind ED and, more importantly, find solutions to problems that are holding back your enjoyment. 

Reasons behind ED

Discovering why you suffer from ED can sometimes be a complex process. Sexual arousal isn’t a simple sequence of events, no matter how much it may have seemed that way when you were younger. 

While there’s certainly an autonomic response to sexual stimulus, there are also plenty of other factors affecting function, including your circulatory and nervous systems, hormone levels, muscle function, and even your emotional state. 

Your brain processes all of these factors into sexual desire, so a breakdown or failure in one or more of these subsystems could result in a state of low libido. 

The libido cycle

The complexity of sexuality means that it’s not only easy for the arousal cycle to be interrupted, these interruptions themselves become a contributing factor for both low libido and ED. Since ED can cause low libido, and low libido can cause ED, breaking the cycle can be difficult. 

It’s normal for ED to create feelings of anxiety and low esteem. Even a single experience with ED can undermine a man’s confidence, creating worry about future dysfunction. The brain could suppress sexual desire to preserve aspects of self-esteem and ego. If a man doesn’t have strong sexual urges, he may not pursue sexual opportunities to avoid further experiences with ED. 

Breaking the cycle

Since ED often has multiple underlying causes, it’s often possible to break the cycle by treating or eliminating other contributing factors. Common medical conditions that may play a role in ED include: 

Some prescription drugs can also affect erectile function, as can lifestyle factors such as alcohol and tobacco use. ED has also been linked to oral hygiene and gum disease. Reducing the impact of these factors can often restore enough natural erectile response that psychological blocks may be overcome. 

A consultation with Dr. Hsieh is the place to start when loss of desire and ED begin to impact your life. Call the appointment hotline at 858-216-2771 to schedule your appointment today. There’s an ED treatment that’s right for you, and now is time to find it. 

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