What causes erectile dysfunction?

Dr Louisa Draper

"There are many different causes of ED, from psychological factors such as stress or anxiety to problems with your circulation or nervous system. Often, there are several factors at play."

Dr Louisa Draper

View treatments
Erectile dysfunction (or “ED”) occurs when a man is having difficulties getting or keeping an erection. There are many different causes, from  psychological factors such as stress or anxiety to problems with your circulation or nervous system. Often, there are several factors at play.

When a man becomes sexually aroused, the brain sends nerve signals to the penis, which trigger an erection. The blood flow to the penis is increased, causing the tissue to expand and harden. Erectile problems often occur when the blood flow to the penis is insufficient.

Recent studies show, that almost half of all males aged 40-70 have had difficulty getting an erection at some point. 

Although it is more common later in life, 1 in 10 men under the age of 40 have also reported that they have experienced ED.