Published: June 2, 2022
By: Kimberly Newton-Klootwyk

Stress, relationship problems, lack of confidence, intimidation, and performance anxiety can make it hard for a man to achieve and retain an erection, but these emotional and psychological factors are typically only responsible for occasional erectile dysfunction (ED). If you experience frequent or ongoing (more than three months) erection challenges, there may be a physical underlying cause.

Our specialists at Balanced Medical Solutions in Hayward, California, have many years of combined experience diagnosing and treating men’s sexual health conditions, including Peyronie’s disease, low testosteronetesticular atrophylow libido, and premature ejaculation. If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, we can help.

We start by identifying the underlying cause of your ED. Here are the most common physical culprits.

Physical conditions that contribute to ED

Getting and keeping an erection may seem like the simplest and most natural human function, but when it doesn’t go as expected, you realize there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s actually a complex process that requires several body parts, including your brain, to work in harmony with precise timing.

If your head and heart aren’t into it, your body may not go through the motions. But the same is true if there are physical problems interfering with the process. In fact, anything that hinders the blood flow to your penis or damages nerves or tissues could be to blame. Here are some issues you may not realize can thwart your efforts in the bedroom.


Uncontrolled blood sugar, a hallmark of diabetes, wreaks havoc on your whole body, especially your nerves and blood vessels. If you’ve sustained diabetes-related tissue damage, it can also affect your ability to get and keep an erection. In fact, up to 50% of diabetic men suffer from ED.

Vascular problems

You need a fully functioning vascular system to obtain an erection, so if you have a condition that compromises your blood vessels, it may be contributing to your ED. These conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis.

Neurological issues

Your brain and nervous system work in tandem to enable your erections, so when either one malfunctions, it could lead to ED. Examples of such medical conditions include:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Parkinson’s disease

Anything that interrupts the neural messages between your brain and your penis can prevent an erection.

Kidney disease

When you suffer from kidney disease, it sets off a chain reaction of changes in your body. It alters your hormones, energy level, circulation, and nerve function, and each of those changes can lead to ED, as can the medications used to treat your kidney disease.


To get an erection, you need the right level of testosterone (T) in your body, and if you don’t have enough, you’re likely to experience bouts of ED. One of the culprits behind low T is obesity. In fact, if your waistline is just four inches too big, you’re 75% more likely to have a low T problem, which increases your risk for ED as well.


Having a few drinks to “get in the mood” can backfire on you. Because alcohol is a depressant, it dulls your senses and makes getting an erection and reaching an orgasm more difficult. Because it impairs your nerve sensitivity and circulation, you may experience temporary ED until you sober up. If you’re a heavy drinker, ED may become a chronic consequence.

Reversing ED

Once we identify the underlying cause of your ED, our team develops a personalized treatment plan to restore your body’s rhythm and sexual function. We can help you get your hormones back in balance, prescribe medication to trigger an erection, apply extracorporeal pulse activation technology, or use Anti-aging medicine to heal damaged nerves and tissues.

Don’t settle for a lackluster or nonexistent sex life when there are simple and effective treatments for ED. Schedule an appointment today, to find out if you have a physical condition contributing to your ED, and get back to your old self again.

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