Dr Clare Morrison

Article by Dr Clare Morrison

Frequently Asked Questions About Erectile Dysfunction

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions our customers have about erectile dysfunction (ED, or ‘impotence’).

How do you prevent erectile dysfunction?

It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent erectile dysfunction. ED occurs mainly in older males, but young men can also suffer from ‘performance anxiety’.

Top tips to achieve better health and avoid ED include:

  • Physical activity
  • Stress-free life
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Balanced diet
  • No smoking
  • Reduction in alcohol consumption

How does erectile dysfunction occur?

Blood vessel deterioration is a primary cause of erectile dysfunction. This means that there’s a narrowing of blood vessels going to the penis. Other causes include hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes. There are also psychological causes – for example, depression and relationship problems can affect a man’s ability to perform.

What is the best food for erectile dysfunction?

There’s no miracle food to prevent erectile dysfunction. However, erectile problems are usually due to having a bad blood supply to the penis, so foods that are good for your vascular system may help to prevent ED. Such foods include:

  • Leafy green vegetables (nitrates)
  • Dark chocolate (flavonoids increase circulation)
  • Sea food (zinc)
  • Watermelon (antioxidants)
  • Tomatoes (lycopene boosts circulation)

What can cause erectile dysfunction at 30?

Erectile dysfunction is more common among younger men than previously believed.  It can be triggered by health conditions, such as obesity. Hormonal disorders, such as low testosterone could also contribute to ED. An abnormally high or low thyroid hormone level can also result in ED, and young men who use steroids to build muscle mass are also at risk. Anxiety and depression are other common triggers.

Is erectile dysfunction common?

Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition – especially in older men. It’s estimated that 50 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 70 will suffer from ED to some degree.

What causes impotence in middle aged males?

Causes of erectile dysfunction for middle aged men include depression, anxiety or having sex with someone new after being in a long-term relationship. As men age, they can become more sedentary and suffer from health conditions such as diabetes and other vascular conditions.

Can erectile dysfunction be reversed?

Erectile dysfunction can potentially be reversed without medication by focusing on lifestyle factors. These include following a healthy diet, not smoking, exercising and avoiding alcohol.

Can high blood pressure affect erectile dysfunction?

High blood pressure is a common problem associated with erectile dysfunction. This is because high blood pressure stops the arteries that carry blood into the penis from dilating the way they should. As a result, not enough blood flows into the penis to make it erect.

Can erectile dysfunction be caused by stress?

The causes of ED can be both physical and psychological. Studies show that psychological factors are the most common cause. These include stress and anxiety. Increased stress and anxiety can also increase the risk of other conditions that could cause ED, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

What is the average age for erectile dysfunction?

It’s estimated that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will suffer from erectile dysfunction to some degree. However, it’s treatable and isn’t as inevitable as you may think – and there’s a sliding scale. A study showed that only four percent of men in their fifties and 17 percent in their sixties experience a total inability to have an erection.

What foods are bad for erectile dysfunction?

The best way to improve your sexual health is to clean up your diet. It’s best to avoid foods that can potentially contribute to erectile dysfunction. These include meat, fried foods, foods packed in cans or plastic, and soy (this can affect your hormones).

How do you diagnose erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction means the repeated inability to achieve or sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. ED doesn’t mean an occasional failure to achieve an erection, diminished interest in sex or problems with ejaculation. There are a variety of different tests that can be used to identify the cause of ED. These include: physical examinations, psychological testing (for stress, anxiety and depression), blood and urine tests and ultrasound.

What is the best medicine for erectile dysfunction?

The best medicine for erectile dysfunction includes Cialis, Viagra and Levitra.

Is erectile dysfunction curable?

ED can be successfully treated. Along with medication, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet and be physically active.

What is the cause of erectile dysfunction in older men?

Vascular diseases are more common in older men. This is why erectile dysfunction can be a problem among men between the ages of 40 and 60. As well as this, psychological problems can increase with age, such as stress and anxiety.

Which erectile dysfunction drug is best?

Viagra is the most popular drug for erectile dysfunction. However, Cialis and Levitra are also effective.

Can having the flu cause erectile dysfunction

The flu could affect your mood, and therefore your performance. As well as this, flu medication can have side effects that can lead to erectile dysfunction.

Can diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?

ED is a common problem among men who have diabetes. This is because diabetes can damage the blood vessels men need to maintain an erection. Without blood vessels and nerves that control erections, ED can occur even if a man has a healthy sex drive.

For more information about erectile dysfunction, take a look at our treatments page.


Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Dr Clare Morrison
Dr Clare Morrison
Experienced General Practitioner in Hampshire since 1995, with particular interest in Nutrition, Obesity and Smoking Cessation.
Originally published July 06 2017, updated March 14 2019