Men Home > Impotence Causes

The most common causes of impotence (erectile dysfunction, or ED) include damage to the nerves, arteries, smooth muscles, or fibrous tissue of the penis. Lifestyle choices, surgery, medications, and psychological factors can also play a role. Other causes may involve hormonal abnormalities, such as not having enough testosterone.

What Causes Impotence? -- An Overview

Impotence can be caused by anything that disrupts the precise sequence of events that produces an erection. This process includes:
 
  • Nerve impulses in the brain, spinal column, and area around the penis
  • Responses in muscles, fibrous tissues, veins, and arteries in and near the corpora cavernosa of the penis.
     
A person should not assume that impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction, or ED) is part of the normal process of aging. There is quite likely an underlying cause.
 

Specific Impotence Causes

Specific causes of this condition can include:
 
  • Other medical conditions
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Surgery
  • Injury
  • Certain medicines
  • Psychological factors.
     
Other Medical Conditions
Damage to the nerves, arteries, smooth muscle, or fibrous tissues -- often as a result of disease -- is one of the most common impotence causes.
 
Diseases that may cause impotence include:
 
These medical conditions account for about 70 percent of the cases of impotence. Between 35 percent and 50 percent of men with diabetes experience impotence.
 
Hormonal abnormalities, such as not having enough testosterone, can also cause impotence.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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