What Causes Erectile Dysfunction and How Can It Be Treated?

Category: Blog

Erectile dysfunction (ED)  is an issue lots of men deal with. It can be embarrassing and lead to shame for many men. But it’s nothing to be embarrassed over.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, by the age of 40, about 40% of men struggle with some form of ED. And with so many issues that can cause ED, it makes sense how prevalent it is.

Luckily, there are quite a few treatment options including one newer treatment we offer at Eterna MD, Erectus BOTX.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection that’s firm enough for sex. The condition can affect men of all ages and backgrounds, and there can be many reasons for it.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

While the main cause of erectile dysfunction is the inability of the corpus cavernosum to relax, there are also a number of other factors that can be involved in the occurrence of erectile dysfunction as well.

Corpus Cavernosum Inability To Relax

Normally, the corpus carvernosum muscle remains contracted so that only a small amount of blood enters the penis. When this muscle relaxes, blood rushes into the penile shaft and that leads to an erection.

When this muscle doesn’t relax, an erection is not possible and it leads to erectile dysfunction.


High blood sugar, like what often occurs with diabetes, can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the body. This includes the penis. The damage can cause the blood vessels to constrict and slow down blood flow.

If your blood sugar is high over a long period of time, it can damage the nerves and vessels to the point that it affects the ability to get and keep an erection during sex.

Diabetes can also contribute to low testosterone levels which can also affect the ability to form an erection.

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol, especially high LDL cholesterol, can accumulate on the inner walls of blood vessels. When enough LDL cholesterol forms on those walls, the blood vessels become constricted and blood flow slows down. This can ultimately lead to erectile dysfunction because blood is not going into the penis fast enough.

High cholesterol can also contribute to other conditions associated with ED, such as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is caused by plaque forming in your arteries and causing them to narrow. This reduces the amount of oxygen-rich blood that your organs need and can be very serious.

Injury or Surgery to the Pelvic Area

Inflammation or injury to the pelvic area can also potentially affect the nerves or blood vessels responsible for sexual function. As a result, there might be a loss of sensation or reduced ability to achieve an erection.

Excessive Smoking

Smoking has a significant effect on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, but it can also affect the penis as well. Smoking can actually constrict the blood vessels in that area of the body and slow the circulation of blood. This can not only increase the risk of heart disease and heart attacks but it can also lead to erectile dysfunction as well.

Hormonal Imbalances

Testosterone and estradiol are hormones that are produced in the body and that have a direct effect on the ability to achieve an erection or not. If the levels of these hormones are not in balance or are too low, it can impact sexual function and lead to erectile dysfunction.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

While there is medication for erectile dysfunction, at Eterna MD, we also offer Erectus BOTX. Dr. Mercado actually designed the procedure himself.

It’s a relatively new treatment that involves injecting Botox into the penis. Botox will help the muscles relax and allow more blood to flow to the penis, making it easier to obtain and keep an erection.

During the procedure, a numbing cream is typically put on the injection site to help with any discomfort and then the Botox is injected.

When you see the effects of Botox may vary but you’ll most likely see the maximum results three months after the injections.

After the procedure, men have been able to achieve and maintain an erection for much longer periods.

This is currently still an off-label use of Botox, but it has shown promising results.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you’re struggling with erectile dysfunction and interested in learning more about Erectus BOTX, scheduling a consultation at Eterna MD is a great first step.

Dr. Mercado and Dr. Mara De La Vega are both board-certified cosmetic surgeons and can answer any questions or concerns you may have about the treatment.

To schedule a consultation today, call our Lake Mary, FL office or use our online scheduling form. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.

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