What Causes Erectile Dysfunction in Men? 7 Surprising Reasons for ED

Erectile dysfunction (ED) currently affects about 30 million men living in the United States. ED is the inability, or disability, to maintain or gain an erect penis during sexual intercourse. While there are many reasons why this sexual dysfunction occurs, one of the biggest common denominators is age. Men who are older tend to experience erectile dysfunction more than younger men, on average.

However, men from all walks of life can experience ED—and there are some surprising reasons why. While older age is one of the main causes of problems with an erection, it’s not the only one, and it’s important to be informed on all of the different reasons you may be experienced erectile dysfunction.

Going Cycling

Studies have shown that men who go cycling for more than three hours a week can experience erectile dysfunction. This isn’t, in fact, a new find. Back in the 9th century BC, it was discovered that men who rode on horseback for long hours experienced some form of impotence. Of course, riding a bike every now and then won’t cause this. However, men who bike often and have recently been experiencing difficulties resembling ED may want to look at how often they going bicycling.

Gum Disease

Men who have been experiencing ED in any form may have gum disease, which is one of the more surprising reasons on this list. However, studies have been conducted to show that there is, in fact, a connection between gum disease and ED.

Gum disease symbolizes an overall poor health in the body and is actually connected with heart disease, which is also another factor that can lead to erectile dysfunction. When people have gum disease, they are lacking the proper blood flow to their gums. When men experience erectile dysfunction, they are also lacking proper blood flow. If blood is not flowing in one part of the body, there is a chance it isn’t flowing accurately in another part—hence, where the gum disease and ED connection is made.

Taking Medications for Hair Loss

Men who take medications for hair loss, as well as for an enlarged prostate, can experience ED. These drugs (finasteride and dutasteride) actually eliminate the dihydrotestosterone (which is the sex hormone in men that increases men’s sex drive) that is naturally circulating in your blood, which, in turn, can then cause erectile dysfunction and loss of libido.

While you may need to take these medications, it is always important to make sure that you’re well aware of some of the side effects you may experience while taking them. These medications may help, but you also may experience some form of erectile dysfunction after taking them.


For the most part, studies have shown that men with diabetes can experience ED two to three times more than the average man without diabetes. The National Institutes of Health explains that men who have diabetes have poorer regulated blood sugar. This can lead to damage to smaller blood vessels and nerves, which can then damage the overall blood flow in the body, resulting in erectile dysfunction.

Your Significant Other Is Friends with Your Friends

Your Significant Other Is Friends with Your Friends

Believe it or not, but a lot of studies have been done on ED, and one new research has determined that ED can occur if your wife or girlfriend is friends with your own buddies. Psychological factors have long been known to be a huge cause of erectile dysfunction and this study proves just that.

The research, which was published in the American Journal of Sociology, found that men experienced erectile dysfunction more when their wife or girlfriend hung out with his friends more than he actually did. This psychological factor could mean a lot of things. The study touches on how a man in this scenario may be experiencing masculinity issues and social perceptions.

However, this only affected middle-aged and younger men. Older men didn’t have this issue and researchers stated this was because older men tend to have different views of masculinity at that point in their life and, therefore, aren’t as affected by social perceptions.


As we mentioned above, psychological factors can often play a part in erectile dysfunction, especially in younger, psychically healthy men. Depression is a huge reason why men may be experiencing ED. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that about 61% of men who were considered severely depressed experienced some form of ED, or other sexual problems. This can then lead depressed men to experience even more depressive symptoms because they find themselves unable to perform in sexual activity.

Sadly, anti-depressants can also cause sexual problems in both men and women. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most known anti-depressants that can cause this. For men who take anti-depressants, this can result in loss of libido and erectile dysfunction.

High Blood Pressure

As we’ve mentioned many times in this article, poor blood flow is a huge cause of erectile dysfunction and this can be caused by one of many different issues in the body. High blood pressure is yet another one. High blood pressure actually damages blood vessels throughout the body, especially if gone untreated, which can then lead to ED.

High blood pressure medicine can also lead to men experiencing erectile dysfunction. However, men who are on high blood pressure medication should never stop taking it unless they talk to their doctor and gain their expert advice. To steer clear of both of these issues, keeping your body healthy is a sure way to both lower your blood pressure and potentially get rid of any of the ED symptoms you may have.

As you can see, there are many different reasons why one may be experiencing erectile dysfunction. While old age is a very common denominator for most men experiencing ED, factors such as psychological issues and a man’s own lifestyle can also be reasons as to why he may be experiencing erectile dysfunction. However, it is always important to seek help from a doctor and expert to find out how to change your lifestyle and better your sexual health if you suffer from ED.