Erectile Dysfunction

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction is a medical condition where a man is consistently unable to achieve and maintain an erection that allows for satisfactory sexual function.

Though the risk of ED increases with age, it’s still possible for young men to experience the recurring inability to achieve an adequate erection, despite being sexually aroused. The Canadian Study of Erectile Dysfunction identified that ED impacts half of men over 40.  It is predicted that 322 million men will have ED in the year 2025.

Erectile dysfunction is a potentially treatable medical condition that is not related to masculinity or sexual prowess.

Symptoms Of Erectile Dysfunction

Symptoms of ED can include:

  • Erections are hard to obtain.
  • Erections are not satisfactory for penetration.
  • Erections cannot be maintained during sexual activity.
  • Erections cannot be achieved at all.

For some men with ED, penetration may not be possible. For others, penetration can be initiated but not maintained for the duration of sexual activity.

Most men with ED lose self-confidence in their sexual ability and their overall sense of self-worth can be negatively impacted.

Erectile dysfunction can have a devastating psychological impact for individuals and couples and should be treated immediately.

Causes Of ED

While both psychological and biological factors can cause erectile dysfunction, in reality the mind and body work together in sexual arousal, so most men have both factors in varying proportions.

Men with healthier lifestyles – no tobacco, less sitting, more exercise, and who maintain a healthy weight – typically have a lower risk of erectile dysfunction than other men in the same age group.

Men who suffer from clinical depression, anxiety, chronic stress, or who are experiencing challenges in their relationship with their partner, may have erectile difficulties. Some of the medications that treat depression can also contribute to the problem. The inability to perform sexually can cause further anxiety and depression, creating a downward spiral.

Health conditions or lifestyle choices that affect blood circulation, structural anomalies in the penis, certain neurological conditions, hormonal deficiencies, and medication side effects, can all contribute to erectile dysfunction.

Causes For Erectile Dysfunction

Aging is a key contributor in the development of erectile dysfunction.  ED affects more than 50% of males over the age of 50.

  • Vascular causes account for up to 70% erectile dysfunction cases
  • High cholesterol and the buildup of arterial plaque over time cause blood vessels to narrow and restrict the circulatory system.
  • Risk of heart disease and diabetes also increase with age which can affect the severity of erectile dysfunction.
  • Men over the age of 30 testosterone levels naturally decline at a rate of 1% a year.  Click here to take a testosterone quiz.


Lifestyle choices and health conditions which can also contribute include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Poor diet and blood sugar control
  • Chronic alcohol/substance abuse

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment In Ottawa

ED is a treatable condition, and most men can return to healthy sexual function which starts with a consultation at Ottawa Medical Vitality Clinic. Our doctor will evaluate your situation and determine the best course of action.

Tips and Recommendations for ED

Patients should do everything they can to improve their vascular and aerobic health. Lifestyle changes may come with less pressure and allow a man to achieve an erection more easily.

Some of the potential lifestyle changes we recommend at Ottawa Medical Vitality Clinic are:

  • Quitting smoking.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Reducing the consumption of alcohol.
  • Eliminating the use of recreational drugs.

If necessary, we recommend counselling to help with stress, anxiety, or depression. Psychological changes of this kind are intended to improve the ability to have sexual intercourse without worrying about ED symptoms.

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