Erection Problems: What Men Need to Know
What causes an erection?
When you are sexually stimulated, your brain sends nerve signals to the penis, causing the muscles in the penis to relax and let blood flow into it. The penis becomes larger and firmer, like an inflated balloon. The veins in the penis are then closed off to trap the blood. After climax or after the sexual arousal has passed, the veins open up and blood flows back into the body.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
ED is most often caused by health problems that require treatment to help prevent more serious complications. Some of the problems that can cause ED are
How is erectile dysfunction treated?
Lifestyle changes-including exercising more, quitting smoking, losing weight, and cutting back on alcohol-may solve the problem. If you have made these changes and still have erection problems, your doctor can offer a number of other treatments. Treatment may include
Where can I get more information about erection problems?
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This publication is not copyrighted. The Clearinghouse encourages people to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.
The NIDDK Awareness and Prevention Series is designed to make you ask yourself, “Could this be me or someone I care for?” So take a closer look. Additional information on this topic and other titles in the series are available through the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse or on the Internet at www.urologic.niddk.nih.gov.
NIH Publication No. 08-6176
Page last updated: September 2, 2010