Erectile Dysfunction

The erectile problem, also known as “Erectile Dysfunction”, is among the sexual dysfunctions commonly seen in men at the age of 40 and older. The erectile problem, which can be defined as the failure of the penis to reach ideal erection or to maintain its ideal erection in order to have a satisfactory sexual intercourse, becomes more important due to the fact that it’s a frequently seen problem and it causes dissatisfaction of the partner.

The concerns about performance before sexual intercourse and the penile vein occlusion may also lead to the problems of erectile dysfunction. Apart from these factors, it is known that there are other dynamics that may cause erectile dysfunction. We will pass on the details shortly, but I’d like to remind you that the erectile dysfunction is a curable and preventable condition.

Men may have temporary or permanent erectile dysfunction depending on the physical and psychological trauma that they experienced during different periods of their lives. They may also have the impression that the problems they experience are the end of this world due to the meaning attributed to sexuality. If you are experiencing the same problem, you should remember that your sexual life will be refreshed if you get a treatment. You should consider the treatment option for the happiness of you as well as your partner.

What is the erectile dysfunction?

In order to respond clearly the question “What is the erectile dysfunction?”, i guess it would be useful to give some brief information about the penis anatomy.

There are three different columns inside the penis. Two of these three columns have a cylindrical tube structure and they are called “corpora cavernosa”. Apart from the columns of the corpora cavernosa there is a protective capsule called “tunica albuginea”. The last column is known as the “corpus spongiosum” and it has a channel inside that allows the urine and semen to be thrown out.

The erectile dysfunction is caused when enough blood fails to reach into two cylindrical tubes called corpora cavernosa, or when this blood fails to remain inside the tubes.

There are millions of small blood vessels in these tubes that allow the penis to erect before sexual intercourse and maintain its erection during the sexual intercourse. The central nervous system, hormones, blood vessels, nerves and smooth muscle tissues in the penis activate as a result of the exposure to stimuli such as smell, contact, sound, image, accompanied by the sexual stimulation and they ensure the increase of the blood flow through the vessels in the tubes. When the tubes start to fill up, their volume increases and they extend. Afterwards, the protective capsule called “tunica albuginea”; tighten the veins in order to maintain the blood in the tubes and to preserve the erection of the penis. After experiencing sexual satisfaction, the process is reversed and the blood in the tubes is withdrawn.

Starting from this, we can mention the existence of two different physiological processes that cause the erectile dysfunction. Despite the state of arousal, the it’s possible that the blood doesn’t flow into the veins in the tubes; this condition is called “Arterial Insufficiency”; or even if the blood reaches the tubes, it’s possible that the capsule can’t keep the blood in the tubes, and in this case there is “Venous Insufficiency”.

What are the Causes of Erectile Dysfunction?

The erectile dysfunction may have physical and psychological causes. In order to ensure success in the treatment process, it’s necessary to determine the causes of the erectile dysfunction carefully. Considering the fact that, in some men, both physiological and psychological causes may lead to the erectile dysfunction, the treatments are patient specific; it is important that the treatments are dedicated to the patient and developed according to the needs of the patient.

The physical causes of the erectile dysfunction can be listed as follows:

  • Vascular Diseases; Vascular diseases caused by heart diseases, smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, malnutrition, sedentary life, increased age and metabolic syndrome may cause insufficient blood flow to the vessels inside the penis; thus they may cause the erectile dysfunction.


  • Nervous System Diseases; Different factors such as MS (multiple sclerosis), intra-abdominal surgeries in the past, spinal cord injuries, problems affecting central nervous system, antidepressant use may cause damage to the signal system between the brain, spinal cord and penis muscles, and deteriorate the erection.

Apart from the nervous system and vascular diseases; it is known that the insufficiency of the release of testosterone hormone, some deformities in the penis and some drugs used in the treatment of secondary diseases cause the erectile dysfunction.

The psychological causes of the erectile dysfunction can be listed as follows:

  • Depression,
  • Performance concerns
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

The psychological causes of erection may cause primary and secondary erectile dysfunctions. When we talk about the primary erectile dysfunction, we mean that the penis can never achieve an erection. And in the secondary erectile dysfunction, the sexual intercourse cannot be successfully concluded even if an erection is achieved. Therefore, it’s necessary not to forget that the correct determination of the causes of erectile dysfunction and the initiation of the treatment process according to the causes will directly affect the success of the treatment.

Importance of Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

I want to say that the erectile dysfunction musn’t be exaggerated. As I have just mentioned, this can happen for different reasons, and more importantly, it can be treated. Unless a step is taken to solve this problem, the effects of psychological factors also increase; so one may get into a vicious circle which is difficult to prevent.

We perform detailed examinations of our patients who consult us with erectile dysfunction, and determine the factors that lead to erectile dysfunction. Once we identify the causes, we start the treatment process of our patients. For further information about the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction, you can read our article entitled “Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction”.