You know you have erectile dysfunction (ED) when you repeatedly cannot sustain an erection. And ED does not go away without treatment. It not only makes your sexual intercourse difficult but can affect your emotional health as well.

However having ED does not mean you have low libido, but only a problem with erection and ejaculation. Research shows that men past 40 tend to experience more instances of ED and may need treatment. Here’s what you need to know about ED:

1. If you suffer from chronic disease like diabetes then you are at maximum risk of suffering from ED. Any disease that impairs blood flow through the body and affects nerve impulses can lead to ED. Other diseases include cardiovascular problems and multiple sclerosis.

2. Smoking, excessive drinking, drug abuse all lead to constriction of blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the penis. Result is ED.

3. Being overweight and no exercise can also cause this problem. In fact keeping weight in check can help you with this problem.

4. Post-surgery especially for treating prostate or bladder problem can leave you with an erection problem. It can sometimes damage nerves and blood vessels near the penis. Mostly ED caused by surgery gets fixed naturally within 6 to 18 months. However if the nerve damage is permanent then you may need further treatment.

5. Sometimes poor self-esteem, stress and depression can lead to ED. Performance anxiety during intercourse actually affects the condition adversely.

6. ED can also signal towards serious disorder in the body, especially one that is related to the heart. Sudden appearance of ED can actually point to an impending stroke or a heart attack.