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Erectile Dysfunction Guide

By Mosh
Treat Erectile Dysfunction
5 min read
Reviewed by:
Christopher Love

Understanding Erectile Dysfunction

ED is when you can't get or keep an erection hard enough for sexual activity with penetration.[1] It can happen to old or young guys and it's normal to experience it occasionally. ED is not a disease, but rather a symptom of another underlying health issue, which can be physical, psychological or both.

ED becomes more common as men age, with approximately 40% of men being affected at age 40 and nearly 70% of men being affected at age 70.[2] However, complaints of ED in younger men are on the rise, with one in four new ED patients now under 40.[3] About one in ten men are completely unable to have erections. Virtually all cases of ED are treatable - or at least manageable - no matter your age. 

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

ED is usually caused by an underlying health problem, or a combination of problems, which if treated, can reverse your ED.[4]

Physical Causes

The majority of ED cases have a physical cause. The most common is a blood vessel or heart condition which is often linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and smoking.[5,6] Other conditions like nerve damage from Alzheimers or Parkinsons disease and hormonal problems that interfere with libido can also cause ED. [5,6]

Psychological Causes

Performance anxiety is a common psychological cause of ED, especially in young men. Just one bad experience can trigger an ongoing vicious cycle. The stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline suppress production of the sex hormones making it more difficult to get or sustain an erection.[7] Chronic stress and anxiety can also interrupt how your brain sends messages to the penis to allow extra blood flow.[8] Depression and low self esteem can also cause ED.[9]

Recreational Drugs

Recreational drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, MDMA, dextroamphetamines and marijuana can negatively impact your ability to get an erection, and it gets worse with long term use.[10,11]

Pornography

Watching too much pornography can desensitise you to sex in real life and eventually cause difficulties with erections.[12]

Myths about Erectile Dysfunction

Myth 1: ED only happens to older guys.

FALSE. One study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that one in four men seeking medical help for ED is younger than 40 years. [13]

Myth 2: If you can’t get it up at once, it means you have ED.

FALSE. Most of the time, the reason you can't get an erection is due to something temporary such as consuming alcohol or feeling tired. ED may be a chronic issue if experienced over a long period of time.

Myth 3:  Men with erectile difficulties can’t achieve orgasm.

FALSE: You don’t need a full erection to be able to ejaculate. That’s because two different sets of nerves control erection and orgasm, so if erections aren’t happening, those other nerves can still trigger orgasm.[14]

Myth 4: If a man has ED it means he doesn’t feel desire.

FALSE. Low desire means you don’t feel like having sex. Erection problems means you want to have sex (which means you feel desire), but your penis won’t get hard. 

Myth 5: Masturbation causes ED.

FALSE. Masturbation has many health benefits, like releasing tension and reducing stress [15]. However, masturbating to porn can contribute to ED by desensitising you to physical intimacy. 

Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

Healthy Lifestyle

Leading a healthy lifestyle including getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, reducing alcohol consumption, controlling stress levels and getting enough sleep can help manage common underlying causes of ED.[16,17,18]

Limiting Pornography

Watching and masturbating to porn too much can desensitise you to sex in real life, leading to erectile difficulties and relationship issues. Quitting porn can be tough, but there are support communities and tools to help you through your journey.

Herbal Supplements

Some herbal supplements may support healthy erections, but in most cases only have a small benefit and more research is needed to prove their effectiveness. These include l-arginine and pycnogenol, panax ginseng, yohimbe, ginkgo biloba and propionyl-L-carnitine.[19,20]

Oral Medication

Australian law prevents us from talking about certain medications for ED util you've spoken to a doctor. What we can say, though is that there are evidence-based oral medications to treat ED that are effective in the majority of men. These are the best starting points for effective treatment.

Minimally Invasive Treatments

Minimally invasive treatments like penile injections work by increasing blood flow when medication is injected into the penis and can give you an erection within 5-10 minutes that lasts up to an hour.[21]

Surgery

Surgery is an option if all other treatments fail to work. These include penile prosthetic implants or vascular surgery.[22,23]

Next steps: Mosh connects you with a doctor or psychologist online to help treat your ED. We'll tailor a treatment to meet your budget and needs, and ship it to your door discreetly. Easy as!

The Mosh Process

1. Tell us about you 

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2. Hey Doc

Text, call or video chat with an Australian doctor where they'll figure out the best course of treatment for you.

3. Discreet Delivery

Confirm your treatment and your prescription will be delivered to your door.

Why we’re different: 
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  • Continued support: Includes nurse follow-ups, educational materials, and medical support at no extra cost.
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23 References

1. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/erectile-dysfunction2. https://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/endocrinology/erectile-dysfunction/3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/236514234. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/impotence-erectile-dysfunction-a-to-z5. https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/common-causes-impotence#medications6. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15029-heart-disease--erectile-dysfunction7. https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/how-the-mind-heals-the-body/201412/the-stress-sex-connection8. https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction-anxiety-stress#causes9. https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(18)31007-5/pdf10. https://drugabuse.com/is-alcohol-wreaking-havoc-on-your-sexual-performance/11. https://www.addictioncampuses.com/blog/cocaine-and-sex/12. https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/erection-problems-this-habit-may-why/13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2365142314. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5340504/15. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324068.php#can-masturbation-cause-ed16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5510347/17. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2004.05162.x18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917074/19. https://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/ginkgo-biloba-and-physiological-impotence20. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-803/propionyl-l-carnitine21. https://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/guide/alprostadil-treat-ed#122. https://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/guide/penile-prosthesis#123. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/penile-implants/about/pac-20384916

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