What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common type of male sexual dysfunction. A sign of ED would be difficulty getting or maintaining a firm enough erection to have sexual intercourse. Over the years, ED has become something most people are ashamed to talk about, but there’s help available for this. Although ED is common in older men, younger men may experience it too. Here’s more.

Common physical causes of erectile dysfunction

Heart disease and narrowing of blood vessels.

High blood pressure


High cholesterol

Obesity and metabolic syndrome


Drinking too much

Substance abuse, especially cocaine use

Surgical conditions

Certain prescribed medication

Common psychological causes of erectile dysfunctions 

Some men are affected by the psychological causes of ED. Such psychological factors can include:

Severe anxiety/stress



Fear of intimacy

Treatment for erectile dysfunction

There’re many treatment options for ED, depending on the cause. Your healthcare provider may recommend the following type of treatments.

Prescription medications, such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra



Change of lifestyle

Changing your lifestyle can also help you boost your overall health and manage your stress levels, which in turn, can contribute to a healthy sex life. Healthy lifestyle habits that may help you manage ED include:

Getting regular exercise

Limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco use

Maintaining a healthy weight

Eating a nutritious diet

It also helps to share intimate times with your partner that don’t involve sex.

Getting support

If you think you have ED, I recommend visiting your healthcare provider. You can also visit the Men’s Clinic– call them on 060 345 4550 or send them a WhatsApp on 066 488 6502, to book an appointment.

Engage Men’s Health also offers free, confidential sexual health services to all men. You can call them or send a WhatsApp on 082 607 1686.

When the causes of ED are psychological, a healthcare provider may recommend counselling. A professional counsellor can help you deal with everyday stress, guide you to improve sexual communication and openly talk to your partner about ED.

You might find it difficult to speak about ED to healthcare providers, but ED can be a sign of a serious health problem so it’s important to get it checked out. If you have more questions about ED, you can chat to me here.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).