Erectile dysfunction and
men's health

Cardiovascular disease (CVD)

CVD can lead to the build-up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels, narrowing them and causing damage. The smaller blood vessels found in the penis are among the first affected. Erections are less easily achieved or may be less firm than before because there is less blood flowing into the penis.


Diabetes happens when the body cannot produce or respond to the hormone insulin properly, resulting in too much sugar (glucose) in the blood. High blood glucose levels can damage nerves and blood vessels, including those needed for erections.

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Hypertension puts blood vessels under extra strain. The arteries narrow and thicken, so less blood flows into the penis.

High cholesterol

High levels of cholesterol can clog up blood vessels. This may reduce blood flow to the penis so there’s not enough for an erection to happen.

Mental health conditions

Most cases of ED have a physical cause. Sometimes, however, psychological conditions such as depression or anxiety can cause ED symptoms, or make them worse.


Certain medicines for other health conditions can cause ED symptoms.Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you notice any unwanted side effects from medicines you may be taking.

Prostate surgery

The prostate gland sits just under the bladder, next to nerves that make an erection happen. Surgery on the prostate can damage these nerves.