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Impotence or erectile dysfunction (ED) does not have just one cause. ED can be caused by a number of things including lifestyle choices and medical conditions, but all specialists agree that it becomes more common as a man ages. Erectile dysfunction can be embarrassing, disheartening, and can put a strain on your relationship. Fortunately, there are many things—like lifestyle changes and medications—that may help you overcome this condition. Talk to your doctor to find out what you can do to treat erectile dysfunction. These are among the most common reasons a man may experience impotence.

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1. Obesity

It is not uncommon for obese men to experience erectile dysfunction. Studies show that obese men are more than twice as likely to experience ED than those who are not overweight.

Obesity raises the risk of cardiovascular conditions including atherosclerosis—when the blood vessels collect cholesterol deposits, which limits blood flow—even to the penis.

Also, men who are obese often have an imbalance in hormone levels. Studies show that obese men have lower testosterone levels than men of average weight. Testosterone is a necessary element in achieving and maintain an erection.

Not only does obesity influence a man’s physical ability to keep an erection, but it affects him psychologically as well. Obese men are more likely to experience decreased libido, depression, and decreased energy—all factors which can cause ED.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.