When Is Erectile Dysfunction Permanent?

6 minutes

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. Erection can be too weak for sex or it won’t last long enough for sex. Erectile dysfunctions (ED) is a common condition in older men and nowadays it is being quite common in younger men too. The erection may be soft or dying and no erection at all even when a male is aroused.

Erectile dysfunction is a real problem that affects men of all ages. ED occurs in about 16% of all men and it increases to 54% in men with age between 40 and 70 years old.

Erectile dysfunction can be both temporary and permanent ( Chronic ) conditions depending on the cause of it.

What is Temporary ED?

Temporary erectile dysfunction is an occasional failure to reach a penile erection or to sustain it. Healthy men can encounter sexual performance problems as much as one in four times. This is a normal part of life and there’s nothing to worry about. 

Temporary erectile dysfunction tends to occur suddenly and may be accompanied by a low sex drive. Affected men will often notice that they still get spontaneous nighttime erections. In some cases, such as with performance anxiety, they may still have an erection while masturbating.

Temporary erectile dysfunction is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as stimulation, difficulty urinating, and temperature regulation suppression in a manner that further amplifies the problem. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy doses of stimulating compounds, such as traditional stimulants and certain psychedelics.

Temporary ED may be caused by emotional stress or anxiety or lifestyle habits such as excessive alcohol drinking or cigarette smoking. Coping with the stress or anxiety in a healthy manner and taking care of negative lifestyle habits may resolve ED. Sometimes medications used to treat hypertension or depression can result in temporary ED. Changing the medication may reverse ED.

Causes of Temporary ED

There are a number of causes that a man experiences temporary erectile dysfunction. They are


When your brain is under unhealthy stress — for example, from traumatic events, relationship problems, or work stress — your body can release a hormone called cortisol instead of testosterone. Cortisol constricts the blood vessels in your penis. When blood can’t flow properly to your penis, that’s when you may have difficulty achieving an erection.
Over time, chronic stress decreases the amount of testosterone your body makes, and this will, in turn, cause temporary erectile dysfunction.

Excessive porn watching

Porn-induced erectile dysfunction( PIED ) is not a diagnosed psychological condition like depression or stress but studies suggest that PIED can cause temporary erectile dysfunction. Over time, PIED may decrease men’s ability to feel desire and may increase performance anxiety from unrealistic expectations about sexual encounters with their partner.

Alcohol and Drugs:

It is important that you are conscious that temporary erectile dysfunction can be triggered by recreational drugs. Alcohol and marijuana are products that are widely available that slow down the libido of men and block particular phases of sexual reaction. In addition, street drugs such as heroin and cocaine can cause erectile dysfunction to become permanent sometimes.

Medication side effects

Many medicines can hinder the sexual response; in fact, sudden erectile dysfunction may be medication-related in 25% of cases. That’s why it’s so important to talk with your doctor about the side effects of your medicines; changing a prescription could be a quick fix to treating situational erectile dysfunction.


Being overly fatigued and exhausted can and interrupt the stages of the sexual response. Some research suggests that elite athletes, such as marathon runners or cyclists, who train intensively during the week may have a lower sex drive, both after a long workout and perhaps even over the long term. Also, since sex boosts your heart rate and counts as a form of aerobic exercise, men may be less likely to get or maintain an erection if they’re physically exhausted.   

What is Permanent ED?

Permanent Erectile dysfunction is a condition where one experiences consistent erectile problems for at least 6 months. In this condition, it will be difficult to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. The symptoms are sometimes accompanied by a lack of sexual desire or a decline in one’s mood. While almost every man may experience these problems on occasion, when symptoms persist or worsen, it may be due to ED.

ED can also be a sign of underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, which contributes to a man’s inability to get an erection.

Permanent ED may be caused by more serious health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. These chronic diseases damage the arteries, nerves, and tissues, which interrupt the necessary communication between the brain, spinal column, and penis. Treating these diseases, along with treating the chronic ED with medication is important to enjoying a satisfying sexual relationship again. 

Causes of Permanent ED

Permanent Erectile dysfunction can be due to various conditions that include


For the most part, studies have shown that men with diabetes can experience ED two to three times more than the average man without diabetes. Diabetes is the most common endocrine system disease that affects male sexual dysfunction. The National Institutes of Health explains that men who have diabetes have poorer regulated blood sugar. This can lead to damage to smaller blood vessels and nerves, which can then damage the overall blood flow in the body, resulting in erectile dysfunction.

High Blood pressure

As poor blood flow is a huge cause of erectile dysfunction and this can be caused by one of many different issues in the body. High blood pressure is yet another one. High blood pressure actually damages blood vessels throughout the body, especially if gone untreated, which can then lead to permanent ED.

kidney disease

An individual with kidney disease, regardless of the cause, is at increased risk for sexual dysfunction. The kidneys filter the blood and have a significant impact on blood pressure. The medications to treat kidney disease also carry the side effect of male sexual dysfunction.

Nerve disorders

The nerves endings that support erections are sensitive and can be damaged. Strokes, even mild ones, can impact the nerves that control your penis. Muscular Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and Spinal Cord Injuries can also contribute to permanent erectile dysfunction.

Pelvic injuries or trauma

The pelvis is a group of bones which sit above the legs and below the spinal cord. The majority of its surface area consists of the hip bones, but also incorporates the sacrum and coccyx.

There are a number of surgical procedures which require access through the pelvic area. Examples include surgery of the prostate or bladder. These procedures are often highly technical and meticulous, and damage to the nerves affecting erectile function is a possibility. This can have repercussions for blood flow in and out of the penis, which in turn can impede the ability to get or maintain an erection. 

A trauma or injury in these areas can also damage the nerves and blood vessels and may also impact erections.