It’s typical to have occasional difficulties with sexual performance, however, a chronic inability to achieve or sustain an erection is not normal and is referred to as erectile dysfunction (ED).

ED can be caused by various factors, as the process of achieving an erection involves many different functions and mechanisms.

When any one of the components involved in the process of getting an erection is not functioning correctly, it can result in difficulty in achieving an erection. Therefore, it is important to address any health concerns promptly.

7 surprising reasons for erectile dysfunction:

1. Excessive salt intake

Excessive salt intake can lead to an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which negatively impact the body’s ability to achieve an erection. This is because high blood pressure and cholesterol restrict blood flow to the penis, making it difficult to maintain an erection. Additionally, a study has shown that a high salt intake can also reduce erectile function by inhibiting the ability of the mineralocorticoid receptor to regulate blood pressure effectively.

2. Cycling or Biking

Cycling is well-known for its health benefits, but excessive cycling can also affect sexual activity. Sitting in the same position on the saddle for extended periods can damage the nerves in the pelvic area, leading to numbness in the groin. If you experience numbness after a long ride, consider reducing the number of miles cycled per week. Studies have shown that cycling more than 3 hours per week increases the risk of moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. However, it is important to note that a sedentary lifestyle and obesity can also negatively impact sexual health.

3. Stress

Everyone goes through stress, but how an individual handles it can determine the level of impact it has on their life. Prolonged stress can lead to the development of erectile dysfunction over time. To manage stress, you can try techniques such as deep breathing and yoga, which can help reduce worries and promote relaxation.

4. Anxiety

Performance anxiety about sexual performance can also impede a satisfying sexual life. If you’re worried about your sexual abilities, it can lead to erectile dysfunction as a result of your psychological state. Communicating openly and honestly with your partner about your concerns can help to alleviate the tension.

5. Hair loss Medications

Hair loss is a common issue that men face as they age. However, it is important not to rush into taking hair loss medications without consulting a healthcare practitioner. Some medications such as Propecia and Avodart can increase the risk of developing erectile dysfunction. These medications work by reducing the amount of dihydrotestosterone in the blood, which in turn can decrease testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels can affect sexual health, so it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional about the potential side effects and alternatives of the medication you’re considering.

6. Good oral hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene, including regular flossing and brushing of teeth, is important for sexual health. Research has shown that men with chronic periodontitis, an inflammation of the gums and teeth, have an increased risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Periodontitis causes oral inflammation, which can disrupt the production of nitric oxide, a chemical that helps to promote healthy blood circulation throughout the body.

7. Canned foods

The convenience of canned foods may be appealing, but it can also increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. Canned foods are often lined with a material that contains bisphenol-A (BPA), which can disrupt hormones in men by inhibiting sex hormones. To reduce the risk, try to consume fresh foods such as fatty fish and fruits and vegetables whenever possible.


It is important for men to be aware of these causes and to seek help if they are experiencing ED. Working with a healthcare provider can help determine the underlying cause of ED and develop an appropriate treatment plan.