What The Hell Is Wrong With My Dick?

So, you’re worried because you’re having erectile dysfunction (ED) symptoms? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Most men will deal with this, at some point in their life. It’s totally normal to feel concerned, and we’re here to help you get to the bottom of it.
First things first, let’s talk about what ED is and isn’t. ED is when you have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. So, if you can’t get it up or keep it up, that’s a sign that you may have ED. But, if it’s a one-time thing, don’t freak out just yet – maybe you were just too nervous or had too many drinks beforehand. We’ve all been there. Real ED is when you have issues consistently.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. What causes ED?

We put the causes of ED into 5 major buckets. 
PRO TIP: You may find it helpful to highlight the items you find below that apply to you, it should visually show you what the most likely causes of your symptoms are.  You can download our worksheet here to help.


(Statistically, the most likely cause of ED symptoms)
This category is all about things that reduce healthy blood flow. Basically, if your heart is struggling to send enough blood to your brain and lungs, it’s gonna ignore your penis. It is estimated that over 80% of the time, poor blood flow is the main cause of ED symptoms. This is actually GOOD NEWS – it means that there is a straightforward and scientifically proven way to reverse your ED.
Things that make blood flow worse:
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Hardening of the arteries
Lifestyle habits that make blood flow worse:
  • Smoking or vaping (tobacco or cannabis)
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Substance abuse
  • Being sedentary
Injury or tissue trauma that can also make blood flow worse:
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Prolonged perineal pressure (long distance cycling, driving for work)
  • Pelvic injury or surgery
If one or more of these apply to you, there is a good chance your penis isn’t getting the blood flow it needs to get as hard as you want.
While these are the most common causes of ED symptoms, they are also the easiest for you to address. 


(The second most likely cause of ED)
This category is all about what’s happening in your head and how that influences you physically. Often, what starts as a physical issue can also become a psychogenic issue, creating a vicious circle that’s hard to escape. Understanding this process is important to dealing with ED.
Things that can cause ED or make it worse:
  • Sexual performance anxiety
  • Depression
  • General anxiety
  • Stress
  • Relationship issues
These issues don’t stay inside your head – they can mess with your hormones by increasing cortisol and even suppressing testosterone. Dealing with these mental health challenges, with simple coping mechanisms, WILL make a physical difference. 


(Less likely to be your problem, unless you are a diabetic)
This category is all about damage to nerves. We already know erections need good blood flow & good mental health but they also need your nervous system to cooperate (erections are actually pretty complicated). If you’ve suffered any nerve damage, it could be keeping you from getting hard.


Things that can cause ED or make it worse:
  • Diabetes
  • Non-nerve sparing prostate surgery
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease


The biggest risk of suffering ED issues due to nerve damage is from diabetes.  50% of all people with diabetes have nerve damage – if you are pre-diabetic or have Type II diabetes, you can reverse the problems it’s creating for your body, including for your junk.


(Less likely to be your problem, unless you are overweight + highly stressed + have less than optimal sleep)
This category is all about hormones. To get a hard on you need, good blood flow, good mental health & healthy nerve endings – but guess what? You also need a good balance of all the hormones your body produces. I know, I bet you didn’t realize getting a hard on was so complicated – it used to just happen with no effort at all, right! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, BUT better you understand what’s going on so you can take control and get those erections happening again.


Things that can cause ED or make it worse:
  • Low testosterone
  • High cortisol


Things that can drive hormone imbalances:
  • Obesity
  • Sleep disruptions
  • High levels of stress
  • Thyroid dysfunction


If you suspect you have a hormonal imbalance, your doctor should be your first stop BUT, in the meantime, there are lots of things you can do, yourself, to naturally support hormonal balance.


(The easiest to try and fix)
Soooo, now you know all the things that must go right to get hard (blood flow, mental health, nerve endings & balanced hormones!) but even if you have all these things, some medications can still be torpedoing your torpedo


 Here is a list of the types of medication that may create ED
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • High blood pressure meds
  • Opiates
  • Medications for Parkinson’s


The good news is that there are usually alternatives if your medicine for one issue is causing another. If your ED symptoms started around the same time that you started taking the medication, talk to the practitioner who prescribed it to you!


The fact is, most of the time erectile dysfunction happens because of more than one reason but understanding what is having the biggest impact on your sexual health is an important 1st step to addressing it.
If you highlighted all the bullet points that apply to you – you should see a relatively clear picture of what might be contributing to your issues. This would be a great starting point for discussions with your doctor OR a good time to consider HARDR’s Next Steps (see below).



  • If your morning wood is the same as it’s always been BUT you consistently have trouble during sexual situations, it is reasonable to consider your issues may be psychogenic. PRO TIP: use the HARDR. app to track your morning wood to know for sure.
  • If your symptoms came on suddenly, it is more likely to be due to something like medications or sudden high levels of stress.
  • If your symptoms came on gradually, it is more likely to be a physical, psychogenic or hormonal problem.
  • Keep in mind, ED can be the canary in the coal mine for cardiovascular health issues – your semi could be trying to tell you something important!


You’re on the right path – taking the time to understand what’s happening to your sexual health is the ONLY way to move forward. But we know this is tough. This issue took a part of your life that was a fun stress reliever and turned it into something you are constantly worried about. That sucks. And it isn’t just a lifestyle issue. Did you know that men with ED are almost 200% more at risk for depression?  Or that men with ED miss work twice as often?  It’s true.
It’s also proven by science that men who have sex more often live longer, have better relationships and are happier. Don’t wait any longer to take control of your sexual health, guaranteed it will transform your outlook on life!

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