Why do men get erections? This is, believe it or not, a common question that gets asked. Erection is a natural process during which a male, regardless of age, achieves an erect penis. There are multiple reasons as to why a man may achieve an erection, the most common of which is perceived to be caused by arousal.
The mechanism of erection is unique in that it is different from the majority of your body. Usually, when you wish to move part of your body you do so through manipulation of muscles, however, in the case of the penis there is no muscular contraction involved in making the penis erect.
Instead, the penis uses pressurised blood to become erect. The internal penis structure, called the corpora cavernosa, is used to become erect, arteries carry blood into the penis structure and the veins carry blood away from them. Depending on the flow of blood, the penis can be either erect or limp, and when a man becomes aroused, the arteries leading into the penis open up so that the pressurised blood can enter the penis quickly, resulting in a constriction in the veins leaving the penis.
The pressurised blood is now trapped in the corpora cavernosa, causing the penis to elongate and stiffen becoming erect. When these arteries are unable to open up properly, a man may experience great difficulty in gaining an erection. This is the leading cause of erectile dysfunction.
Almost all men will experience some change in their erections during their lives. Most often, men over 50 experience erectile changes that can occur as a result of stress, strain, mood changes, alcohol, drug use or smoking.
However, a lack of erection does not automatically mean a man has sexual dysfunction. As the problem could be caused by human factors such as emotional discomfort, mood swings or physical factors such as drinking too much or abundant smoking.
It is important to discuss the issue with your doctor as soon as you notice it, so the cause can be determined as it could be a symptom of a more serious medical problem.