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Sudden Erectile Dysfunction: When to Worry

Sudden Erectile Dysfunction: When to Worry

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be distressing, but what if it happens suddenly and without warning? Whether it's a new issue or something that has only recently become a concern, sudden ED can be a sign of underlying health problems.

If you've found yourself wondering, "Is this normal?" or "Should I be worried?" you're not alone. ED affects at least half of men over 50 and 70% over 70. When it arises suddenly, the change in sexual performance can be jarring and leave you with questions.

At Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, our board-certified providers specialize in diagnosing and treating ED, so you gain peace of mind. We’re also committed to ensuring our patients have the information they need so they know when to seek help. 

Keep reading as we explore erectile dysfunction, why it can have a sudden onset, and when it might be time to consult with a professional. 

What causes erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) describes the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sex. ED can be a sign of physical or psychological issues, and understanding the root cause is essential for appropriate treatment. 

Achieving and maintaining an erection is a complex process that requires the coordination of multiple parts and systems, including the following:

These systems are key to your sexual health, and any disruption in their interactions can lead to ED. However, blood flow is essential when it comes to erectile function. That is because your blood vessels play a significant role in achieving an erection.

Our blood vessels can weaken as we age and may be lined with plaque. That can make it challenging to achieve the blood flow needed for an erection. 

The weakening of the vessels means that common treatments, like injections or medications, might not address the real issue. That’s why an accurate diagnosis and understanding of the root cause is essential for effective treatment.

How is sudden ED different?

Sudden ED refers to an unexpected and abrupt inability to achieve or maintain an erection, differing from chronic or gradual ED that develops over time. It can be a confusing experience, especially if you haven’t had any issues before. 


This sudden onset can sometimes point to a serious underlying condition that should get immediate attention, such as cardiovascular issues, hormone imbalances, or mental health concerns. Other times, sudden ED can be related to changes in your lifestyle or medications. A physical injury to your genital area might also cause it.

If sudden ED occurs alongside other symptoms, it may be a sign of a condition that requires prompt medical care. Symptoms to watch for include:

Understanding the cause of your sudden ED is essential because the underlying cause helps our team better understand your health needs and the best treatment. 

Don't wait to schedule an appointment if you’re worried about sudden ED. By addressing the issue quickly, our team can help you regain normal sexual function.

Are there treatments for ED?

At Urological Associates, our experienced urologists offer different treatment options tailored to your individual needs and any underlying conditions that might be contributing to your ED. Using our comprehensive diagnosis, we create a personalized ED treatment plan, which may include:

If you are experiencing sudden ED, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Our specialists at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, are here to provide comprehensive care and support. 

Schedule an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Urological Associates today and take the first step toward overcoming your ED.

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