Erectile dysfunction: A signal of coronary heart disease?

The very same course of action that makes coronary heart disease may also trigger erectile dysfunction, only previously.

By Mayo Clinic Workers

Erectile dysfunction — the inability to get and continue to keep an erection firm sufficient for intercourse — can be an early warning signal of current or upcoming coronary heart complications. Also, if you have coronary heart disease, having the proper treatment may assistance with erectile dysfunction. Fully grasp the connection and what you can do about it.

How are erectile dysfunction and coronary heart complications connected?

In the earlier, the buildup of plaques in the arteries of your body (atherosclerosis) was considered to be the reason why erectile dysfunction often precedes coronary heart complications. The notion was that plaque buildup lowers blood move in the penis, creating an erection tough.

Even so, specialists now believe that erectile dysfunction previous coronary heart complications is more often due to the dysfunction of the interior lining of the blood vessels (endothelium) and easy muscle mass. Endothelial dysfunction triggers insufficient blood supply to the coronary heart and impaired blood move to the penis, and aids in the improvement of atherosclerosis.

How robust is the connection involving erectile dysfunction and coronary heart complications?

Erectile dysfunction does not normally point out an underlying coronary heart difficulty. Even so, exploration indicates that adult men with erectile dysfunction who have no apparent trigger, this sort of as trauma, and who have no indications of coronary heart complications should be screened for coronary heart disease ahead of setting up any treatment.

What are the risk aspects?

Other than sharing a frequent disease course of action, erectile dysfunction and coronary heart disease also share numerous risk aspects, which includes:

  • Diabetic issues. Adult males who have diabetes are at substantial risk of erectile dysfunction and coronary heart disease.
  • Tobacco use. Using tobacco boosts your risk of acquiring vascular disease and can trigger erectile dysfunction.
  • Liquor use. Consuming far too a lot liquor can trigger coronary heart disease and may contribute to other triggers of coronary heart disease, this sort of as substantial blood pressure or irregular cholesterol. Liquor also impairs erections.
  • High blood pressure. Over time, substantial blood pressure damages the lining of your arteries and accelerates the course of action of vascular disease. Certain substantial blood pressure medications, this sort of as thiazide diuretics, can also affect sexual functionality.
  • High cholesterol. A substantial level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol can direct to atherosclerosis.
  • Age. As you get older, erections may consider more time to build and may not be as firm. The younger you are, the more very likely that erectile dysfunction alerts a risk of coronary heart disease. Adult males younger than 50 are at specially substantial risk.
  • Weight problems. Excess fat generally worsens other risk aspects for coronary heart disease.
  • Low testosterone. Adult males with low testosterone have better fees of erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease than do adult men with standard testosterone levels.

What are the treatment choices for erectile dysfunction triggered by coronary heart disease?

If your physician thinks you may be at risk of coronary heart disease, take into consideration creating way of life improvements. Any way of life transform that enhances coronary heart health and fitness enhances penis health and fitness, far too. Enhance your actual physical action, maintain a nutritious fat, quit smoking cigarettes and drink liquor only in moderation — or not at all. Additional-major indications and indications of coronary heart disease could direct to more assessments or treatment.

If you have both equally erectile dysfunction and coronary heart disease, converse to your physician about treatment choices. If you consider specific coronary heart medications, specially nitrates, it is not protected to use numerous of the medications utilised to treat erectile dysfunction.