Suffering from erectile dysfunction can feel absolutely world-shattering, especially if you’ve been sexually active with your partner for years prior.
But this sexual heartbreak isn’t an independent issue. It crosses over other areas of your health and can indicate serious underlying medical conditions—cardiovascular disease (CVD) being one of them.
Labeled as one of the most common sexual dysfunctions out there, erectile dysfunction has been the bane of many men and their relationships. It affects elderly men more than younger men, but its prevalence remains a sweeping global issue.
The reason for its worldwide prevalence lies in its high degree of commonalities with other health conditions. Diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea are some common risk factors for this disease—and they’re fairly common ailments. But by far one of the most deeply-entrenched reasons for erection problems is cardiovascular disease.
But you may wonder, what does your erection have to do with your heart health, exactly?
To find the answer, let’s look closely inside our bodies and understand the intricacies of erectile dysfunction and heart disease.
Erectile Dysfunction: What Is It?
Erectile dysfunction is a sexual condition in which a man fails to get erect or is unable to retain an erection long enough for sex. Raking up over 150 million cases worldwide, erectile dysfunction is not something to trifle with due to its prevalence.
Men with erectile dysfunction often find themselves:
- Straining to get erect
- Trying hard to maintain the erection
- With a low sex drive
Having ED does not mean your issue is cardiovascular by nature. Consult a local men’s health in Orlando clinic for a root cause analysis for your ED.
How Do Men Get Erect?
Before diving into the link between erectile issues and the heart, it’s vital to get erections. As in—understanding how to get them.
Achieving an erection involves a complex interplay of physiological, psychological, and neurological processes.
The process starts with your brain receiving an arousing stimulus—perhaps your wonderful partner waiting for you in bed. This increased state of arousal causes the release of chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters.
These neurotransmitters travel to the nerves and blood vessels connected to your penis. It sends the message to your heart to pump more blood. It also tells the blood vessels and erectile tissue to expand to make room for this increased blood flow.
One notable region in the penis that activates during arousal—thereby causing an erection—is the corpus cavernosum. This is a chamber of spongy tissue that grows and deflates depending on the volume of blood entering the region.
The improved blood flow supply into the penis causes it to become rigid and erect, allowing for sexual intercourse. Once a man orgasms or the source of arousal ceases, blood will flow out and the penis becomes flaccid.
If any one of these functions falls short of its duties, the entire structure of the erection collapses.
And as detailed above, the heart and blood vessels are intimately connected in sustaining an erection. This makes having a cardiovascular disease diagnosis something that could adversely impact your sex life.
The Connection Between ED And Cardiovascular Disease
Both erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease are common as men age. However, it’s less known that ED can imply underlying cardiovascular disease.
The heart’s primary purpose is to pump blood to your organs, including your penis. If the heart can’t pump enough blood (such as in cases with coronary heart disease, which becomes more common the older we become), this will directly hinder the body’s ability to get an erection.
One potentially risky condition is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis refers to the inability of blood vessels to dilate properly due to the build-up of cholesterol in the blood vessel walls.
High blood pressure is another independent risk factor found in both cardiovascular disease and erectile problems. High blood pressure causes damage to the blood vessel lining, leading to blood flow inefficiencies.
When the blood vessels leading to the penis become damaged, thinned, or hardened due to clogging, this can lessen blood flow to the penis, thereby resulting in a lack of an erection.
The connection between erectile health and heart health has been the subject of study by many medical experts.
One 2021 research report has revealed that men having ED symptoms can indicate the emergence of cardiovascular symptoms in two to three years.
Another study involving 1700 people over four years found that men with erectile dysfunction were two times more susceptible to heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths.
While having ED doesn’t always mean an underlying heart problem, it’s a warning for future heart conditions. As such, we urge you to approach an erectile dysfunction doctor for a screening if you have ED.
3 Effective Ways to Boost Your Heart and Sexual Health
Waiting for a health scare to serve as your wake-up call to jumpstart your health journey? Hopefully not.
Here are a few effective ways to keep yourself healthy and prevent future coronary artery disease and erectile endothelial dysfunction:
- Exercising regularly: Exercising often can lower your risk of obesity and ED problems. Regular exercise like swimming, running, and cycling can help keep your heart and erections healthy.
- Following a healthy diet: What you eat defines you. A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains with less red and processed meat can fortify your immunity against ED and heart diseases.
- Consider medical treatment: Treatments such as shockwave therapy and ED therapy are specifically catered to treat erectile problems, making them highly effective solutions.
Preventing a heart attack, chest pain, and other adverse cardiovascular events will need you to modify your lifestyle greatly. Be sure to contact a medical professional to ensure your body is ready to undertake big life changes.
Get Superior Medical Treatment at Orlando, Florida’s Top Men’s Clinic Today
Your heart and sexual function share an intimate connection. If you’re currently suffering from erectile dysfunction, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your heart, and vice versa.
If you suspect you may have ED, your best next step is to contact a medical professional.
The men’s health group at Orlando’s Premier Men’s Medical Center specializes in treating conditions that impact men’s health. We offer you treatments that deal with the underlying conditions that lead to erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, andropause, adrenal fatigue, and more. Contact us for a consultation today.