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LDL Cholesterol and Erectile Dysfunction: Are They Connected?


  • LDL cholesterol and ED may be connected.
  • High levels of cholesterol have a negative impact on blood flow through arteries and are a risk factor for many conditions, including erectile dysfunction.
  • ED can be caused by many conditions that impact blood flow to the penis, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
  • High LDL cholesterol levels are a risk factor for developing ED and other diseases linked to ED, such as atherosclerosis and heart disease.
  • People with ED benefit from having their cholesterol levels checked and monitored over time.
  • Those with ED and high cholesterol levels may require treatment of both conditions to ease symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

High LDL cholesterol and ED are severe health conditions that can affect your quality of life. These conditions may also be linked. The effects of high cholesterol levels have a negative impact on the blood flow in arteries throughout the body. High cholesterol is a risk factor for many diseases, including erectile dysfunction.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Under normal circumstances, sexual stimulation triggers the body to release chemicals that relax tissues in the penis and allow it to fill with blood, causing an erection. The inability to get an erect penis or retain an erection during sex is called erectile dysfunction (ED).

While it’s common for someone to experience erectile problems occasionally, people with ED experience it regularly. This ongoing condition has a huge impact on a person’s sex life and self-esteem. People with ED may have reduced sexual desire, which may cause relationship problems.

People may experience ED as a symptom of another health condition. Some underlying diseases or conditions affect how blood flows throughout the body, including the penis. Conditions that contribute to the development of ED include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis, hardening and clogging of the arteries
  • Obesity
  • Peyronie’s disease, a curved penis caused by scar tissue
  • High cholesterol

People may experience high cholesterol levels independently, but they also contribute to the development of other diseases, such as heart disease. The impact of high cholesterol on a person’s overall health increases the risk of developing ED.

couple in bed

High LDL cholesterol and ED: What’s the connection?

Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance that naturally occurs in the bloodstream. It’s not a bad substance on its own since it’s required to keep the body functioning normally. Cholesterol is essential for the production of bile and sex hormones. It also helps build tissues and cells. People at any weight and state of health can suffer from high cholesterol.

Cholesterol consists of two main types: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is sometimes referred to as healthy cholesterol and LDL as bad cholesterol. Having high HDL cholesterol levels can protect heart health, while high levels of LDL cholesterol cause health problems.

LDL cholesterol can stick to the walls of arteries and build up over time. The buildup of this fatty substance is called plaques, or atheromas. Over time, these plaques narrow the arteries and make it more difficult for blood to flow through normally.

If it is allowed to accumulate, the plaques can develop into atherosclerosis. This disease causes hardening and narrowing of the arteries. People with atherosclerosis may develop severe complications, and it’s also a risk factor for developing erectile dysfunction.

High cholesterol and erectile dysfunction

High cholesterol levels affect erectile dysfunction in several different ways. Having elevated cholesterol can make it more challenging for the body to produce the chemicals needed to get and maintain an erection.

High cholesterol levels reduce the amount of nitric oxide the body can release into the bloodstream. This prevents penile tissues from properly relaxing, which is essential so the penis can fill with blood and become erect.

High LDL cholesterol also causes ED problems when it builds up in the arteries. When the plaque buildup happens near the penis or within the pelvic area, it can reduce blood circulation to the genitals. A lack of proper blood flow can lead to recurrent erection problems.

Higher LDL cholesterol levels lead to more plaque formation and increase the risk of developing conditions like erectile dysfunction. Research shows that high levels of cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, have a significant impact on erectile function.

This link between LDL cholesterol and ED indicates that treatment for elevated cholesterol is vital for the treatment of ED.

having a discussion with a doctor

Is ED caused by high cholesterol reversible?

High cholesterol puts people more at risk of developing ED. If high LDL cholesterol causes a patient’s erectile dysfunction, treating their cholesterol may improve erection problems. This is why people with both ED and high cholesterol may benefit from treatments that lower cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol treatments may include making lifestyle modifications, such as quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, exercising more often, and eating healthier. These treatments may also help improve ED symptoms because they improve your blood circulation and overall health.

Doctors can also prescribe medications, including statins, to help reduce your high cholesterol.

Treating high cholesterol with statins

Statins are the most common medications used to treat high LDL cholesterol. They work by lowering the amount of LDL cholesterol produced by the body. Statins block HMG-CoA reductase, a protein needed by your liver to produce cholesterol. Doctors may prescribe statins to ED patients if they also suffer from high cholesterol levels.

Treating your ED with eDrugstore

High cholesterol and ED may be connected. Fortunately, both conditions are treatable. Using medications to reduce cholesterol levels may improve other symptoms, including ED. Others may require both cholesterol and erectile dysfunction medications to improve their conditions.

If you need medications to treat ED, consider filling your ED prescription through eDrugstore. Our online pharmacy offers patients complete privacy and the convenience of filling prescriptions online.

We offer doctor consultations to address your health issues and ensure you’re getting the treatment you need. Visit our online pharmacy to find the brand-name or generic erectile dysfunction medication you prefer. With eDrugstore, virtual health visits and shipping are always free.

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