Vascular disease affects the blood vessels in your body. It can decrease blood flow to vital organs, including the brain, heart, kidney, and lungs. Vascular disease can also affect a man’s sexual health by inhibiting blood flow to the penis. Studies have shown that vascular disease may be associated with erectile dysfunction. Estimates indicate that up to 70 percent of men with erectile dysfunction also have vascular problems.
People with vascular disease typically suffer from cholesterol buildup that can block blood vessels and restrict blood flow. When blood vessels become blocked, they can’t function properly. Men with vascular disease generally have poor circulation and blood flow. Fortunately, vascular disease is a treatable condition. Lifestyle changes and medical treatments can improve blood flow and circulation. In many cases, treatment for vascular disease can reverse erectile dysfunction symptoms and restore healthy sexual function.
Other serious medical conditions may be associated with erectile dysfunction and vascular disease such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and peripheral vascular disease. Peripheral vascular disease is a condition that affects the blood vessels in the legs.
Venous leaks can also lead to erectile dysfunction. To get a firm erection, your penis must be able to store blood. If too much blood leaves the penis, you cannot maintain an erection for sexual activity. A venous leak allows the blood to drain from the penis. It’s a common problem associated with vascular disease. Venous leaks have also been linked to diabetes, nerve disorders, severe anxiety, and Peyronie’s disease. Peyronie’s disease is a condition caused by the formation of scar tissue in the penis. It can lead to penile deformities, painful erections, and erectile dysfunction.
Talk to you doctor about managing chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol. It’s important to get treatment for these disorders, as they can increase your risk of erectile dysfunction and affect your overall health. Your doctor can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation.
Certain lifestyle choices can help prevent erectile dysfunction due to vascular disease. Smoking greatly increases your risk of developing vascular disease and erectile dysfunction. If you currently smoke, talk to your doctor about starting a smoking cessation program. Quitting can lower your risk of erectile dysfunction and greatly improve your overall health.
Doctors recommend eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. It’s also important to engage in physical activity. Light activity should be part of your daily routine. Most people should also include 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 times per week. Check with your doctor to make sure that it’s safe for you to start exercising. Diet and exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent erection problems.
People at risk for vascular disease should limit alcohol consumption. You should also take steps to manage and reduce stress. Simple lifestyle modifications like these can help you prevent vascular disease and maintain your sexual health.