Posted on: 10 Feb 2021
Erectile dysfunction might not just be affecting your relationship, it could be a sign of something deadly
Valentine’s Day is typically a day of celebrating the love between two people, but it can also come with added pressures in the bedroom, which can lead to disappointing results. Erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual health problem men report to their doctors.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to achieve and maintain an erection firm enough for sex. It is estimated to affect 30 million men in the US. In many men, ED may also be a serious messenger of life-threatening cardiovascular conditions.
Erectile dysfunction can be an important cardiovascular disease risk factor men should pay attention to. Much like smoking or having a family history of heart disease, including heart attacks, ED can be an early warning sign of current or future heart problems. Because the penile arteries are smaller than the cardiac arteries, plaque formation may often show up first as ED. Previous research has shown that among men who seek help for ED, nearly 20% had undiagnosed high blood pressure, 15% had diabetes and 5% already had significant coronary artery disease.
“Healthy lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, losing excess weight and increasing physical activity may help some men with ED regain sexual function or at least prevent further worsening,” said Harris M. Nagler, MD, President of the Urology Care Foundation. “Erectile dysfunction is a very common and treatable urologic condition. Men shouldn’t be afraid to visit their urologist to get help.”