Is ED An Early Indicator For Heart Disease?

February 2, 2022
Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and maintain an erection that is firm enough for satisfying sexual intercourse. This particular sexual dysfunction, although common, instills a sense of insecurity in those that experience it — from causing interpersonal concerns within a relationship and/or embarrassment and guilt in those experiencing it. What is not known to many, however, is that erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign of cardiovascular or heart disease.

What is the link between ED and heart problems?

The biological processes that lead to an individual being diagnosed with heart disease, can also cause ED which often precedes the heart condition. While not all those with ED develop heart disease, there is a significant link between the two conditions, with studies revealing that if a male has ED, he is at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

A 2017 study [ED & Cardiovascular Disease] reported a strong association between ED and endothelial dysfunction. The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels — its dysfunction results in blood vessels being unable to dilate completely for blood flow.

Dysfunction in the endothelium is one of the early signs of atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in the arterial walls and arteries, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Heart disease therefore can occur due to reduced blood flow to the heart due to atherosclerosis along with impairing blood vessel function. Erectile function is also highly dependent on adequate blood flow. Therefore, if an individual is experiencing ED, experts suggest it is the right approach to consider monitoring and maintaining one’s heart health. It is important to remember that endothelial dysfunction also commonly affects the blood vessels in the penis first.

While this information may be daunting for some, this does not mean that there aren’t ways that this can be managed. Heart health should be a priority regardless of ED symptoms, but those that have ED should always keep their heart health in check.

The good news is, lifestyle modifications can have an effective impact on both overall and sexual health. This includes eating a healthy diet, maintaining BMI through regular exercises, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and managing lifestyle disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol. Reducing the risk of heart disease can help improve sexual function as well.

If you have questions about if your sexual health may be affecting your overall health, do not hesitate to consult with a professional. An andrologist, urologist, and/or psychiatrist can help you find the cause behind your ED symptoms along with treating any underlying medical conditions, should they find any. Your sexual and physical health go hand-in-hand — don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sexual health is as important as physical and mental health. In most cases, one consultation can go a long way. Personlised, discreet and judgement free treatment at your fingertips - book an online consultation with one of Allo’s leading experts.

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Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction is defined as the inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. The condition can affect anyone at any age.

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Causes

Remember - the blood flow (BF), the nerve supply, and the balance of sex hormones - a concern in any of these can lead to Erectile Dysfunction. Erectile Dysfunction can be caused by a physical (a ‘hardware’ problem) or psychological (mental health effects) - mental health can play a huge part.

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Fact Check

Did you know that Erectile Dysfunction can be an indication of cardiovascular concerns? Chronic health conditions affecting blood flow can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.

Premature Ejaculation
Premature Ejaculation

If a man lasts less than 2 minutes after penetration (all or most of the time), and/or if it leads to frequent dissatisfaction for him or his partner, he may have Premature Ejaculation.

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Causes

The causes of Premature Ejaculation include:
(1) Physical Factors: Medical conditions, chronic health conditions, or sexual disorders are some physical causes of Premature Ejaculation.
(2) Psychological Factors: Depression, Anxiety 

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Fact Check

Did you know that Erectile Dysfunction can be a cause of Premature Ejaculation?

Premature Ejaculation can lead to other sexual dysfunctions, but that is not a wide-known fact.

Vaginismus
Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a condition in which the muscles in the vagina tighten up during penetration.

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Causes

Vaginismus is commonly caused by psychological factors. Women don't have control over the tightening, and it can be uncomfortable. Due to the physical discomfort, the anxiety or fear response gets worse, and this can lead to a cycle of avoidance.

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Fact Check

Did you know that there are four types of Vaginismus?

(1) Primary Vaginismus

(2) Secondary Vaginismus

(3) Situational Vaginismus

(4) Global Vaginismus

Low Sexual Desire
Low Sexual Desire

Low sexual desire, commonly referred to as low libido, is a decrease in sex drive.

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Causes

Individuals that experience low sexual desire due to various causes are impacted physically, mentally, and emotionally by the symptoms the condition can cause.

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Fact Check

Like other most common sexual disorders, low sexual desire can be influenced by many aspects, such as hormonal imbalance, increased age, side effects of medications, chronic illnesses, and addictive or compulsive behavior.

Couple Sex Problems
Couple Sex Problems

This would include concerns with infertility and/or conception. Sexual disorders such as Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation, and Vaginismus can lead to challenges with pregnancy attempts.

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Causes

There could be various causes of infertility, such as sexual dysfunctions, chronic illnesses, and mental health conditions leading to low sexual desire and a low sperm count. A sexual health professional should evaluate the causes of failed pregnancy attempts because there can be a variety of causes.

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Fact Check
Porn Addiction
Porn Addiction

Porn addiction refers to a person becoming excessively dependent on pornography leading to a disruption in their everyday life. This could include their job, relationships and at times, their day-to-day lifestyle.

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Causes

The causes behind porn addiction could be:

(1) Negative sexual experiences

(2) Incorrect understanding of porn and its uses

(3) Initially trying to learn about sexual experiences, resulted in dependency

(4) Experiencing mental health disorders such as OCD (an anxiety disorder) or depression

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Fact Check

Watching porn isn’t a bad thing, nor should it be associated with any shame. However, compulsive porn watching can have negative effects on your sexual, physical and mental health.

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