27 Sep Male impotence and cardiovascular diseases
Erectile dysfunction: can it be a sign of cardiovascular diseases ?
Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, is the persistent or recurrent inability to obtain or maintain an erection that allows “satisfactory” sexual activity, for at least 3 months. We will explain the link, which may seem surprising at first, between male impotence and cardiovascular diseases.
What is the link between male impotence and cardiovascular diseases?
The erection is a vascular process. It requires an influx of blood by a vasodilatation. The sexual arteries are of very small diameter, the finest in the body. When they have a narrowed width, it leads to an erection disorder. Indeed, the blood does not arrive any more sufficiently in the penis. This is called a sentinel symptom. It appears several years before any other signs. It is important to know that two or three years later, the arteries of the brain or heart may also become narrowed.
Impotence can therefore be a sign of an altered cardiovascular system, even if there are no other signs of heart or vascular problems.
Male impotence and medicine:
Therefore, it is quite natural that erectile dysfunction is a symptom concerning general medicine.
Men tend to think that this area is only about their sexuality. As a result, they sometimes find it difficult to discuss the subject. However, this is a health issue in the broadest sense. This is why more and more doctors, both general practitioners and specialists, are spontaneously talking to patients about it. It is, in
the context of a consultation, a first indicator of risk for diabetes, hypertension, hormonal or neurological disorders, to name but a few. At the same time, any patient with cardiovascular risk factors should be systematically questioned about the quality of his erections. Indeed, the arteries of the heart and those of the penis have the same functioning.
Male Impotence and health problems:
Since the link between impotence and cardiovascular disease is now proven, a doctor should be consulted in case of repeated erectile dysfunction. It is a real symptom, even outside of any sexual activity. Indeed, the disappearance of morning or night erections, the ineffectiveness of drugs such as Viagra, can be indicative of an underlying health problem. Indeed, this could be a sign of another disease to be treated (heart problem, poorly controlled diabetes, etc.). This is why a cardiovascular check-up is essential, especially for men over 50 suffering from erectile dysfunction.
It is therefore necessary, above all, to identify the cause(s) of the dysfunction as well as the risk factors. If there is an underlying disease, it will be treated, and the man will receive a parallel treatment to improve his erectile function.
Erectile dysfunction is not just a matter of a man’s sexuality. It is a barometer of his health in the broadest sense, as Professor Eric Allaire says.