ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION: 8 Sicknesses That Can Wreck A Man’s Sex Life By Olayinka Adediran ๐ŸŽŠ The Scoper Media


MOST men will experience difficulty maintaining erections at some point in their lives โ€” and often a health condition is to blame.

sicknesses that ruin a man’s sex life

Your mind is your most important sex organ โ€” thatโ€™s because your emotions can take a big toll on your sex life. In about 10 to 20 percent of erectile dysfunction cases, an emotional issue โ€” from depression to performance anxiety โ€” is to blame.

What about the other 80 to 90 percent of the time? Usually, ED has a physical root. “Erectile dysfunction is the inability to obtain and sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse,” says Ryan Berglund, MD, a urology specialist at the Cleveland Clinic โ€” and a number of medical conditions that interfere with blood flow to the penis can contribute.

Could any of these health conditions be increasing your ED risk?



Your heart health and your sexual health are deeply connected. In fact, any condition that causes narrowing of the arteries can affect your sexual function and cause erectile dysfunction. โ€œHeart disease, smoking, and high blood pressure are the most obvious contributors to erectile dysfunction,” says Nelson Bennett, MD, a urology specialist at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass.

That means treating your high blood pressure and heart disease (and kicking that smoking habit, too) can do a lot to improve your sex life. โ€œItโ€™s safe to say that what’s good for your heart is good for your penis,” says Dr. Bennet.


Diabetes And Sex

Another major ED risk factor? Diabetes โ€” “It’s a risk factor because diabetes affects both the blood vessels and nerves that are important for maintaining an erection,” explains Dr. Berglund.

For men with diabetes, studies show that erectile dysfunction starts about 15 years earlier and is about four times more common than in men without diabetes. Treatment for diabetes often involves a combination of medication and healthy lifestyle choices โ€” methods that may also be an important part of your ED treatment plan.


Obesity And Sex

Overweight? Obesity can contribute to erectile dysfunction in many ways. Psychologically, it can make a man self-conscious about his body. Physically, obesity is a threat because it contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes โ€” all risk factors for erectile dysfunction.

“Obesity has also been linked to low levels of the male hormone testosterone, which may be another contributing factor,” notes Berglund. So come up with a plan to drop the weight โ€” pronto.


Inflammation And Sex

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you could also have another health problem to worry about. “The systemic inflammation caused by diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is being linked to erectile dysfunction,” Berglund says. “It may be that these diseases cause small blood vessel inflammation that interferes with penile blood flow.” The anti-inflammatory treatments used for rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions that cause chronic inflammation, which affects sexual health as well as overall health, may help reduce erectile dysfunction, too.


Depression And Sex

“A high percentage of people with depression have erectile dysfunction, but it’s hard to know which is the chicken and which is the egg,” says Berglund.

Depression can hamper your sexual health because it can lead to a lack of interest and a lack of energy for sex. “Treatment for depression may result in renewal of interest in sex, but some antidepressant medications, especially the medication Paxil, may actually make erectile dysfunction worse,” he warns. So talk to your doctor if ED is a concern.


Gum Disease And Sex

Brush your teeth, get an erection? “Some studies show a high relationship between severe gum disease and erectile dysfunction,” says Dr. Bennett. “But it may just be that men with poor dental health don’t take good care of themselves generally.”

In one small study, more than 80 percent of men with severe erectile dysfunction also had chronic gum disease. More studies are needed to tell what the exact link is, but taking good care of your teeth and gums is always a smart idea.


Restless Leg Syndrome And Sex

A recent study in the journal Sleep found that men with frequent restless leg syndrome episodes (15 or more a month) were 78 percent more likely to have erectile dysfunction than men without it.

Whatโ€™s the link? Researchers suspect that it may be related to the brain chemical dopamine, which is typically low in both conditions. “In addition to low dopamine, lack of sleep can lead to depression and low testosterone,” says Berglund. Many of the lifestyle choices recommended for restless legs, such as exercise, stopping smoking, and limiting the use of alcohol, may also boost your sex life.


Sleep Apnea And Sex

A recent study from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City found that men with more severe erectile dysfunction have a higher risk for sleep apnea โ€” a condition thatโ€™s characterized by deafening snoring and daytime sleepiness.

“These two conditions may be linked because abnormal periods of breathing during sleep apnea increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and chronic fatigue,” says Berglund. The good news? Treating sleep apnea with breathing support and medications may also improve erectile dysfunction

Everyday Health

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