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Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

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Erectile Dysfunction and Vascular Disease

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Vascular diseases affect blood vessels. They lower blood flow to organs such as the heart, brain, and kidneys. If they cut blood flow to the penis, they can cause erectile dysfunction. These diseases may be the cause of ED in as many as 50% to 70% of men who have it.

The good news is that lifestyle changes and drug treatments usually help fight the types of vascular disease that can cause erectile dysfunction.

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Usually, a vascular disease happens when cholesterol and other substances build up and block blood vessels. In some men, the arteries and veins in the penis, and the rest of the body, may not work properly. They may keep blood from flowing when they're not supposed to.

Some common health conditions are linked with vascular disease and clogged arteries:

If you have one of these conditions, it's more likely that the problem can affect the blood vessels in your penis and cause erectile dysfunction.

Also, smoking greatly raises your chances for clogged arteries and vascular disease. If you have erectile dysfunction, it helps to kick the habit.

What Is a Venous Leak?

Your penis must store blood to keep an erection. If the veins can’t keep blood there during an erection, you'll lose it. This is called venous leak. It may happen with vascular disease.

It’s also linked to diabetes, Peyronie's disease (a buildup of scar tissue in the penis that leads to curved, painful erections), some nerve conditions, and even severe anxiety.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Stuart Bergman, MD on September 09, 2015
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