Don’t Miss a Single Update or New Release! Sign up Today

Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease: Is There A Link?

Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease: Is There A Link?

You're incredibly attracted to your partner. You've always had a high libido in the past, and you've never struggled to get an erection.

But lately, things have been different. Now, you count yourself among the millions of men who live with erectile dysfunction.

You've tried to think about what could be causing your sudden ED. But the truth is, you haven't noticed any major changes in your emotions, and haven't been diagnosed with any health problems that might be to blame.

The truth?

There's an alarming link between erectile dysfunction and heart disease, as well as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

If it's been a while since you had a checkup, then this might be the reason for your ED.

In this post, we'll teach you more about the links between heart problems and ED. Then, we'll tell you how to find a solution that works for you.

Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease: What You Need to Know

Let's take a closer look at the link between heart problems and ED.

To get an erection, you need to be able to receive stimulation from the brain, have proper blood flow and circulation in the penis, and proper nerve function in the penis.

Heart disease can make all of these things difficult.

If you have problems with the heart, then chances are that your arteries aren't working properly. Clogged arteries make it next to impossible for blood to flow through your body effectively. Without that? Getting an erection is a serious challenge.

This is why, even if you're definitely in the mood mentally, physically, things just don't match up in the bedroom.

It's also essential to note that ED could actually be a sign that you have a problem in the heart you need to address. Many medical professionals now see ED as a strong precursor to heart disease and other heart problems.

In other words?

It's -- for many reasons -- something you shouldn't ignore.

In addition to ED, because your arteries have hardened, you'll also be more likely to have a serious event like a heart attack or a stroke. Plus, your overall health and activity levels will be seriously limited by problems with your heart.

Let's now take a look at the potential other reasons why you're struggling with ED.

Other Potential Causes of ED

Before we get into larger ED causes like high cholesterol, let's quickly talk about what else might be responsible.

In some cases, diabetes can make it difficult to get an erection. This is because it damages your arteries and nerves, making blood and oxygen flow difficult.

Kidney disease may also be responsible for erectile dysfunction. If left undiagnosed or untreated for too long, kidney problems can create a serious hormonal imbalance in the body. This can interfere with proper nerve function, mess with your energy levels, and cause a lowered libido.

If you suspect you may have these issues, connect with a medical professional immediately.

High Cholesterol and Erectile Dysfunction

Now that you know the basics about erectile dysfunction and heart disease, let's talk about the ways in which high cholesterol can also cause impotence.

Cholesterol is, in a nutshell, the fat that circulates in your blood. Your body manufactures a certain amount of cholesterol no matter what, but your diet also impacts your overall cholesterol levels.

If you have high cholesterol, then you're much more likely to develop some sort of heart disease or problem. Over time, that excess cholesterol in the blood ends up in your blood vessels and arteries. This ends up creating a kind of thick plaque/wall that restricts your blood flow.

It's important to understand that a lack of proper blood flow to the penis, as well as "clogged" blood vessels, are one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction.

Additionally, new research has found that there is likely a link between not just high cholesterol, but also high blood pressure, and erectile dysfunction.

In fact, nearly 50% of men who are between the ages of 40-79 and have high blood pressure also deal with erectile dysfunction. Again, this is because high blood pressure restricts the flow of oxygen throughout the body.

Additionally, if you suffer from high blood pressure, your arteries don't properly dilate. Your penis' smooth muscle, in turn, can't fully relax -- so it's tough for the right amount of blood to get through.

Furthermore, there's a connection between high blood pressure levels and lower testosterone levels. If your body isn't making enough testosterone, your libido will definitely take a major hit.

Luckily, you have several options for lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. You can also improve your heart health. Let's talk about how now.

Improving Your Cholesterol and Heart Health

So, now you know that there's a definite connection between ED and your heart, as well as your cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

In addition to taking the right medications, there are also things you can do now in order to improve this.

To lower your overall cholesterol levels and improve your heart health, start by taking a hard look at your diet. If you're eating tons of fried foods and treats that might be delicious but are high in fat?

Try swapping them out for whole grains, and attempt to eliminate processed foods completely. Get plenty of leafy green vegetables and protein, and add as much fiber as you can to your diet. Make sure that you reach for foods that contain only unsaturated fats.

One thing that will help your heart and overall health tremendously?

If you're a smoker, make a commitment to quit right now.

Also, try to hit the gym at least three to four times per week. Losing weight can be a huge help to your heart -- and your attitude.

At the start, try promising yourself that you'll get thirty minutes of uninterrupted physical activity per day. Keep goals attainable, and then gradually add on more time and intensity.

Of course, as much as we wish that you could end both erectile dysfunction and heart disease through eating right and working out, that's simply not realistic. Sometimes, the right medication can make all the difference in the world.

Let's discuss your options next.

What Treatment Options Are Available?

If you're concerned about the possible connection between heart problems and ED, we know you want to understand your options for treatments.

In general, there are three different kinds of medication available to you. These medications will certainly help you to get an keep an erection, but they may also be able to stimulate your overall energy levels.

Especially if you're concerned that things like high cholesterol may be affecting your sex life, finding a medication that treats ED from as many different angles as possible is essential.

Sildenafil, Tadalafil, and PT-141 are all excellent treatment options. Let's take a more in-depth look at the three of them below.

Consider Sildenafil

One of the most common treatment options for erectile dysfunction is Sildenafil, perhaps better known by its branded name, Viagra.

Of course, it goes without saying that sildenafil will certainly help you to get and maintain an erection. However, here's where the connection between heart problems and ED comes into play.

Sildenafil is also used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, or PAH for short. This means that it treats high blood pressure, works to prevent you from feeling dizziness and shortness of breath, and can even decrease feelings of fatigue. The goal is to make it easier for those with PAH to exercise, which will improve your heart health and cholesterol levels.

How does it work?

It's a PDE5 inhibitor, which means that it relaxes the blood vessels in your body to improve blood flow (we'll speak more about PDE5 inhibitors in the next section.)

If this sounds like a medication that would work for you, speak to a medical professional about your dosage options.

Make sure to be upfront about any medications that you're currently taking. The same goes for any pre-existing health conditions you have. You want to be sure you've taken precautions to avoid potential side effects.

If Sildenafil doesn't work for you?

Don't worry -- you still have plenty of other options.

Taking Tadalafil

Taladafil is another popular medication that many people choose to treat erectile dysfunction.

You may have heard it referred to by the branded name of Cialis.

Like Sidenafil, Tadalafil is also a PDE5 inhibitor.

This means that it actively increases blood flow to the penis. Since a lack of blood flow to the penis is one of the main causes of erectile dysfunction, you'll likely notice that when you take Tadalafil, you'll be able to get an erection much faster than in the past.

Tadalafil usually provides effects that last for a bit longer than Sildenafil (though of course, the dosage you take will influence how long you feel these effects.)

So, how exactly does it work?

In addition to increasing blood flow, it also relaxes your prostate and bladder smooth muscles. (For this reason, it's also a popular treatment option for those who suffer from an enlarged prostate.)

Especially if you're concerned that heart disease may be at least partially responsible for your ED, Taladafil is a good option for you. This is because it helps to relax your lung's blood vessels, which will allow you to exercise with greater intensity, for longer periods of time.

PT-141 for Erectile Dysfunction

Another way that you can treat erectile dysfunction effectively?

Consider PT-141. Unlike other options for ED medication, PT-141 isn't actually a PDE5 inhibitor.

Instead, it works as a melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH for short.) It's a kind of peptide that's born from Melanotan II, which has long been shown to give your libido a serious boost.


Because, as opposed to working within your vascular system, it actually stimulates your nervous system. It also works to regulate your blood flow much more effectively. You'll get a boost of dopamine, a sudden burst of energy, and you'll certainly notice that your erections last longer and come on more quickly.

In fact, some users say that they've seen the effects of PT-141 in as little as just 15 minutes.

PT-141 actively prepares your body for intercourse -- but it does so much more quickly than other medications. Interestingly, it's also been shown to help women who struggle with a low sex drive.

If this sounds like a good option for you, speak with a medical professional that can help you learn more about how to safely take it.

Are You Ready to Treat Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease?

We hope that this post has helped you to get a better understanding of the link between erectile dysfunction and heart disease.

Remember that high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are also to blame. In addition to taking a hard look at your diet and exercise routines, we also suggest that you consider getting on medication to treat ED.

Perhaps you're interested in enrolling in a program that will allow you to get the medical supervision you need. You want to stay safe, and you also want to be sure you stick with your new routine.

Learn more about how to enroll in a diet program, as well as the kinds of treatments we have to offer to improve your heart health and tackle erectile dysfunction.

We can't wait to help you to feel like yourself again.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

7 min read