Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough to engage in sexual intercourse. Another equivalent term which is largely used outside medical circles is impotence.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is not uncommon. Most men can experience occasional ED when they’re stressed. However, men suffering from ED frequently might have a health problem that needs a treatment. Sometimes, ED is not caused by a physical illness, but it can be a sign of emotional distress or relationship difficulties which can be addressed by a professional.
Not all the sexual problems males experience are caused by ED. Some men might experience other dysfunctions, such as premature ejaculation, lack of sexual interest, and delayed or absent ejaculation.
In the following article, we present how obesity can affect men’s sexual functions, and how it can determine erectile dysfunction.
Link Between Obesity And Erectile Dysfunction
Studies have shown that roughly 30 million American men suffer from some form of ED. There are multiple causes for ED, and obesity is one of the most frequent ones. Obesity increases the chances of suffering from ED, and it can lead to the development of other conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis which will also affect your sexual performance.
To understand how obesity can cause erectile dysfunctions, we must first understand how an erection is produced. The erection takes place when the blood flow is increased in your penis. The blood flow increases as a result of mental or physical stimuli, such as sexual thoughts or something making contact with the penis. When these stimuli make a man excited, the muscles in his penis relax. This relaxation allows more blood to flow through the penile arteries, reaching the cavernous chambers in the penis. The penis grows rigid as the caverns fill with blood. The erection will end when the penile muscles contract and push the accumulated blood through the penile veins.
ED can affect your sexual performance during any stage of the erection process. When a man is obese, he usually has higher cholesterol levels and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Both of these conditions might affect how much blood actually reaches the penile cavernous chambers that fill to cause an erection.
Obese men also have a tendency to be more sedentary. Studies have shown that men who regularly engage in physical exercise, have lower chances of suffering from ED.
Signs You Have Erectile Dysfunction
Every man might suffer from ED occasionally when he’s going through stressful periods. However, it’s commonly considered that you should consult a specialist if you experience one or more of the following signs regularly:
- Having trouble getting an erection
- Having trouble maintaining an erection
- Having a reduced sexual desire.
Benefits Of Losing Weight To Your Sexual Health
Losing weight can improve your sexual health, sometimes quite dramatically. One study has shown that over 30 percent of the participants in a weight-loss study regained their sexual function. These men lost about 33 pounds in two years. Only 5% of the study’s control group also improved their sexual function in the same period.
Another study has shown that men who have received detailed advice and reduced their body weight by 10 percent or more were more likely to improve their sexual health than those who have kept a healthy diet and exercised on their own. At the end of the study, 31% of the members of the first group claimed they did not have an ED any longer, and 22% of the same group claimed that they improved their ED. As a comparison, only 6% of the members of the second group claimed they didn’t have an ED any longer.
- Higher Testosterone Levels – Excess weight can affect your hormone levels. Testosterone levels naturally decline with age, but overweight men experience a bigger drop in testosterone levels. Higher testosterone levels will improve your sexual functions. Men with higher testosterone levels have an increased sex drive, and it’s easier for them to have an erection.
- Lower Blood Pressure – People who are overweight usually suffer from hypertension. Studies have shown that a high blood pressure can determine an abnormal penile blood flow which can lead to ED. A lower blood pressure will increase the chances of having an erection.
- Improved Blood Flow – Men who exercise regularly improve their circulation. A good circulation will provide enough blood to flood the cavernous chambers in the penis, determining an erection.
- Improved Self-Esteem – Psychological factors are also very important for a normal sexual function. Men who lose weight tend to have a better opinion of themselves, so they will have a higher self-esteem. Feeling better about yourself and enjoying your body image can boost your confidence. This psychological factor can make sex more enjoyable, and it can make increase your sexual desire.
- Cleaner Arteries – When people think about clogged arteries, they usually think about the arteries around the heart that can cause a heart attack if they’re clogged. However, these arteries are placed throughout the body, and they’re also very important for your sex life. A clogged artery will reduce the amount of blood reaching your penis, making it more difficult to have an erection. People who lose weight also have cleaner arteries, allowing the blood to flow freely towards your penis.
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Erectile dysfunction is more common than you might think. Most men have an erectile dysfunction at least once in their lives. Having an occasional ED is normal, especially if you’re going through a stressful period or you’re involved in an unsatisfying relationship.
Some men experience ED more often, and they should seek professional help. One of the most helpful things you can do to improve your sexual function is to lose weight. Several studies have linked obesity with ED. Men who lose weight improve their sexual function because they have a better blood flow and because they boost their testosterone levels. Psychology also plays a great part in having a normal sexual function. Men who lose weight have a higher self-esteem, and they’re more confident, making sex more satisfying for them.