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Can obesity result in erectile dysfunction?

Do you ever notice how perceptive little kids are? Sometimes it can be tough, though, when the “why” questions start. Why does Daddy wear mismatched socks? Why is the sky blue? Why can’t people get along? Scientists also struggle with the “whys” of life, too. For example, we’ve known for centuries that being obese can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED), but not why, until recently. Lucky for us, this “why” might have good answers. Research shows that the heavier men are, the lower their testosterone levels. Testosterone (a male hormone) is essential to getting and maintaining an erection. Furthermore, heavier men are more likely to have impaired blood flow to their penis, the major cause of ED. If you can’t get blood flowing down there, how do you think it will get hard?

So here’s what you can do: Talk to your doctor, get your testosterone checked, try to lose a few pounds, and make sure your other health problems (like high blood pressure or diabetes) are managed. Soon you’ll be dreading getting out of bed instead of into it.

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Obesity can cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in several ways. First, it can have psychological effects. If men who are overweight feel unattractive, they may have a lower sex drive. Similarly their sexual energy may be affected by anxiety over their obesity. Second, obesity increases the risk of diabetes, which in turn can damage nerves involved in achieving an erection.

Obesity also may cause lower testosterone levels, which can lead to erectile dysfunction. Obesity is a damaging condition and a leading cause of premature death. Talk to your doctor about ways to control your weight if you are struggling with obesity.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.