Can Parkinson's disease result in erectile dysfunction?

Parkinson's disease can cause erectile dysfunction. This disease interrupts nerve signals from the brain to other parts of the body, including the penis. It can also affect blood circulation, which is crucial to an erection. Indirectly the disease can cause erectile dysfunction because some of the drugs used to treat Parkinson's-related depression have erectile dysfunction as a side effect.
Talk to your doctor about ways to control your Parkinson's disease and maintain a healthy sex life.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

A number of medical conditions, including Parkinson's disease, can cause erectile dysfunction (ED). Parkinson's disease occurs when neurons (or nerve cells) in the brain that produce a chemical called dopamine stop working properly. Dopamine helps to control muscle movement. As a person loses more dopamine-making cells, he or she develops symptoms such as trembling, stiffness, and poor balance.

Men with Parkinson's disease often develop erectile dysfunction, too. Nerves needed to achieve an erection may become damaged by the condition, though drugs that help manage Parkinson's disease can cause erection problems, too. Medications such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) can help men with Parkinson's disease overcome erectile dysfunction.

Nader Pouratian, MD

Erectile dysfunction can occur in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Because Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disease, the nerves controlling erectile function can become dysfunctional and interfere with normal erectile function. This, however, should not occur until much later in the disease. Early on in the disease, erectile dysfunction is more likely to be related to depression, which can be present in up to 80 percent of patients when they are first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As with any other depression, this can result in loss of interest, drive and libido, all of which may contribute to erectile dysfunction.

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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.