Statin Use May Boost Below-the-Belt Function

Statin Use May Boost Below-the-Belt Function

Doctors often prescribe statins as a way to combat high cholesterol and lower your risk of heart attacks, strokes and other serious health conditions. But these drugs may have another surprising benefit, which could impact an area of your life that's a lot more pleasant to think about: According to one study, taking statins may also help you beat erectile dysfunction.

Statins and your sexual health
Researchers from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School looked at data from 11 randomized controlled trials, including 713 men who were using a variety of statins for an average of three months. Their goal was to find out if statins had any effect on erectile dysfunction. After gathering results, the scientists noted that the men had improved their scores on the International Inventory of Erectile Dysfunction by 3.4 points—about one-third of the improvement men see when they take drugs like Viagra and Cialis, and slightly better than improvements from lifestyle changes only.

Based on the study, better erectile function may be related to lower LDL cholesterol. Statins may also improve blood vessel function, resulting in more blood flow to the penis. Since larger studies are needed to clarify these early findings, researchers aren't suggesting that all men with erectile dysfunction run out and get a statin. Instead, they recommend working with your doctor to find out what treatments you may need for cholesterol and heart disease, as well as other factors that might be causing below-the-belt problems.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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