You’ve heard about how high cholesterol can have a negative effect on a man’s sex life and you may even be currently experiencing it yourself. But why does high cholesterol lead to erectile dysfunction? These seemingly unrelated conditions actually do go hand in hand. First, let’s go over how erections work. After a male is simulated sexually either by touch or by being mentally stimulated, chemicals are released into the body that cause the penile arteries (corpora cavernosa) to relax, allowing for the penis to become engorged in blood. As the arteries and blood vessels in the penis fill with blood, it stiffens and elongates. Erections subside after stimulation has ceased or after an orgasm.

How does cholesterol affect the erectile process? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance and when there is too much of the “bad” LDL cholesterol in the blood stream it creates plaque in the arteries that cause damage and block blood flow. These blockages make it much more difficult for blood to travel to the penis and genital area to create an erection. The higher your LDL levels the more likely it will be for you to develop erectile dysfunction.

Also, high cholesterol can make it more difficult for the body to produce the necessary chemicals to create an erection. High cholesterol can affect the body’s ability to properly release nitric oxide into the blood stream. This prevents the proper relaxation of penile tissues in order for them to be engorged in blood.

High cholesterol can also affect testosterone production. Testosterone is the chemical that makes a man, a man. Testosterone is produced in the testicles, plays a big role in sending messages of sexual stimulation throughout the body and it also controls a man’s libido or sex drive.  The higher the levels of testosterone in the body, the greater your sex drive. High cholesterol can curb blood flow to the testicles, damaging their ability to produce testosterone.

High cholesterol medications called statins also contribute to erectile dysfunction. Although these medications can lower cholesterol levels and help save lives, many men report them having a negative effect on their erectile function. So although lower cholesterol levels can help to reverse erectile dysfunction, the pills themselves can make it more difficult for some men to get an erection in the meantime.

High cholesterol can damage a man’s sexual performance as well as his libido in many different ways. The two health conditions are so linked that many times, erectile dysfunction is the first symptom of high cholesterol that men experience. If you have erectile dysfunction and high cholesterol there are many treatments available that won’t interfere with your high cholesterol medications. Make an appointment with a physician at Boston Medical group today by calling 1.877.895.7615 and after a thorough assessment they can prescribe the best course of erectile dysfunction treatment for your particular case. In some cases Boston Medical Group can have their patients back in peak sexual performance in as little as one visit.