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What Causes Impotence?

As tough as impotence is to handle by itself, it could mean something more serious is going on with your health.

To hear about impotence in the media, it almost always seems like it is a problem that can only be solved by talking to an expensive therapist or getting a prescription medication.

But a large number of medical professionals now agree impotence, once mostly thought of as a psychological problem, is more likely a physical problem with tangible causes and effects. In fact, new research has linked impotence, or erectile dysfunction to some of the following health conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol and poor blood circulation due to blocked arteries
  • Surgery to the prostate, lower bowel or lower spine
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Hormone and thyroid disorders
  • Injuries, particularly as a result of bicycle riding, horseback riding or gymnastics
  • Other medical conditions can also lead to impotence

Myths about What Causes Impotence?

Dr. Andrew McCullough, director of male sexual health at NYU School of Medicine, said that erectile dysfunction is most frequently a manifestation of some underlying cardiovascular problems, and can even be an early warning sign for angina


He also said, researchers are often over thinking erectile dysfunction when they are affixing it to too many psychological origins, “ED can be likened to a common plumbing problem: If you turn on your kitchen faucet and you don’t get any flow, either the faucet’s broken or the pipes are clogged.”

The male reproductive system has arteries just like any other part of the body, and cholesterol can block these arteries just like any other vessel for blood flow, meaning that a man with advanced heart disease can expect erectile dysfunction to be one of the negative side effects of his vascular condition.

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Is Impotency a Side Effect of Heart Disease?

But just because impotency can be a side effect of heart disease that does not mean it always is an effect.

In fact, to continue the analogy of the broken sink, those who have fine pipes, may be suffering from a broken faucet. In other words, they may be suffering the effects of a biochemical condition. As the demands for blood flow increase, like they do during an erection, the endothelium that lines the blood vessels releases nitric oxide to trigger expansion.

A body that has difficulty releasing nitric oxide might not necessarily have heart disease, but definitely could be at risk in the future. Nitric oxide helps expand the blood vessels, helping them resist the hardening of atherosclerosis—or heart disease. This is to say that someone who has a prolonged deficiency of nitric oxide in the blood might be putting themselves at a higher risk for cardiovascular conditions.

Never Ignore Impotence

Because of these new findings that impotency could be an effect and also a potential cause of heart disease, it is extremely important to get checked at any sign of impotence of erectile dysfunction.

Whether it is a red flag for heart disease or a factor that may lead to heart disease, you shouldn’t risk your health, and ultimately your life, by suffering through impotency. It’s important to know the cause of your impotency as soon as possible.

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