Insufficient blood flow to the penis accounts for roughly 80 percent of all erectile dysfunction. This impairment to vascular function can arise from a multitude of causes, including underlying illnesses such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes.
ED that is not caused by compromised blood flow can occur because of psychological issues, most notably depression and anxiety, or in rare instances from congenital or traumatic injury to the male genitals.
For men struggling with the symptoms of ED today, the treatment of vascular-related ED is far more accessible than it has ever been. The introduction of Viagra in 1998 gave impotent men a chance to temporarily regain erectile function so that they can enjoy normal sexual activity.
A handful of other drugs that work in the same way as Viagra have followed Pfizer’s little blue pill to market. These medications are known collectively as PDE5 inhibitors.
Because the arteries that supply the penis are smaller than those that feed the brain and heart, a diagnosis of vascular-related ED offers an early warning sign that far more serious health problems could lie ahead. Fortunately, men who heed this warning by making healthier lifestyle choices can reduce the risk that they will suffer a heart attack or stroke in the future.
For men whose blood flow problems are caused by an underlying medical condition, ED symptoms can be a sign that the underlying disease or disorder needs to be managed more closely.
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