Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others.The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease.” Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.
It is estimated that erectile dysfunction affects about 1 in 10 adult males on a long-term basis. A much more common issue that affects most men at some point is the occasional failure to achieve an erection. Occasional failure can occur for a variety of reasons, such as from drinking too much alcohol or from extreme fatigue.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence is sexual dysfunction categorized by the incompetence to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sexual activity. The most important organic causes are:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Neurological problems (for example, trauma from prostatectomy surgery)
- Hormonal insufficiencies (hypogonadism)
- Drug side effects.
Detailed History – A thorough history of the patient is required for differential diagnosis of Organic or Psychogenic ED; the latter being treated by a psychiatrist. There are a number of validated questionnaires available that obtain information regarding a patient’s sexual function.
Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others.
The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease.” Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.
The same process that creates heart disease may also cause erectile dysfunction, only earlier.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. It can be an early warning sign of current or future heart problems. Likewise, if you have heart disease, getting the right treatment might help with erectile dysfunction.
In the past, the build-up of plaques in the arteries of your body (atherosclerosis) was believed to be the reason why erectile dysfunction often precedes heart problems. The idea was that plaque build-up reduces blood flow in the penis, making an erection difficult.
However, experts now believe that erectile dysfunction preceding heart problems is more often due to the dysfunction of the inner lining of the blood vessels (endothelium) and smooth muscle. Endothelial dysfunction causes inadequate blood supply to the heart and impaired blood flow to the penis, and aids in the development of atherosclerosis.
Erectile dysfunction does not always indicate an underlying heart problem. However, research suggests that men with erectile dysfunction who have no obvious cause, such as trauma, and who have no symptoms of heart problems should be screened for heart disease before starting any treatment.
- Diabetes: Men who have diabetes are at high risk of erectile dysfunction and heart disease.
- Tobacco use: Smoking increases your risk of developing vascular disease and can cause erectile dysfunction.
- Alcohol Use: Drinking too much alcohol can cause heart disease and might contribute to other causes of heart disease, such as high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol. Alcohol also impairs erections.
- High blood pressure: Over time, high blood pressure damages the lining of your arteries and accelerates the process of vascular disease. Certain high blood pressure medications, such as thiazide diuretics, can also affect sexual function.
- High cholesterol: A high level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis.
- Age: As you get older, erections might take longer to develop and might not be as firm. The younger you are, the more likely that erectile dysfunction signals a risk of heart disease. Men younger than 50 are at especially high risk. In men older than 70, erectile dysfunction is much less likely to be a sign of heart disease.
- Obesity: Excess weight typically worsens other risk factors for heart disease.
- Low testosterone: Men with low testosterone have higher rates of erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease compared to men with normal testosterone levels.
If your doctor thinks you might be at risk of heart disease, consider making lifestyle changes. Increase your physical activity, maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking and drink alcohol only in moderation — or not at all. However, further tests or treatment might be needed if you have more-serious signs and symptoms of heart disease.
If you have both erectile dysfunction and heart disease, talk to your doctor about treatment options. If you take certain heart medications, especially nitrates, it is not safe to use many of the medications used to treat erectile dysfunction.
Two of the most effective treatments practiced today are:
- Erectile dysfunction shockwave therapy (edswt)
Erectile dysfunction is the persistent inability to maintain an erection that is not firm enough or lasts long enough to have sexual intercourse. This is a common problem and at least 40 % of men suffer from erectile dysfunction at least occasionally. Manipal Fertility has been instrumental in bringing Men’s Health as an independent area of focus not only for fertility but also erectile dysfunction. We are the pioneers in introducing Non Invasive Shockwave therapy for Erectile Dysfunction.
EDSWT (ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION SHOCKWAVE THERAPY) uses pulsed sound waves that are applied to the treatment area using a machine. The therapy leads to the creation of new, functioning blood vessels, which greatly increases blood flow. This therapy aims to provide sustained improvement and possible cure for ED.
- Penile prosthesis and peyronie’s disease
A penile prosthesis is another treatment option for men with erectile dysfunction. These devices are either malleable (bendable) or inflatable. The simplest type of prosthesis consists of a pair of malleable rods surgically implanted within the erection chambers of the penis. With this type of implant the penis is always semi-rigid and merely needs to be lifted or adjusted into the erect position to initiate sex. Today, many men choose a hydraulic, inflatable prosthesis, which allows a man to have an erection whenever he chooses and is much easier to conceal. It is also more natural.
A penile implant is usually used when there is a clear medical cause for ED and when the problem is unlikely to resolve or improve naturally or with other medical treatments. Sometimes a penile prosthesis is implanted during surgery to reconstruct the penis when scarring has caused erections to curve (Peyronie’s disease).