How Poor Blood Flow Affects Your Erections

How Poor Blood Flow Affects Your Erections

If you’ve noticed a decrease in your sexual function, it could be a result of lower blood flow to your penis. Proper blood flow to your penis is necessary for normal erections. If you can’t have a normal erection, you have erectile dysfunction (ED).  

Our board-certified radiologists at REDI Diagnostic Corp in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, are experts at diagnosing vascular disease that is harming your erections and offering appropriate treatments depending on your diagnosis. 

Causes of decreased blood flow

Your erectile dysfunction could be the result of a form of arteriosclerosis called peripheral artery disease (PAD), which means your arteries are clogged. High blood pressure (a risk factor for PAD) can also result in poor blood flow, as well as pelvic trauma from an accident, either recently or in the past. 

Peripheral artery disease may be the culprit in the majority of the cases of ED — up to 70 percent. Blood vessels can get clogged in many areas in your body besides your heart and brain — think your arms, legs, and abdomen, as well as your penis. 

If you have PAD, blood vessels in your body in areas other than your heart and brain have become too narrow and are damaged so that normal blood flow is impeded. If you have ED, you may well have PAD. 

Risk factors for peripheral artery disease 

Following are risk factors for peripheral artery disease. The diseases and conditions listed below all decrease blood flow to your penis. Lifestyle choices contribute significantly to many of these diseases. Once you know the risk factors, you can decide to change habits to reduce your risk for PAD, which may increase your sexual functioning.  

Diagnosing and treating poor blood flow 

Your radiologist may recommend an MRI or an ultrasound which can show whether you have leakage from blood vessels in and around your penis, which can happen when you have PAD. 

To have a normal erection, your penis has to hold blood flow in and temporarily stop outflow by compressing veins. If you have venous leakage, your penis doesn’t hold the blood flow in. In this case, if you’re able to have an erection, you aren’t able to hold it for long. 

Your REDI Diagnostics Corp radiologist provides the necessary information for your urologist to determine a proper course of treatment for your ED. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to supply more blood to your penis and treat your PAD, if PAD is the reason for your ED. 

You can make lifestyle changes to improve your sexual functioning. Reducing your weight if you’re overweight or obese, getting regular exercise, taking cholesterol or blood pressure medication if needed, and stopping tobacco use are all steps that can help improve ED. 

Call our office or book an appointment online today for expert diagnostic imaging and vascular care. 

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