Could your weight be to blame for ED?

Carrying excess weight is something that most men will experience in their life. So is erectile dysfunction. But is there a link between the two? It is common knowledge that being overweight can have implications on different aspects of your life, and ED could be one of them. 

More than half of men aged over forty will experience ED at some point. While ED can be caused by poor mental health, physical causes include age, high blood pressure, low testosterone, cardiovascular disease, smoking and diabetes. There is conflicting data on whether BMI is directly related to ED, or high BMI and obesity is just linked to the other causes of ED. The fact is that being overweight either causes ED, or it causes other health implications that cause it; whether the impact is direct or indirect, it is still at risk of affecting your sex life. 

When it comes to making lifestyle changes, it can help to know a few facts about how making those positive changes can improve your life. Here is how losing weight can boost your love life. 

Improved vascular health

We know that cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure can contribute to ED. However, if you are overweight and you have started suffering from ED, it could be an early warning sign of impending problems.  In order to get, and maintain, an erection, more blood needs to flow to your penis. If that blood isn’t getting through, despite the fact that you are aroused, that could be an early sign of a bigger problem. If this is the case, taking ED drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra) will probably help you to achieve an erection, but it may be time to look at the bigger picture. If you get your sildenafil from a GPhC registered online pharmacy, they will take your medical history and may well advise further investigation into your overall health.  

Boost testosterone

The presence of testosterone and its link to ED is still unclear, but what experts do know is that testosterone boosts your sex drive. In general terms, the more overweight you are, the lower your testosterone levels are likely to be; in terms of numbers, an extra 10 cm on your waist gives you a 75% likelihood of suffering from low testosterone. Low testosterone is linked to loss of muscle, irritability and depression, hair loss, lack of libido, and erectile dysfunction. There is no doubt that low testosterone, ED and being overweight are linked, the trouble is unravelling it to determine the root cause. In general terms, 

Boost self esteem

It stands to reason that if you don’t feel brilliant about the way you look, your confidence will be knocked in a range of settings, not least the bedroom. Erectile dysfunction is as closely linked to mental health and psychological factors as it is to physical health. Stress, depression and low self esteem can impact your physical ability to get and maintain an erection. The link between depression and ED are varied; not only are there are strong links between depression and obesity, but some antidepressants can cause erectile dysfunction. If you want to get sildenafil prescribed, make sure you tell your prescriber about all medications that you are taking, including antidepressants. 

Taking care of yourself

While taking ED medication will help your sex life in the short term, it is a good idea for you to look at the longer term implications, too. ED, obesity, and poor mental health are all associated with each other in some way. It can be hard to identify what came first, but it is relatively easy for you to take control by looking after yourself a bit more. 

  • Regular exercise can help you to burn calories and, if you find something that you enjoy, it can help to lower your stress levels, too. This will improve your physical and mental health, and reduce your chances of suffering from erectile dysfunction. By incorporating cardiovascular exercise in your routine, you can improve your cardiovascular health, too. This will reduce other ED risk factors such as high blood pressure.

  • A balanced diet will help you to lose weight and ensure that you get the nutrients that your body needs. This doesn’t mean eating salad for the rest of your life, it just means thinking a bit more about what you are going to eat, and when. 

If you lose weight and improve your physical fitness and you still suffer from erectile dysfunction, it may help you to take medication. Drugs containing sildenafil and tadalafil can help you to get, and keep, an erection. Taking medication can have a positive physical effect as well as reducing some of the psychological causes of ED; the anxiety of whether you can achieve an erection is reduced. 

Losing weight is not a magic cure for all of the problems in your life, but it can most certainly help you to regain control of your body, reduce long term health risks, and pursue a healthy, active life, in the bedroom and beyond.  

A fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. Full medical glossary
The pressure of blood within the arteries. Full medical glossary
Disease of the heart and blood vessels, usually due to atherosclerosis. Full medical glossary
Feelings of sadness, hopelessness and a loss of interest in life, combined with a sense of reduced emotional well-being Full medical glossary
A disorder caused by insufficient or absent production of the hormone insulin by the pancreas, or because the tissues are resistant to the effects. Full medical glossary

Inability to maintain a penile erection for sexual intercourse, also referred to as impotence.

Full medical glossary
The enlarged, rigid state of the penis during sexual arousal. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of genetic material carried on chromosomes. Full medical glossary
Sexual drive. Full medical glossary

The time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle, and her periods cease

Full medical glossary
Myocardial infarction. Death of a segment of heart muscle, which follows interruption of its blood supply. Full medical glossary
Tissue made up of cells that can contract to bring about movement. Full medical glossary
Excess accumulation of fat in the body. Full medical glossary
Relating to injury or concern. Full medical glossary
The main male sex hormone. Full medical glossary
Relating to blood vessels. Full medical glossary