In case, a male experiences continuous problems obtaining and maintaining an erection, a physician may diagnose Erectile Dysfunction (ED). This is a common condition among males and ED has various types. Vasculogenic ED is one type of erectile dysfunction. This health condition may occur when one’s blood vessels do not function properly. Therefore, it leads to decreasing blood flow to the penis. In this article, we will talk about Vasculogenic ED symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Vasculogenic Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Based on the causes of ED, this condition is divided into two categories such as psychogenic and organic. Psychogenic ED has psychological causes (such as depression, anxiety, extreme stress, and others) but organic ED has some sub-types including neurogenic, hormonal, and vasculogenic. The most prevalent type of ED is Vasculogenic. A type of Vasculogenic ED is Arteriogenic or Arterial ED. This condition occurs when Atherosclerosis leads to a blockage in one or more arteries, which are responsible for blood flow to the genital area. However, another sub-type of Vasculogenic ED is Venogenic ED and it occurs due to venous leakage. Therefore, the blood is drained too early from the penis.
A common condition when plaque builds up in the arteries is called Atherosclerosis.
Symptoms of Vasculogenic ED
There are some symptoms of this condition. For example:
- Problems maintaining an erection
- Decreased sexual desire
- Problems with getting an erection
Causes of Vasculogenic ED
The cause of Arterial ED is usually insufficient blood supply to the cavernous body that is penis shafts. Arterial disease or abnormality is the reason for blood insufficiency. Hence, Arterial ED may also be caused by certain health conditions, which leads to narrowing or a blockage in the blood arteries. Check below some examples:
- Diabetes (high blood sugar) – This condition for a long time can damage the nerves and blood vessels.
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) – This condition may prevent smooth muscles from relaxing and arteries from dilating. Thus, blood flow to the penis may decrease.
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) – According to research, approximately 75% of CAD patients have ED. This health condition narrows and blocks the arteries usually caused by plaque buildup.
Another study showed that erectile dysfunction is common in patients with hypertension.
- Obesity – Try to lose weight if you are overweight because it may lead to blood vessel damage and a decrease in testosterone levels.
- High Cholesterol Levels – may build up in the arteries, which causes them to become narrow.
- Peripheral Artery Disease – the clogging of the lower extremities (including legs, feet, and penis).
There are two other causes that may lead to Vasculogenic ED. For example Peyronie’s Disease and Neurological Disorders. According to a study, neurological disorders and their treatments cause ED. These medical conditions include brain or spinal cord injuries, demyelinating disorders, Epilepsy, and others.
The formation of scar tissue in the penis, which may lead to a curved or painful erection is called Peyronie’s Disease.
Treatment of Vasculogenic ED
Fortunately, several invasive and non-invasive methods to treat Vasculogenic ED are available. Commonly, physicians prescribe different types and dosages for their patients. It depends on the severity of the condition, other medicines you may use, response to treatment, age, and others.
There are some FDA-approved medicines that are prescribed by doctors to treat this problem. Examples include Vardenafil, Avanafil, Sildenafil Citrate, and others. These medicines belong to a group of medicines called phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. It works by relaxing the muscles in the genital area and improving the blood flow to the penis, which causes a hard erection.
Your healthcare provider may recommend some lifestyle changes alongside medicines. For example a well-balanced diet, proper sleep cycle, physical exercise, and others. These lifestyle changes could help if a person experiences mild ED.
This method of ED treatment is usually prescribed by doctors when others do not work for you. Invasive ED treatment is an effective treatment but in most cases, it may have a higher risk of side effects (such as infection). The surgery involves penis implants, penile vein ligation, or penis arterial surgery.
This treatment may help to treat many erectile issues. It is advised to follow the doctor’s recommendations before administering the injection because it can help to avoid bruising or bleeding while injecting the medicine.
However, for a suitable and effective treatment, it is advised to see a doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can erectile dysfunction be naturally treated?
A well-balanced diet, regular exercise, weight loss, and proper sleep may improve your ED symptoms. In addition, mental therapy may also help to decrease ED symptoms.
Which nerve causes erectile dysfunction?
The dorsal penile nerve (pudendal nerve) is responsible for reflex erections. In case, this nerve is damaged, it may cause ED.
Can vasculogenic erectile dysfunction be cured?
No, the treatments available for vasculogenic ED decrease the symptoms only but cannot cure this health condition.