Erectile Dysfunction: A Symptom of Peripheral Artery Disease
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition that affects men. While ED can have various causes, one of the potential underlying factors is compromised blood flow to the penis. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) commonly refers to the narrowing or blockage of arteries in the legs, but it can also affect arteries in the pelvic region. Specifically, arteries that supply blood to the penis.
The connection between erectile dysfunction and PAD lies in the restricted blood flow to the penis. When plaque buildup affects the arteries supplying blood to the penis, it can impair the ability to achieve or maintain an erection. If you experience persistent or recurring erectile dysfunction, it may be an early indication of peripheral artery disease.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
When PAD affects the arteries supplying blood to the penis, it can lead to erectile dysfunction. Some of the symptoms of ED caused by PAD may include:
- Difficulty achieving an erection
- Reduced rigidity of erections
- Decreased sexual desire
- Difficulty maintaining an erection
- Inconsistent erectile function
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, lifestyle choices, or even medications. Below are some common causes of erectile dysfunction to be aware of:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Neurological disorders
- Certain medications
- Peripheral artery disease
Find out if you are at risk for Peripheral Artery Disease.
How Does PAD Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Peripheral artery disease can contribute to erectile dysfunction through its effects on blood flow and vascular function. The primary cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque accumulates and hardens on the inner walls of the arteries. Over time, this buildup reduces blood flow to various parts of the body, including the penis. Insufficient blood flow to the penis can affect a man’s ability to get or sustain an erection. However, PAD is only one cause of erectile dysfunction, and you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the main cause of your symptoms.
Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction Caused by PAD
Recognizing the relationship between erectile dysfunction and PAD is crucial for early detection and treatment. Identifying PAD in its early stages allows for prompt intervention, which can improve not only erectile function but also overall vascular health. Along with lifestyle modifications and medications, here are some common minimally invasive procedures we perform at American Endovascular to help treat peripheral artery disease and improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
In severe cases, not only can PAD lead to erectile dysfunction but also the loss of a limb. At American Endovascular, we focus on amputation prevention through our various treatment methods for peripheral artery disease. Our vascular specialists use advanced techniques, such as the pedal loop intervention, to save the limbs of our patients.
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the use of a catheter with a balloon on its tip. The catheter is threaded through the blood vessels to the site of the blockage or narrowing. Once in position, the balloon is inflated, which pushes the plaque or fatty deposits against the artery walls, widening the artery and restoring blood flow.
Atherectomy is a procedure in which a specialized catheter removes plaque buildup from the artery walls. The catheter has a cutting or grinding device that breaks down the plaque, which is then removed from the body. Atherectomy can be performed using different techniques, such as rotational, directional, or laser atherectomy.
Stenting is often performed with an angioplasty. After the balloon is inflated, a stent (a small mesh-like tube) is inserted into the artery to help keep it open. The stent is placed at the site of the blockage or narrowing and expands to hold the artery open, allowing blood to flow freely.
What to Expect from Your PAD Treatment
Our Vascular Specialists
Our affiliated vascular specialists at American Endovascular are nationally recognized in the treatment of peripheral artery disease. They will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that helps treat your PAD and relieve associated symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction.
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From the Experts
Learn more about vascular health, prevention, and care for Peripheral Artery Disease.