Can Erectile Dysfunction Lead to Infertility?

Can Erectile Dysfunction Lead to Infertility?

Erectile dysfunction is a common complaint among men. This refers to a man's inability to obtain and maintain an erection for long enough to have sexual intercourse. It may also lead to reduced sexual libido. Erectile dysfunction and symptoms of infertility are often considered synonymous but this is not true. Having an erectile dysfunction does not mean that a man cannot father children.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

There are many causes of erectile dysfunction. The most common causes are:

  • Heart disease or clogged blood vessels to the heart
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Prolonged use of certain medication
  • Use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs
  • Sleep disorders
  • Peyronie's disease
  • Treatment for prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate
  • Earlier surgeries that affected the spinal cord or pelvic area
  • Injuries to the genitals or injury to the nerves that control erections

Erectile dysfunction may also be caused by psychological factors such as depression, stress and poor communication between the couple.

Erectile Dysfunction and Fertility

Erectile dysfunction does not have a direct impact on fertility. However, it can make it harder for the couple to conceive. Not being able to maintain an erection can lead to stress and low body image that can make a man refrain from sexual intercourse. It can also make sexual intercourse unsatisfactory and lead to relationship problems.

Can Erectile Dysfunction be Prevented?

Making certain lifestyle changes can reduce a person's risk of having erectile dysfunction. For example, keeping diabetes under control and eating healthy food can help reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. Regular exercise and avoiding alcohol, smoking and other narcotics can also help. Last but not least, stress management plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of erectile dysfunction. For this, yoga and meditation have proved to be very beneficial.