Atherosclerosis causes a penis clog which can affect your sex life. Read on to find out how.
In this article:
- What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
- What Is Atherosclerosis?
- Can Penis Clog Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
- What Causes Atherosclerosis or Penis Clog?
- Why Is It Difficult to Diagnose?
- How Do You Treat Atherosclerosis?
- What Lifestyle Changes Help Manage Atherosclerosis?
Penis Clog: Everything You Need to Know
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a type of male sexual dysfunction where men are unable to develop or maintain an erection long enough for satisfying sexual intercourse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are around 30 million men with ED, and it is more commonly diagnosed among middle-aged men.
Various factors can contribute to the development of ED. The treatment for ED depends on these contributing factors.
What Is Atherosclerosis?
Atherosclerosis is a disease where plaque from fatty deposits causes a build-up in the arteries or the tubes that carry blood to different parts of the body.
When there’s plaque build-up in your arteries, it causes the tubes to narrow and harden, which makes it more difficult for blood to pass through. Cholesterol, fat, and calcium make up the plaque or fatty deposits.
This condition can lead to serious cardiovascular problems, such as stroke and heart attack. It’s sometimes referred to as a penis clog because it clogs or limits blood flow to the penis.
Can Penis Clog Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Atherosclerosis can contribute to erection problems. Remember, an erection can only develop and sustain itself when there’s ample blood flow to the penis.
During arousal, the brain signals the arteries in the penis to relax to allow more blood flow. Once these arteries are full of blood, they shut off the veins to keep the blood from flowing out.
Quicker blood flow to the penis arteries leads to firmer erections. If there’s a physical condition that limits or slows down blood flow, such as atherosclerosis, it can lead to a clogged penis which exhibits ED symptoms.
Some experts believe that ED due to atherosclerosis is an early sign of a serious cardiovascular disease. Coronary artery disease, specifically, can first become problematic in small and narrow arteries, like the penis arteries, before it hits the bigger ones.
What Causes Atherosclerosis or Penis Clog?
Here are a few possible causes of atherosclerosis or penis clog:
- Smoking – The nicotine in cigarettes can narrow arteries.
- Alcohol abuse – Heavy drinking may increase body weight and make heart muscles weaker. When the heart muscles are weaker, they won’t be able to pump blood as efficiently.
- Obesity – Obesity leads to structural heart changes, which make the heart less effective in doing its job.
- Chronic stress – Chronic stress leads to an increase in cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that, over time, can increase blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides levels.
- Sedentary lifestyle – When you don’t get enough exercise, you’re more likely to have unhealthy body weight, and you’re unable to use up the fat stored in your body. This puts you at risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Poor diet – A high-fat, -sugar, and -salt diet can contribute to plaque build-up in atherosclerosis.
Apart from these factors, this condition is also highly heritable. You’re more at risk of developing this if you have family members who suffer from it.
Why Is It Difficult to Diagnose?
Unfortunately, most men believe that ED is inevitable with age. When men are resigned to ED, they don’t seek a diagnosis or treatment, which can exacerbate ED symptoms even further.
Some men may experience sexual performance anxiety and develop poor self-esteem which makes it even more difficult to have satisfying sex. While age does increase the risk of ED, it’s important to understand its underlying causes to find the best treatment.
If atherosclerosis is the main cause of ED, there are things you can do to treat it and decrease (and eventually eliminate) ED symptoms.
How Do You Treat Atherosclerosis?
The first thing you need to do is talk to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. If your doctor diagnoses you with atherosclerosis, it’s possible that ED won’t be the only issue your doctor addresses.
Remember, atherosclerosis can lead to serious cardiovascular complications. Your doctor may prescribe a treatment plan that can help you avoid other complications.
ED may also trigger certain psychological issues such as depression or anxiety. If you are experiencing these, your doctor may recommend counseling or therapy to complement medical treatment.
Medical treatment may involve PDE5 drugs that can temporarily help relax arteries. These drugs, which promote the effects of nitric oxide, may help improve blood flow for as long as it remains in your system.
What is nitric oxide? This is a gas that widens blood vessels.
Examples of PDE5 drugs are sildenafil (commonly known as Viagra) and tadalafil (generic for Cialis). Both drugs help increase blood flow to the penis, but tadalafil lasts longer in the body compared to sildenafil.
Apart from medication, most doctors recommend lifestyle changes to help treat atherosclerosis.
What Lifestyle Changes Help Manage Atherosclerosis?
Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make to help manage atherosclerosis:
- Quit smoking – Since it is one of the causes of penis clog as stated above, the best thing to do is to quit. If you don’t smoke, avoid being around people while they’re smoking. CDC reports that secondhand smoke can also lead to cardiovascular problems.
- Follow a low-fat, -salt, and -sugar diet – It’s best to avoid high cholesterol food such as chicken skin, full-fat milk, and red meat.
- Eat nitric oxide-boosting foods – Pistachios, watermelon, pine nuts, arugula, cilantro, lettuce, and spinach are examples of foods rich in the amino acid citrulline, which boosts nitric oxide generation.
- Perform regular exercise – Exercise not only helps you maintain healthy body weight, but it also improves blood circulation.
- Manage stress – Identify your stressors and find ways to avoid them. If you can’t avoid them completely, develop some coping mechanisms or engage in relaxation techniques.
If penis clog causes your ED, then making these changes may help relieve some of its symptoms. On top of that, making these lifestyle changes may also protect you from more serious cardiovascular issues if you do have atherosclerosis.
There are a variety of treatment options to choose from. A combination of certain medicines and lifestyle changes may help improve erectile function.
Don’t let ED keep you down. It may be difficult to talk about ED symptoms, but it’s essential to open up if you want to treat them.
What are your thoughts on the relationship between atherosclerosis and erectile dysfunction? Let us know in the comments section below.