Erectile Dysfunction - A Warning Sign for cardiovascular Disease?

Mar 09, 2016, 12:00 ET from Chesapeake Urology

OWING MILLS, Md., March 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Erectile dysfunction (ED) may be a warning sign of cardiovascular disease. February is Heart Health month and urologists at Chesapeake Urology want men to know that ED can be more than just a sexual issue – it could be an early indicator of heart disease.

"We know that vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol can affect the blood vessels by restricting blood flow to the heart, brain and to the penis, in the case of ED," says Marc Siegelbaum, M.D. director of the erectile dysfunction program at Chesapeake Urology.  

Some studies have shown a direct link between heart disease and ED. Men experiencing erectile dysfunction should have a thorough medical evaluation to rule out cardiovascular disease as a cause of an erectile problem. Atherosclerosis and the build-up of cholesterol and plaques in the blood vessels cause a slowdown of blood flow.  Atherosclerosis affects not only the blood vessels supplying the heart, but also blood vessels that supply the penis. In many cases, ED is a warning sign of a future cardiac event such as a heart attack or stroke.

"Ongoing erectile dysfunction is often a sign of an underlying health condition that should be addressed with your physician not just for sexual reasons, but for your overall health," adds Dr. Siegelbaum.

[What you need to know about ED -]

4 Leading Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

Contrary to what some men believe, erectile dysfunction is not a normal part of aging. "The good news is that almost every case of ED is treatable and our specialists tailor therapies to each individual man," explains Dr. Siegelbaum. Some of the most effective therapies for ED include:

  1. Lifestyle changes – If ED is caused by an underlying medical condition such as heart disease, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes including diet and an increase in exercise to help lower cholesterol levels to improve blood flow throughout the body. Quitting smoking is also another important lifestyle change to improve ED symptoms as well as overall health.
  2. Oral ED medications (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, etc.) are often the first line of treatment for men experiencing erectile dysfunction. These drugs work by increasing the blood flow into the penis and are taken 30 to 60 minutes before sex. Oral medications can allow both partners to enjoy more spontaneity in their sexual activity. They cannot be taken with many heart medications, however.
  3. Injection therapy requires the man to use a small needle to inject medication directly into the penis. The medicine relaxes the blood vessels and allows for increased blood flow into the penis, creating an erection. An effective and fast-acting treatment, it's important that injections are supervised by an experienced urologist.
  4. A penile prosthesis is a medical device that requires surgery to implant inside a man's penis and is often an option when other ED treatment modalities have not been successful or produce unpleasant side effects. Many men who receive a penile implant have called the treatment life changing. In fact, more than 300,000 men have benefited from penile implants and overall patient satisfaction is reportedly high with more than 90% of men satisfied with the outcomes as compared with 50% of patients satisfied with oral medications.

[Learn more about ED treatments:

Learn more about erectile dysfunction and its connection to cardiovascular disease as well as ED treatment options - visit Chesapeake Urology's Erectile Dysfunction website - or call 877-422-8237 to find a urologist near you.

About Chesapeake Urology

Chesapeake Urology is a fully-integrated urology practice providing a comprehensive array of urologic services to its patients. The Company operates 21 medical offices and 14 AAAHC-certified ambulatory surgery centers in Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Carroll, Montgomery, Prince George's, Charles and Anne Arundel counties and in Baltimore City, and has a staff of more than 500 including 63 physicians. Chesapeake Urology has been named one of the top 100 places to work in healthcare nationally by Modern Healthcare magazine and locally by Baltimore magazine.  For information about Chesapeake Urology, please visit or follow us on social media: Facebook:; Twitter:; and YouTube:

CONTACT: Patricia Schnably, Chesapeake Urology Associates

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