In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
 EMAIL TO FRIEND     |      PRINTER FRIENDLY     |    
          advertisement

Cholesterol and Your Sex Life


High cholesterol can cause erectile dysfunction

By: Laura Flynn McCarthy

Reviewed By: Kerry Prewitt, M.D., FACC

sex lifeThe key to a good sex life may, indeed, lie in the heart—or at least the blood vessels it supplies. For most healthy people, the signs of sexual arousal—penile erections or vaginal lubrication—happen automatically. But both of these responses require a rich blood flow to the genitals. Cholesterol can build up in these blood vessels, as well as others in the body, impairing the function of these arteries and interfering with blood flow. 

In men, blood flow problems may result in an inability to develop erections. In fact, studies are finding that erectile dysfunction is often a marker of high cholesterol and arterial hardening, which is usually a "silent" condition. Some doctors argue that all men with erectile dysfunction should be screened for heart disease. A recent British study found that 18 of 20 men who had erectile dysfunction but no symptoms of heart problems actually had high levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL, or "bad" cholesterol).

In women, the high cholesterol/sexual dysfunction link is less clear. However, in a new Italian study, women with hyperlipidemia, defined as high LDL, high triglycerides or low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), were more than twice as likely to experience sexual dysfunction compared to those with normal lipid levels. The women reported lower arousal, orgasm, lubrication and satisfaction. Experts say that both men and women should discuss problems of sexual functioning with their physicians, and be sure that cholesterol screening is included in physical examinations.

 

 

advertisement

News from Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Helpful tips and information on health and weight loss

Get the information you need
advertisement

YourTotalHealth      

Home  |  Health Centers  |  Health A-Z  |  Staying Healthy  |  Diet & Fitness  |  Woman & Family  |   |   |  

also on iVision:  |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

 |   |  Site Map  |   | 

Copyright (c) 2000-2009 iVision Inc. All rights reserved. The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.