Erectile dysfunction (ED)– the persistent inability to achieve or maintain a
penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance – is common. A male aging study found that 52% of men between 40 and 70 years old reported having some form of ED. If you’re a younger male who has ED that is not related to
causes like spinal injuries, valve leakage, prostate issue, relationship and psychological issues or other chronic illness, it’s very likely that you have developed ED from blocked blood vessels that supply the penis.
The cells that line the blood vessels to keep them nice and open and prevent the accumulation of cholesterol plaque are called endothelial cells. These cells can become dysfunctional and hamper the effective production of nitric oxide,
which is required to maintain healthy patent (unobstructed) blood vessels in our body, be it in the penis, heart, kidneys, eyes or legs. The blood vessels and arteries found in your penis are by far the smallest in your body, at only
about 1-2 mm in diameter. The blood vessels of your heart, on the other hand, is double the size.
This means that if your blood vessels were to get clogged up due to cholesterol or plaque accumulation, it’s the penile arteries that are going to be blocked first. Studies have shown that ED can predate a potential heart problem by 2-3
years: Your penile blood vessels will be choked up first with cholesterol followed by the blood vessels on your heart approximately 2 years later.
Your erectile function is not simply an indicator of your virility or sexual prowess, but more importantly, it is one of the earliest indicators of your cardiovascular health. As a routine, all doctors should be asking their male
patients about erectile function to assess their risk of vascular disease.
Early signs of ED are a golden opportunity to address other critical underlying issues like cholesterol problems, marginally elevated sugar or obesity that can have a detrimental effect on your overall health.If you have ED,
evidenced by fewer early morning erections, weaker vigor or increased difficulty attaining an erection, it’s recommended that you see a doctor as soon as possible to understand all the potential factors that are contributing to your ED
as they may be strongly linked to a dwindling heart health.
ED Treatment Options
Besides medication (check out our comparison of Cialis, Viagra and Levitrahere), Extracorporeal Shock Wave
Therapy (ESWT) is another treatment option for ED.
ESWT employs a focused shock wave to the target tissues via deep penetration and increase blood flow to the penile area, allowing the patient to attain and maintain erections.
Check out this video for how ESWT is used to treat erectile dysfunction:
In Singapore, ESWT can only be prescribed and performed by a doctor. Talk to us to find out more about this treatment option.