How obesity can lead to erectile dysfunction

If you are having problems with erection or have been facing difficulties in your sex life, blame obesity.

Being overweight or obese comes with its set of health problems with the list never ending. And one more addition to the health implications caused by obesity is erectile dysfunction, which most of us are unaware of. So if you are obese and are having problems with erection or have been facing difficulties in your sex life, then blame it on your weight. Here's is how obesity can up the risk of erectile dysfunction.

How obesity leads to impotence

If you are obese, then it goes without saying that there are high chances that the fat might get deposited in the arteries. And if the arteries of the penis are blocked, it not only hampers the blood circulation to the organ but also impairs its ability to get erect. Studies [1] have also proved that increased fat in the abdominal region also decreased the availability and activity of the nitrous oxide, which plays a key role in erection. Moreover, it also reduces the testosterone levels in the body. The severity of the condition further increases if you suffer from metabolic syndrome like diabetes or hormonal imbalances. The inability to get an erection when sexually excited is mostly caused due to poor blood flow to the penis. Here are 10 health conditions that could lead to erectile dysfunction.

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How to deal with it?

The only effective way in addition to taking medication for ED is to lose weight. It is shown that weight loss by lifestyle intervention like changes in diet and exercise can go a long way in improving your condition. Several studies [1] have also proved that weight loss through bariatric surgery has also shown a significant improvement in obese people with ED. Weight loss not only causes a decline in estrogen levels but also helps in increasing the levels of hormones, gonadotropins and testosterone, in the blood. However, remember that lifestyle interventions might take a year or two to show effective results. Also read about causes and treatment for inability to maintain an erection during sex.


  1. Maiorino MI, Bellastella G, Esposito K. Lifestyle modifications and erectile dysfunction: what can be expected? Asian J Androl. 2015 Jan-Feb;17(1):5-10. doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.137687. Review. PubMed PMID: 25248655; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4291878.

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