Are Painkillers a cause of Erectile Dysfunction?
Research has shown that men who take painkillers regularly experience more sexual problems than those who don’t, but does this mean there is a link? Studies have found that men taking regular painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin were 38% more likely to have erectile dysfunction. Such painkillers as ibuprofen and aspirin are thought to block the hormone which achieves an erection. A low dose of aspirin can be taken by men who have high risk of suffering from a heart attack. This means their blood vessels are not in the best condition which can also have an effect on the penis. Dr. Brant Inman an urologist from Duke University Medical Centre said “we call the penis a thermometer for vascular disease” or a problem related to the blood vessels. Arteries in the penis are smaller than the ones in our heart and therefore may become blocked several years earlier. This then means the blocked arteries may stop the blood that normally makes the penis go hard” A recent study undertaken by Dr. Joseph Gleason showed that out of 81,000 men aged between 45 and 69 just under half said they took painkillers on a regular basis. Of this group less than a third suffered from erectile problems; however 64% of those who took painkillers regularly did say they had difficulty achieving an erection compared to 36% who rarely took painkillers. After taking into consideration other factors such as age, weight, high blood pressure and other medical conditions, research concluded there was a 38% higher risk of erectile dysfunction amongst those men who regularly took painkillers.