Obesity is a growing health crisis in the United States. In fact, almost 43% of all American adults are obese, and another 31% are overweight.
Carrying extra weight can have serious health complications, including an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health issues. But did you know that obesity could also be affecting your sex life?
Men who are obese are more likely to have erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition that affects your ability to achieve and sustain an erection for sexual intercourse. ED is common among men of all ages — in fact, an estimated 30 million American men have it — and being obese significantly increases your risk of this condition.
ED is a source of embarrassment for many of the men who have it, but it’s treatable, and Eric Seaman, MD, can help. As an ED specialist, he works with men of all ages who are unhappy with their sexual performance.
Dr. Seaman shares more about the link between obesity and ED, and what you can do about your lackluster sex life.
Obesity: a leading risk factor for erectile dysfunction
Overweight and obesity are medical terms for excessive body fat. Your body needs a certain amount of fat to function at its best, but having too much fat puts extra strain on your body and increases your risk for developing a range of health issues.
Body fat is typically measured using body mass index (BMI), a calculation that compares your height and your body weight. A healthy BMI is typically between 18.5-24.9. You’re considered overweight if your BMI measures between 25-29.9, and obese if it’s above 30.
Your BMI is directly linked to your risk of ED. In fact, men who are overweight are 1.5 times more likely to have ED than men who are at a healthy weight. For men who are obese, their risk is 3 times greater.
There are a few reasons why being obese could increase your risk of having ED. Obesity can cause health issues like low testosterone and reduced fertility. Too much body fat can also contribute to high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, which often lead to heart disease and stroke.
Even if you’re at a healthy weight, these health conditions on their own may contribute to ED. However, being obese increases your risk of developing these health complications — and experiencing ED along with them.
Obesity can contribute to low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety, which can be linked to ED too.
Recognizing the signs of erectile dysfunction
If your sex life isn’t what it used to be, you might be wondering if it’s due to ED. ED can affect any man at any age, and the symptoms often include:
- Inability to get an erection
- Soft erections
- Inability to orgasm
- Low sex drive
Only a professional medical diagnosis can determine if you have ED. Dr. Seaman and our team offer confidential ED exams to diagnose your condition, and we specialize in developing treatment plans that work.
Lifestyle changes can improve your condition, especially if you’re obese. Losing weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you manage chronic health conditions, like high blood pressure, and improve symptoms of ED.
Dr. Seaman may also recommend prescription medication for ED. Medication is taken as needed before sexual intercourse, and many men find that it’s an effective way to improve their sex lives.
Embarrassed to seek treatment for ED? Don’t be. Schedule a discreet, comprehensive consultation with Dr. Seaman to learn about your treatment options. Call the New Jersey Urology office nearest you, in Denville or Millburn, or request an appointment online today.