It is well known that there are physical causes of erectile dysfunction, as well as emotional causes of impotence. But there are also other factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction, such as metabolic syndrome, pelvic or spinal cord surgeries, traumatic injury, and venous leak.
ED and Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that, together, can raise your risk for heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. These conditions include:
- Excess fat around the mid-section
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- High cholesterol
The conditions that are a part of metabolic syndrome are also risk factors for erectile dysfunction because these conditions can constrict, block, or damage the blood vessels to the penis, obstructing the flow of blood. They can also cause damage to the nerves that are responsible for erections.
ED and Surgeries Affecting the Pelvic Area or Spinal Cord
Certain surgeries, such as surgery of the prostate, bladder, colon, or rectum, can end up damaging the nerves that send signals to the penis that it is time to get an erection. Spinal cord surgery can also damage the nerves that are responsible for an erection.
ED and Injuries
Traumatic injury to the spinal cord, penis, bladder, prostate, or other areas of the pelvis can cause erectile dysfunction by damaging the nerves, muscles, and arteries that are necessary for an erection.
ED and Venous Leak
After you’ve achieved an erection, the veins in the penis are supposed to keep the blood inside the penis, in order for you to maintain the erection. A venous leak is a condition in which the veins are unable to keep the blood from flowing back out of the penis.
Venous Leak Causes
Venous leak can be caused by:
- Vascular disease (e.g., hardening of the arteries, peripheral vascular disease)
- Neurological diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis)
- Peyronie’s disease
Treatment for Venous Leak
There is no specific treatment for venous leak. It is treated by interventions that are aimed at treating the underlying condition that is causing the venous leak.
For more information on other causes of ED, contact Leroy Jones, MD, urology specialist of San Antonio.