font size

Erectile Dysfunction (ED, Impotence) (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What is the prognosis for erectile dysfunction?

Treatments for erectile dysfunction tend to be successful in returning the patient to an active sex life.

The relationship between erectile dysfunction and heart disease needs to be stressed. Erectile dysfunction is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and death. The same risk factors that can lead to narrowed arteries in the penis are the same as those that decrease blood supply to the heart and brain. Lifestyle modification to stop smoking and control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes not only can help treat erectile dysfunction but can also decrease the risk of premature death from heart attack and stroke.

Can erectile dysfunction be prevented?

Since peripheral vascular disease is often the cause of erectile dysfunction, the same risk factors that are associated with heart attack and stroke may cause narrowing of the arteries that supply the penis. Prevention requires lifelong attention and control of high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Smoking cessation, weight loss, and regular exercise will also help maintain sexual function.


"NIH Consensus Conference. Impotence. NIH Consensus Development Panel on Impotence." JAMA 270.1 (1993): 83-90.

Kho, H. G., et al. "The use of acupuncture in the treatment of erectile dysfunction." International Journal of Impotence Research 11.1 (1999): 41-46.

Vlachopoulos, C. V., et al. "Prediction of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality with erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies." Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 6.1 (2013): 99-109.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/18/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Erectile Dysfunction - Causes Question: What causes your erectile dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction - Treatment Question: Have you had treatment for erectile dysfunction? Did it work?

Sex & Relationships

Get tips to boost your love life.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED, Impotence) Related Articles
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations