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A 22-year-old member asked:

How does the vascular system play a role in erectile dysfunction?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Klein
Family Medicine 21 years experience
Blood flow: Erections work when a vigorous arterial supply fills the spongy tissue of the penis. This causes the penis to become erect and also crushes the outflow veins to prevent the erection from immediately going down. If there is not a strong enough inward arterial flow, the penis may not become fully erect, or will not suppress the vein enough to reduce outflow and keep the erection.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Blood flow: An erection is a vascular phenomenon, with the penis being engorged with blood on demand, if you will. That being said, vascular risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease can impair this process, leading to erectile dysfunction.

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Last updated Dec 28, 2014
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