The role of blood vessels in erectile function

Erection is penis expansion in comparison with its resting position and acquisition of mechanical hardness which is important for sexual intercourse.

Constitution of penis. Penis consists of three longitudinal bodies, filled with porous tissues and surrounded by tiny blood vessels. Two external bodies (cavernous bodies) become firm and elastic during erection. Internal or porous body surrounds urethra and goes over penis balanus. Erected tissues which make up cavernous and porous bodies are able to be filled with blood. This is the essence of erection: blood is accumulated in cavernous and porous bodies. The last stage of erection is firmness. Penis becomes elastic and rises up and forwards.

Blood flow and supply. Like in other body parts the blood supply of penis results from cardiac performance. Fresh blood flows through arteries to genital area. After oxygen and nutritious matters uptake by the tissues located here from arterial blood, used blood flows to venous system.

In resting position the blood pressure in penis is low. But sexual enticement makes the blood circulation twenty-six times more intensive. In this case, it receives 4 spoons of blood per minute. At this moment blood is pumped into penis under a considerable pressure. Only in case of erection blood pressure in penis may be compared with pressure in other organs.

Filled with blood, erected tissues begin squeeze draining veins. The latter ones shrink but are not overlapped completely. About 12 ml of blood per minute still flow through penis. In order to maintain erection on this level blood must be supplied in penis with the same speed. When the quantity of blood flowing in and out of penis levels, its size and elasticity do not change and erection continues.

Constant unceasing erection would cause great inconvenience. Therefore, it is so constructed that in resting position it accepts little blood. Cavernous bodies get smaller and flabbier. High concentration of tiny blood vessels in this small space is possible because of their shape resembling tiny cork-screws. So, their shape is able to create a strong resistance to blood flowing through penis protecting it from erection at the wrong time.

Healthy heart-vascular system is an indispensable prerequisite of erection implementation! Any disorders making the blood flow through penis difficult have a negative impact on erection.

How blood vessels conditions affect potency

Since erection is resulted from filling of penis with blood, problems with blood vessels may lead to erectile dysfunction.

Let us enumerate them:

  • Hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis) in penis, which can block blood supply to penis and arteries filling penis.
  • Side-effects of medications acting adversely on blood vessels (for example, some diuretics or other remedies for hypertension), which may disturb the process of penis blood filling.
  • Blood leakage cavernous bodies of penis through veins which carry blood from penis. This may lead to impossibility of keeping erection.

Problems with blood vessels (vascular system disorders) may hinder penis from being filled with blood or its presence in penis for sufficient time necessary to keep erection. For example, long-lasting arterial hypertension may damage blood vessels and lead to erectile dysfunction.

Vascular system disorders

Vascular system disorder is one of the reasons of man’s sexual dysfunction. This dysfunction may result from smoking, vascular heart disease, clotting of arteries in small pelvis, circulatory system disorders.

Vascular system disorders may be indicated as the most widely spread cause of sexual dysfunction. An erection of a healthy man comes with the flow of arterial blood to penis, the outflow to veins of which is completely blocked.

In case of erectile dysfunction, the arterial blood flow weakens (erection is not fully-realized and long-lasting) or the outflow of blood through veins is too strong (in this case erection comes fast and may be very good but it disappears in a while, which hinders further sexual intercourse).

Also, hypertension sufferers and diabetics have erectile dysfunction as a result of vascular system disorders. Treatment of these people is rather difficult, since sexual dysfunction of such patients may have other causes as well.

Hypertension and erectile dysfunction

Hypertension is one of the reasons of erectile disorders. It occurs as a result of narrowing of penis arteries causing vasoconstriction. Hypertension is a huge stress on man’s organism in general and in vascular system in particular. Erection is blood supply to penis. Some vessels allow blood to flow to sexual organ whereas others are responsible for outflow. But hypertension affects vessels and they become less elastic. More than 45% of men suffering hypertension have problems with sexual intercourse. Sexual enticement occurs but penis becomes soft after starting coitus.

Other 55% of hypertension sufferers do not have difficulties with coitus. But this may be explained by the fact that either they lead a sedentary behavior in sexual life (i.e. sexual partner is on the top position) or position choice implies reduction of physical activity.

Nevertheless, if hypertension sufferers do not have problems with sex and erection yet, it is not guaranteed that they won’t appear in several years. One should treat hypertension since this is a heavy stress on heart and organism.

Weak potency and hypertension may be resulted from one and the same cause – plaque build-up on vessel walls.

Treatment of impotency with underlying vascular diseases

In most cases impotency occurs in the setting of vascular diseases. Before treatment of sexual dysfunction one has to determine the cause of its occurrence. It is conducted by means of special research study.

Nowadays due to advancement in the medical field the operations are performed in order to restore penis vascular system. Vascular disorders may also be detected by means of Doppler sonography to find the indicants of penis’s blood supply.

In modern medical practice doctors recommend to administer injections of vasodilating drugs which are introduced into penis and cause erection in a while. Such treatment proves to be very effective but it has contraindication – it is not suitable for men with overweight and for blind ones.

Scientists have discovered another way of vasodilating agent’s usage. This is ointment applied on penis causing erection. The limitation of this method lies in woman’s vaginal absorbing. After absorption of this ointment woman has a heavy headache.  But condom can solve this problem easily.