Erection Protection: Is Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Prevention Possible?

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 impotence but can also decrease the risk of premature death from heart attack and stroke.

Can erectile dysfunction be prevented?

Because 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.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically reviewed by Michael Wolff, MD; American Board of Urology


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.

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

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.