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Obesity as a cause of ED

Obesity is one of the most common and serious health concerns in men’s health across the globe, with as many as 68% Trusted source The House of Commons Library Government Source UK Parliament Research Go to source of UK men classed as overweight or obese. This number continues to grow and with growing obesity rates, come increasing rates of obesity complications.

Being overweight can affect your body in a multitude of ways: your heart, bones, your vital organs and it is one of the leading causes of death. However a common complication that is often neglected in these discussions is the impact it has on your sex life.

One survey Trusted source PubMed Government Source Database of Biomedical Research Go to source asked obese men who were about to undergo bariatric surgery about their sexual function and found that 54% were moderately or very dissatisified with their sex life. While this could be a range of reasons, one of the leading causes of sexual dissatisfaction in overweight men is erectile dysfunction.

Learn more about the relationship between obesity and ED in this article.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 11-10-2023

What does being overweight do to your body?

Being overweight or obese is caused by a diet that is high in calories, particularly fatty and sugary foods, and lack of physical activity.

Obesity leads to many complications, but by far the most prevalent is heart disease. This is because a diet high in saturated fats and sugar can also damage your blood vessels, critically limiting your blood flow and leading to dangerous complications such as heart attacks and strokes. In fact, 31,000 cardiovascular-related deaths are linked to being overweight each year.

“Obesity causes 31,000 heart-related deaths each year”

Severe obesity can also cause metabolic syndrome, a medical term for having high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes mellitus and being obese all at once. This elevates your risk of heart disease significantly.

Man standing on scales holding an apple and a donut.

How can I improve my symptoms?

If you think your weight is causing your symptoms, weight loss is the best first step.

The best way to start losing weight is to make some simple lifestyle changes. In terms of diet, you should reduce your calorie intake and make healthier food choices. You should also introduce some light physical activity into your daily life, slowly increasing the intensity once you can. Early interventions will reduce your risk of many severe health problems.

If you’re struggling to lose weight, there are treatment options available. There are several clinically-proven and effective prescription drugs available to help you lose weight. They also improve your heart health and blood glucose levels.

You can also combine weight loss with ED treatment, such as Sildenafil (Viagra) or Tadalafil (Cialis), as a short-term fix for your symptoms.

The main takeaways

  • Being overweight can have a significant impact on your erections.
  • It negatively affects your heart health and your mental health, which can both cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Losing weight and getting treatment will help improve your erections, your self-esteem and get your sex life back.

Further reading

Stress, anxiety and how it can cause ED

Erectile Dysfunction Causes Stress, anxiety and how it can cause ED

Reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana
Heart disease: the leading cause of erectile dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction Causes Heart disease as a cause of ED

Reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana
How diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction Causes Diabetes as a cause of ED

Reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana
How smoking can ruin your sex life

Erectile Dysfunction Causes How smoking can ruin your sex life

Reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana
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