Can Dehydration Cause Erection Problems or ED in Men?
About one out of every 10 men experiences erectile dysfunction or ED at some point in their lives. It is estimated that more than 30 million men per year silently suffer from such medical problems, and yet only about 2 lakhs seek help from a physician.
It is primarily a medical condition when men fail to attain and eventually maintain a strong penile erection for intercourse and sexual pleasure. But in most instances, ED is a symptom of another underlying condition, such as vascular disease, a neurological disorder, or an illness such as a venous leak.
Apart from alcoholism, or substance abuse, there is one more lifestyle issue that is pretty much closely related to the issues of erectile dysfunction, i,e dehydration. So now the question is can dehydration cause ED? Let us see what all probabilities are there in this regard.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration happens when our body loses fluid more than it is taking in. Certain illnesses like bladder infections, lung infections, etc., can also cause dehydration. Hence it is all the more important to remain well-hydrated in such conditions.
How to know if I am dehydrated?
The symptoms of dehydration include:
- Extreme thirst
- Much lesser frequency of urination
- Dark urine
- A dry mouth, lips, and tongue
- Sunken eyes
How Sexual Health Is Affected by Dehydration? : Can lack of water cause erectile dysfunction?
Dehydration and ED actually share quite a close relationship. Hydration levels are important for your overall health, including sexual health. If your body is lacking proper hydration, it will experience certain side effects and complications, and some of these have the potential to give rise to ED. Research studies have already established the complexities between dehydration and erection issues in men.
#1 Erectile Dysfunction caused due to Dehydration lowering RBC and plasma
The more the volume of blood cells and plasma in our body, the more efficiently it will flow through our veins and arteries. Now, dehydration results in a steep decrease in the volume of red blood cells (RBC) and plasma. This eventually prevents the corpus cavernosum (i,e chambers inside the penis) from getting enough oxygen and nutrient-rich blood necessary to maintain an erection.
#2 Erectile Dysfunction caused due to Dehydration producing excess angiotensin
When a person is dehydrated, his body releases greater amounts of the enzyme angiotensin I, which leads to the blood vessels constricting. The presence of angiotensin II, which the body makes from angiotensin I, has been associated with sexual dysfunction.
In other words, when fluid levels in a male body fall, his body will start to create the enzyme angiotensin. Angiotensin causes blood vessels to tighten. Very soon he will start experiencing problems with blood pressure, and inadequate blood flow in the body. Eventually, the blood flow to the penis will also be affected making it more difficult to get an erection.
#3 Erectile Dysfunction caused due to Dehydration increasing the Blood pressure
Increased blood pressure can affect one’s sex drive. Sustained levels of high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels and arteries. They become harder and narrower, reducing the blood flow permanently. Reduced blood flow can make the penis less sensitive affecting one’s sexual desire.
How drinking water or hydrating can help in Erectile Dysfunction and improve sexual health?
Only in case, someone is experiencing short-term ED because of dehydration, drinking water will help raise the blood volume and could solve the problem of erectile dysfunction. Hydration can be achieved by just drinking enough water.
But instead of allowing the body to go into dehydration, one should try drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Increasing the levels of body water may just be what you need to help you overcome any temporary ED and improve your sex life.
How much water to drink each day?
Since childhood, we are being taught to drink water at every hour. A healthy adult needs around 35 ml of water each day per kilogram of his or her body weight. For example, a person weighing 50 kilograms requires 1.7 liters, 60 kilograms 2.1 liters, 70 kilograms 2.4 liters, and 80 kilograms 2.8 liters.
When drinking water not help in ED?
In case someone is suffering from ED that has become a chronic problem then he is definitely in need of a thorough diagnosis by an authorized specialist, and merely getting hydrated will not help in such a case. He needs to look into other causes that might have resulted in his symptoms of erectile dysfunction, other than dehydration. It is highly advised to get evaluated by a certified specialist.
Remember, dehydration is merely a temporary condition and not typically the sole contributor to long-term ED. If a man is consistently having trouble getting or maintaining an erection, he should unhesitantly talk to his doctor for a diagnosis and not go for any self-medication. A sustained erectile dysfunction for any man, at any age, is not normal and should be evaluated by an authorized specialist.
How to improve Erectile health through other means?
There are a few very basic and simple steps to improve erectile health; which one may follow in his daily life routine:
- Maintaining a Healthy and Balanced Diet
- Maintaining the Right Body Weight
- Doing Daily Exercise
- Adequate Undisturbed Sleep
- Refraining from any form of substance abuse including tobacco smoking
- Avoiding alcohol consumption
What else can happen when you don’t drink enough water?
The common problems that arise out of dehydration are as follows:
- Continuous headache
- Disturbed bowel movement (constipation)
- Skin problems
- Dry Mouth
- Painful, dark, and strong-smelling urine
- Weight gain
How hydrating can improve your overall health?
- Hydration and physical performance are somehow related to each other. Dehydration can bring fatigue and also disturb the body’s normal temperature.
- Water is the key to lubricating and cushioning joints. Drinking more water creates body fluids that protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.
- Dehydration can lead to unregulated weight loss. A fluid loss of 1–3% equals about 1.5–4.5 pounds (0.5–2 kg) of body weight loss for a person weighing 150 pounds (68 kg). This can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat.
- Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraine in some.
- Lower water intake happens to be a common factor for constipation in many young and old individuals.
- Drinking enough water is quite helpful for patients with kidney stones. Higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys. This dilutes the concentration of minerals, so they’re less likely to crystallize and form clumps.