Atherosclerosis is the formation of plaques on the walls of blood vessels which makes the blood vessels narrower or can even occlude them totally.
Depending on the organ or part of the body involved, it can result in various symptoms.
What is atherosclerosis of the penile arteries?
Atherosclerosis of the penile arteries is a condition in which plaques (atheromas) form on the walls of blood vessels (arteries) of the penis.
Normal function of penile arteries
The heart pumps blood to various parts of the body. The penile arteries are very small arteries which get wider when blood flows through them, allowing more blood into the penis. The penis then swells and gets turgid for sexual activity.
What is the consequence of atherosclerosis of penile arteries?
All blood vessels can be affected by atherosclerosis. However, atherosclerosis of the penile arteries usually manifest with symptoms first before other areas of the body.
This is because the penile arteries are very small (1–2 mm) and they are more quickly blocked.
Free flow of blood to the penis is needed for a man to get an erection that lasts long enough for sexual activity.
The plaques that form on the inner walls of the arteries make the penile arteries narrow or block them totally.
A man may then find it difficult to get or sustain an erection. This is called erectile dysfunction (ED).
Things that make a man likely to have atherosclerosis of penile arteries (risk factors):
Family history of atherosclerosis
High blood cholesterol levels
Other disease conditions caused by atherosclerosis:
Coronary heart disease
Cerebrovascular accidents (stroke)
Treatment of atherosclerosis of penile arteries
Erectile dysfunction that results from atherosclerosis of penile arteries is treatable. Even more important is that it is often a warning signal for cerebrovascular and coronary heart disease. Your doctor will counsel you on lifestyle modifications to make. Some medications may also be prescribed for you
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