As men get older, erectile dysfunction becomes more common. Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man is unable to get and keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can be a chronic problem, or it can occur randomly and occasionally. Many causes can contribute to both chronic and temporary erectile dysfunction.
One possible explanation for temporary erectile dysfunction is dehydration. For a man to have an erection that is firm enough for sex, many of the body’s systems have to work together in harmony. If one area is off, such as fluid levels that are too low because of dehydration, erectile dysfunction can occur. Understanding what can lead to dehydration, how dehydration can cause erectile dysfunction, and how it is treated can help prevent both dehydration and erectile dysfunction caused by lack of fluids.
Hydration and Sexual Health
For a man to get an erection and eventually reach orgasm, a lot of the body’s systems have to work together properly. Everything from the nerves around the penis to the blood pumping through the body is necessary for an erection. If one area of the body is not working properly, erectile dysfunction may occur.
Hydration is an important component for overall health, including sexual health. Without proper hydration, your body experiences side effects and complications. Several of these can lead to erectile dysfunction. First, the more hydrated your body is, the higher your volume of blood cells and plasma, and the more efficiently blood can flow through your veins and arteries. A low volume of red blood cells and plasma can lead to erectile dysfunction because the penis cannot get enough oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to maintain an erection.
Second, when fluid levels in your body fall, your body starts creating a hormone called angiotensin. This hormone causes blood vessels to constrict or tighten. This can lead to an increase in blood pressure, and it prevents adequate blood flow through the body. This includes blood flow to the penis.
Also, the increased blood pressure can reduce sexual satisfaction. As high blood pressure continues, it can damage the blood vessels and arteries. It will make them harder and narrower, which reduces blood flow permanently. Reduced blood flow can also reduce sensation in the penis and ultimately lower sexual desire.
Signs of Dehydration
Thirst is a poor indicator of hydration status. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated/the best way to monitor your hydration status is to pay attention to other signs of dehydration. These include:
- Reduce urination, both amount and frequency
- Dark coloured urine
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Lack of stamina
- Confusion or a disoriented feeling
Dehydration can become serious if it is not treated quickly. In addition to the effects on your sex life, dehydration can cause several complications these include:
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
- Kidney infections
- Kidney failure
- Muscle cramps
- Heat exhaustion
- Low blood volume shock