Obesity in the United States is a serious healthcare concern affecting all systems of the body. The relationship between erectile dysfunction and obesity is multifactoral. Body image plays a significant role in the psychology of erection. Low self esteem from being overweight will give the patient less confidence in achieving the optimal erection. Patients may notice they have better erections when masturbating than during a sexual encounter with another individual. This is a question commonly asked by specialists in attempts to determine whether a portion of the erectile dysfunction is related to psychological and body image factors.
Recent studies have been completed showing that by losing weight alone, erectile function can be improved. A landmark study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrating this fact. Similarly, a group on the east coast was able to show that erectile function improved in patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass is a surgery that is used to help patients lose weight. This operation is most commonly performed laparoscopically (using small incisions and telescopes). There are risks associated with surgery that should be discussed, and not everyone is a candidate. Once again, it's difficult to weed out whether the improvement stems from the person's improved self image and confidence, or physiologic reasons.
Published On: April 16, 2008