an obese man sitting on the edge of a bed with a sad expression on his brow

Erectile Dysfunction
And Obesity

Obesity is a growing problem of our times.

A recent study by the United Nations showed that in the league table of heavies, the UK now sits in a 10th place - Embarrassingly, a full 13kg heavier (28 lbs) more than the world average.

61% of all males in the UK are now either overweight or obese and this can lead to health problems including erectile dysfunction.





an obese man with his hands on his hips

Being overweight and the impact on sex

To a certain extent, whether we sit 1st or 10th in the fattest country league table doesn't really matter.

What really matters is the extent that being overweight or obese is now seen as normal by many people.

Excess weight, especially when it is around our mid-section, can affect our ability to have sex in a number of ways that might not appear immediately obvious. The most common problem is that obesity can interfere with our body's ability to supply blood to the penis, and it can cause the natural testosterone production of the body to take a steep dive leading to erectile dysfunction.



an obese man from a side angle

Leptin Resistance & Obesity

One of the major ways that obesity affects erectile function in men is the generation of leptin resistance. Leptin resistance causes people to eat more even when the body doesn't need it as it reduces the sensation of feeling full. This resistance increases because obesity elevates the lipid concentration in the blood, releases adipokines from hypertrophied adipocytes and creates an inflammatory response by infiltrating immune cells into the adipose tissues.  Leptin resistance is a known factor for inhibiting testosterone secretion in the testicular level which can reduce and impair sexual desire.

There are other ways obesity lowers the testosterone hormone in men. For example, the excess fat in the abdominal region indicates that more testosterone hormone has transformed into estrogenic hormone (more commonly associated with women). This occurs because of the increased aromatase activity by hypertrophied adipose tissue due to the excess fat in the body. It is a proven fact that testosterone hormone level is negatively correlated with body mass index or BMI of men.

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Obesity and Nitric Oxide Generation

Obesity can also lower the overall Nitric Oxide generation in men by causing endothelial dysfunction. Excess body fat increases ROS generation and suppresses Nitric Oxide formulation, which results in endothelial dysfunction and ultimately a reduced level of Nitric Oxide.

Nitric Oxide is an essential component in men being able to have and sustain strong erections and to experience an overall healthy erectile function. Lack of adequate Nitric Oxide can result in reduced rigidity and increased time for the penis to get hard during sexual intercourse. Obese men are also more likely to experience ED due to this reason than men who have a much healthier BMI.

Nitric Oxide deficiency can also be caused by insulin resistance, which is a common consequence of obesity. Insulin resistance increases oxidative stress levels and inflammatory cytokines in endothelial cells. These mechanisms reduce the Nitric Oxide level and thus result in endothelial dysfunction. Men with proper endothelial function usually don't have insulin resistance.

Excess body weight also causes ED by increasing the level of inflammatory agent in the body. An elevated level of systemic inflammatory agent such as C-reactive protein induces Erectile Dysfunction in men. That's why, the C-reactive protein is seen to be at a higher level in obese men with ED, compared to men without ED.

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a bearded man sitting at a table looking at a laptop with a pen and paper next to it


a man taking his blood for a diabetes test

Obesity and Diabetes 

Obesity can also be an underlying reason for ED due to its association with other health conditions. Obesity can often result in heart disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage blood vessels and narrow the blood pathway, because of the damage to the nerves of the blood arteries caused by arterial hypertension and high cholesterol, blood flow within the various parts of the body including penile tissue gets severely restricted. This causes penile tissues to receive less blood flow which inhibits the capability of men to have strong erections.

Diabetes is also a major factor of ED in men. Men with type-2 diabetes are more likely to suffer from ED than those who don't have this condition. Diabetes also damages the blood flow within penile tissues. Excessive body fat dramatically increases the chance of developing diabetes.

Moreover, obesity has several psychological consequences along with a variety of physical consequences. Men with excess body fat often suffer from low self-esteem and body image issues. Stress and depression can also creep up due to these issues. Sound mental health is essential to have healthy erectile function. Psychological issues like stress and depression can have a direct impact on a man's ability to have a satisfactory sex life.

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Weight Loss & Overcoming ED

In an example, provided by a European study looking at the effects of weight loss on erectile dysfunction, men were divided into two groups. The first group received expert help on weight loss and exercise, while the other group received only minor written help.

  • Men in the first group loss lost an average of 33 lbs over a two-year period, with the members of the control group losing an average of fewer than 5 lbs over the same period.
  • The important fact out of this is that 31% of men in the group that lost an average of 33 lbs each reported restored erectile function. While only 5% of men in the control group showed similar improvements.

If you are overweight and suffering erectile dysfunction you need to look at a treatment programme that looks at you and your total lifestyle. This includes looking at diet and exercise as well as the urological aspects. 

But getting rid of excess body fat is not an easy task at all.

It takes immense mental strength and commitment to lose weight and get back into a better shape. Controlled nutritious diets and regular physical exercises are vital in that regard. Exercise burns the body fat whilst, nutritious diets can lead to better erectile function and general health.






an illustration of a shockwave therapy procedure used to help with erectile dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction & Obesity – How We Can Help You

MansMatters is the only clinic in the UK that offers a truly holistic programme for tackling Erectile Dysfunction & Obesity. Our programme includes help from an expert nutritionist, a sexual function and general fitness exercise regime, and if needed, a hypnotherapist and sexual therapists that can provide you with the will to change and develop self-belief in yourself.

Whilst it may seem staggering, most erectile dysfunction clinics simple don't cater for this - They do not take a holistic view. But if you are obese this should be a pre-condition for any treatment.

Once we have helped you get your weight under control, we can move to the next step.

Using the latest focused shockwave therapy, we can break up the fatty tissues which clog up your blood vessels. Shockwave therapy when applied to the penis will also generate new and better blood vessels meaning, better blood flow and fuller and harder erections. Many of our clients have rolled back the years and rediscovered a satisfying sex life once again…much to the pleasure of their partners.

Our focused extracorporeal magnetotransduction therapy and EMTT therapy also enables us to heal your condition faster as this therapy functions in the endothelial cells that are present in the blood vessels of your penis. These cells are vital for proper erectile function as they generate energy and transmit nutrients among millions of blood vessels inside the penis.







Erectile Dysfunction & Obesity FAQs

Is Obesity Directly Linked With ED?

The association between ED and obesity is widely accepted in the medical world. Numerous medical studies have demonstrated this.

How Does Obesity Cause ED?

Obesity creates a number of physical and psychological effects on the body. Due to obesity, men are more likely to experience a low libido or sexual urge, caused by a lower level of testosterone. Obesity has an inverse relationship with testosterone hormone levels. Excessive body fat can also induce ED by narrowing blood arteries. This results in low levels of blood supply to penile tissues, which in turn leads to ED. Obesity also causes ED in men by increasing the systematic inflammatory agents in the body.

How Does Obesity Affect Testosterone Hormone Production?

Excess body fat in the body causes testosterone to turn into the oestrogen hormone. Obesity can also lower testosterone level by generating leptin resistance.

What Other Consequences of Obesity May Affect Erectile Function?

Obesity lowers the level of Nitric Oxide (NO) in the body. Nitric Oxide is very important for proper erectile function. Without adequate level of NO, men are more likely to develop ED. A strong level of Nitric Oxide is required for men to obtain strong erections.

How Does Obesity Lower Nitric Oxide and is NO Important for Proper Erectile Function?

Some of the major consequences of obesity are endothelial dysfunction and insulin resistance. Both of these mechanisms are directly linked with decreased levels of Nitric Oxide. NO deficiency can result in the lack of blood flow to the penile tissues which can ultimately lead to ED.

Does Obesity Have Other Physical Consequences Which Can Lead To ED?

Obesity can cause heart issues, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. All of these medical aliments inhibit the proper blood flow within the penis and, cause ED. Likewise, obesity greatly increases the chance of developing ED.

Does Losing Weight Help in Treating ED?

Losing weight can help. Losing weight often brings beneficial consequences. General health should improve as should Nitric Oxide and testosterone hormone levels. Obese men who get in a healthier physical shape by losing weight often experience a much healthier and satisfying erectile function. But it’s not easy to lose weight and requires mental strength and determination.

Do You Help Men with Weight Loss?

Unlike many other ED clinics, we know that excess weight needs to be addressed as an important part of the overall treatment process.

Is Shockwave Therapy Effective in Treating ED in Obese Men?

Our focused shockwave therapy is highly effective in treating ED. Shockwave therapy breaks up the fatty tissues which block the blood vessels that are essential for better blood flow within the penis and by generating new blood vessels inside the penile tissues.




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