How Do Blood Thinners Help with Erectile Dysfunction?

How Do Blood Thinners Help with Erectile Dysfunction?

There is no scientific evidence linking blood thinners directly to ED. However, cardiovascular conditions treated with blood thinners are often associated with ED. The blog also explores potential indirect causes, such as other medications for heart issues, and offers treatment options for ED, including lifestyle changes and medications.

Do blood thinners help with erectile dysfunction? Your healthcare practitioner may advise using a blood thinner to lower your chance of blood clots and maintain your health if you have a heart disease or blood vessel problem that raises your risk of getting one. 

Blood thinners are among the most often prescribed pharmaceuticals available, with over two million Americans using them regularly.

Additionally prevalent is erectile dysfunction, or ED. Men of various ages and backgrounds may experience this problem with their sexual performance, which is frequently brought on by specific medical disorders or medications. 

What are Blood Thinners?

Blood thinners are medications that prevent blood clots from forming or growing larger. They work by reducing the blood’s ability to clot, which is crucial in preventing conditions like heart attacks, strokes, and other clot-related issues.

Types of blood thinners:

  1. Anticoagulants: These slow down the body’s process of making clots. Examples include warfarin, heparin, and direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) like rivaroxaban and apixaban.
  2. Antiplatelet Drugs: These prevent blood cells (platelets) from clumping together to form clots. Examples include aspirin and clopidogrel.

Both types are used to prevent and treat various cardiovascular conditions, but they work through different mechanisms.

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. It can be caused by physical issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances, as well as psychological factors like stress, anxiety, and depression. ED can also be influenced by lifestyle choices, including smoking, alcohol consumption, and lack of exercise. Treatment options vary based on the underlying cause and can include medications, therapy, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, surgical interventions.

Do Blood Thinners Help with Erectile Dysfunction?

It’s crucial to understand that blood-thinner-using men who have ED symptoms may not always have these problems linked to their medication. The majority of blood thinner users have one or more comorbidities, which are thought to be separate risk factors for the onset of ED. These illnesses include obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.

Consequently, it is more likely that any of the antecedent medical disorders—rather than the blood thinners—are what are causing ED. Notably, though, a 2017 literature review by researchers found that the thienopyridine drug class—which includes medications like Ticlopidine—inhibits platelet aggregation and may, under some conditions, raise the risk of ED, lower libido, and impair sexual function.

Some evidence suggests that certain blood thinner medications, like aspirin, may improve erections and sexual function in men with ED caused by heart disease.

Can Blood Thinners Cause ED?

Blood thinners are typically prescribed to prevent blood clots, which can lead to conditions like high blood pressure that cause heart attacks or strokes. While they don’t directly cause erectile dysfunction (ED), they can contribute to it indirectly. Here’s how:

1. Side Effects: Some blood thinners may have side effects that affect or impact sexual function, including ED. This can be due to the medication’s effect on blood flow or other physiological factors.

2. Underlying Conditions: The conditions that require blood thinners, such as medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, can contribute to increased risk of ED. Heart attacks, for example, can damage blood vessels and nerves that are crucial for achieving and maintaining an erection.

3. Psychological Impact: Dealing with a serious health condition like a heart attack can also lead to stress, anxiety, and depression, which are all factors that can contribute to ED.

4. Interaction with Other Medications: Blood thinners can interact with other medications used to treat ED, potentially complicating the situation.

Is Viagra a Blood Thinner?

Often called “the little blue pill,” Viagra® one of the pde5 inhibitors is commonly prescribed as first-line erectile dysfunction (ED) medication for men. The brand-name medication (and the generic version, sildenafil) has been helping millions of men get — and stay — hard during sex since it was approved in 1998 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Viagra’s popularity highlights just how common ED is — the condition affects an estimated 30 million men in the United States alone.

Beyond its effectiveness as an erectile dysfunction treatment, some people wonder if Viagra also works as a blood thinner. Here’s what you should know.

Examples of Blood Thinners

Blood thinners facilitate more fluid blood flow throughout the body and help stop blood clots from forming. The two main kinds of blood thinning are:

Warfarin

The oral form of this drug inhibits the creation of clotting components that are dependent on vitamin K. Compared to NOACs, warfarin has a quicker start of action but higher adverse effects and drug interactions. Additionally, the therapeutic range of warfarin is quite limited, necessitating regular blood tests for monitoring.

Heparin

This drug, which is commonly administered by injection, inhibits the development of blood clots by interfering with the coagulation pathway’s interactions between thrombin and antithrombin III.

Novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs)

Dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, betrixabam, and edoxaban are among the drugs in this class. They are administered orally and function by blocking certain coagulation elements in the blood. NOACs are frequently used to prevent blood clots instead of warfarin. NOACs often have fewer negative effects but function more slowly than warfarin.

Antiplatelet medications

Aspirin, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, P2Y12 receptor blockers, and GIIb/IIIa inhibitors are a few examples of antiplatelet drugs.

What ED Medication Can I Take While Taking Blood Thinners?

Oral medications

ED can be effectively treated with several oral drugs, including vardenafil (Levitra), tadalafil (Cialis), and sildenafil (Viagra). The way these drugs function is by boosting or reducing blood flow to the penis. They might not be suitable for usage in all situations, though.

Penile implants

A device called a penile implant is surgically inserted into the penis to assist in achieving and sustaining an erection. Those who have not responded to previous therapies or who have underlying medical issues that render other treatments inappropriate are often the ones who should consider this alternative therapy.

Penile injections

With penile injections, an erection is achieved by directly injecting drugs into the penis. For those patients who are unable to take oral drugs because of underlying medical issues or drug interactions, this alternative could be appropriate.

Penis pumps

With penile pumps, an erection can be aided by increasing blood flow by utilizing a device or pump to generate a vacuum around the penis.

The individual’s condition and medical treatment history determine which one is appropriate. A healthcare professional will finally decide which kind of blood thinner is recommended for treating erectile dysfunction.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read this article on Natural Remedies for Low Testosterone in Men.

*This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical or dietary advice tailored to individual needs.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Coologics | 888-468-9660

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

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How Do Blood Thinners Help with Erectile Dysfunction?

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-langdon-m-d-41847610/
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.

Publications

-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being