Located in the neck, the thyroid gland is a tiny, butterfly-shaped gland. It creates thyroid hormones, which control a number of bodily processes, such as metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature. The thyroid gland overproduces thyroid hormone in hyperthyroidism, which can have an impact on several bodily organs, including the penis.
A medical condition known as hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland generates too many thyroid hormones. Many symptoms, such as weight loss, exhaustion, trembling, and an elevated heart rate, may result from this. Erectile dysfunction (ED), or the inability to obtain or sustain an erection strong enough for sexual activity, is a less well-known hyperthyroidism symptom.
Millions of men worldwide suffer from erectile dysfunction, which is a prevalent ailment. A number of things, including aging, stress, worry, and specific medical disorders, can contribute to it. One of the illnesses that can lead to erectile dysfunction is hyperthyroidism.
A review published in Sexual Medicine Reviews in 2022 looked at the impact of "long COVID" on the endocrine system (hormones in the human body) and other aspects of health. The researchers suggest that erectile dysfunction could potentially be used as biomarker for the severity of the long COVID disease. The authors also noted that a subset of patients with long COVID ultimately develop other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, and hypogonadism (low testosterone).
How the Thyroid Effects Sexual Function
Changes in the nervous system are one way that hyperthyroidism can impact sexual function. As the thyroid gland and neurological system are intimately related, hyperthyroidism can disrupt how the body's nerve impulses are carried by producing too much thyroid hormone. Erectile dysfunction and other sexual function issues are a possible consequence.
Hormone changes brought on by hyperthyroidism might also have an impact on sexual function. Thyroid hormones, which are crucial for controlling the body's levels of other hormones, are produced by the thyroid gland. The imbalance of other hormones, including testosterone, can be disturbed by the overproduction of thyroid hormones in hyperthyroidism. Low testosterone levels can cause erectile dysfunction since testosterone is a key hormone for sexual function.
Moreover, the cardiovascular system, which is crucial to sexual function, might be impacted by hyperthyroidism. Increased heart rate and blood pressure brought on by the extra thyroid hormone generated by hyperthyroidism may alter blood flow to the penis. Having a problem getting blood to your penis might make you inactive.
Treatment for Thyroid Issues
Surgery and medication are only two of the potential treatments for hyperthyroidism. The severity of the hyperthyroidism, the patient's age, general health, and personal preferences will all influence treatment options. Since treatment can assist to balance hormone levels and lessen the effects of hyperthyroidism on the neurological and cardiovascular systems, treatment for hyperthyroidism can also enhance sexual function.
There are a number of lifestyle adjustments that can assist to enhance sexual performance in addition to medical treatment. They include of consuming a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, managing stress, and abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes. Regular sexual activity can also aid in enhancing sexual performance and lowering the risk of erectile dysfunction.
In conclusion, anyone suffering from erectile dysfunction should have labs done to rule out a thyroid issue. Although hyperthyroidism is one of the lesser known causes of erectile dysfunction, it is easily overlooked, even by experienced physicians. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction and have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, it is important to make your doctor aware.
Sansone A, Mollaioli D, Limoncin E, Ciocca G, Bắc NH, Cao TN, Hou G, Yuan J, Zitzmann M, Giraldi A, Jannini EA. The Sexual Long COVID (SLC): Erectile Dysfunction as a Biomarker of Systemic Complications for COVID-19 Long Haulers. Sex Med Rev. 2022 Apr;10(2):271-285. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2021.11.001. Epub 2021 Nov 20. PMID: 34933829; PMCID: PMC8604714.
Zhao SK, Shen ML, Liu SX, Li X. [Research Advances on the Relationship between Overt Hyperthyroidism and Risk of Erectile Dysfunction]. Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao. 2023 Feb;45(1):143-148. Chinese. doi: 10.3881/j.issn.1000.503X.14491. PMID: 36861168.