Migraine and erectile dysfunction

Until now, migraine headaches have not been associated with erectile dysfunction (ED). A study by Taiwanese doctors published in journal Cephalalgia makes a strong case that such a connection exists. The researchers analyzed electronic records of one million patients randomly selected out of almost 24 million who are covered by the Taiwan National Health Insurance. They eliminated from this analysis patients with mental illness and they also controlled for hypertension, diabetes, obesity and other condition known to cause ED. Men who suffer from migraines were 1.6 times more likely to have ED. Surprisingly, younger men with migraines, aged 30 to 39 had the highest risk of having erectile dysfunction – they were twice more likely to have ED than men of that age without migraines. The causes for this association are not clear. We do know that patients with chronic pain are more likely to have sexual dysfunction. We also know that migraine patients have impaired regulation of their brain blood vessels, so it is possible that penile blood vessels are also affected. Men are less likely to see doctors for all medical conditions compared to women and this includes migraines – I see about ten times as many women as men, while we know that women outnumber men only by 3 to 1 ratio. This may apply even more to such an embarrassing condition as sexual dysfunction, making these young men suffer unnecessarily from both migraines and ED. Encourage men with migraines to see a doctor, while in the office they may also get help for their sexual dysfunction, if they have it.

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