Erectile dysfunction (ED) has many underlying causes, and one that may surprise some people is kidney disease. For men suffering from both conditions, stress, anxiety and depression can follow as a result. Yet all is not lost. By understanding the connection between the two conditions and your treatment options, you can alleviate ED and live a fulfilling sex life.

The relationship between kidney disease and ED

ED is prevalent among 80 percent of patients with chronic kidney disease, according to the World Journal of Nephrology. This high incidence is the result of several conditions, all or some of which may affect each patient. The most common causes include:

  • Many kidney disease patients have narrowed blood vessels throughout their body, including in the penis, and poor blood flow affects erections.
  • Anemia, or a lack of healthy red blood cells, can restrict blood flow to the penis and lead to fatigue, which can curb sexual desire.
  • Nitric oxide, which is naturally produced by the body, helps blood flow, but its