Aspirin Use May Contribute to Erectile Dysfunction

By Emily Murray

For many adults, daily aspirin use is part of a preventive plan to help lower heart attack and stroke risk. While there is evidence that proves this is a good practice for many, new evidence shows that it may also contribute to erectile dysfunction in some men.

According to recent research from Kaiser on the subject, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) actually lead to a 22% higher risk of erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. The study surveyed more than 80,000 men 45-69 in Southern California and surprised researchers with this result. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, researchers thought that these medications might actually help erectile dysfunction since it is thought to be caused in part by inflammation. The results, however, showed a completely different story.

In order to produce reliable results, researchers controlled many factors that could contribute to false results. These included things like age, medical conditions and smoking.

Each member of the study was enrolled in the Kaiser program and researchers were able to gather the necessary information through questionnaires filled out by the men (which included over-the-counter and NSAID medication use) and pharmacy records. Based on this information, 47.4% of the men were “regular NSAID users,” and 29,3% self reported having moderate or severe erectile dysfunction.

While this new research will be proven valuable to understand more about ED, many men may rightfully not welcome this news. So how do you know if you should continue taking aspirin or even start taking it for heart health? While this is certainly a question for your doctor, here are a few things to consider based on information from the Mayo Clinic. It’s also important to note that if you are already taking aspirin for heart health, it is not wise to immediately stop taking it as this can have a negative impact on health.

Pros of daily aspirin use

  • May lower risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Prevent a second heart attack

Cons of daily aspirin use

  • Shouldn’t be used by people with certain health conditions like asthma and ulcers
  • Increases ED risk