When blood flow is impeded in the penis, it does not perform
at its best. Circulation problems can occur in the penis for several reasons and
often cause weak erections and impotence. About 20 million American men
experience impotence, notes the National Kidney Foundation.
Diabetics with high blood sugar levels can develop diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy can damage the nerves, which reduces the nerve signals
needed to begin and hold an erection. This nerve damage will also lower blood
flow rate in the penis, decreasing arousal ability and causing erectile
problems, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
A high-fat diet clogs the arteries in the body with fat. The fat accumulation in
veins that occurs in atherosclerosis limits the ability of blood to flow through
the arteries to the penis, notes Mount Sinai Hospital. Thus, circulation in the
penis is diminished, and the ability to become erect is jeopardized. High-fat
foods, such as bacon, French fries, pork roll, chips and dips, and hot dogs, are
hazardous to the function of the penis.
Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury can also create circulation problems and impotence in the
penis. The peripheral nerve damage that occurs with a spinal cord injury can
limit penile function.
Smoking & Cocaine
Smoking cigarettes and using cocaine constrict the blood vessels in the body,
limiting the amount of blood flow. This can cause circulation problems in the
penis. The stimulant impact of nicotine and cocaine, especially in high doses,
will negatively impact the ability of the penis to have optimal blood flow to
make a strong erection.
Kidney disease is another cause of circulation problems in the penis. Kidney
disease impacts overall health and sexual function, notes Kidney.org. Toxins may
build up in the body when the kidneys do not function properly. As the toxins
circulate, they may damage organs and limit blood flow to the penis. This can
cause also cause malaise and limit sexual function.