Article on Car Accidents and Erectile Dysfunction

Here is an eye-opening article that I came across on Men’ discussing the link between car accidents and erectile dysfunction. Scary stuff.


I am often asked by a patient if a car accident can cause erectile dysfunction. The simple answer is YES.

An erection is a complex event that is dependent on a fully functioning nervous system and blood vessels. Any trauma to a man’s body, in particular to his head, neck, back or pelvis, can interfere with the normal flow of blood and neurological impulses that are necessary to achieve and maintain a solid erection.

Most men assume that unless they actually injure there penis or groin area that whatever injuries they sustain will not interfere with the ability to get an erection. The reality of the situation is that many injuries, even minor ones, can cause erectile dysfunction and other male sexual dysfunctions.

Head injuries can cause brain inflammation or damage which can interfere with neurological transmissions. Injuries that affect a man’s ability to see or think or smell or feel can interfere with the process or getting an erection. A common injury in a car accident is losing the ability to smell or see. While this is sometimes temporary, this can have a major negative effect on a man’s erectile function. Some head injuries cause such minor damage that there is no detectable brain injury. These same injuries however have been known to cause problems in the way men perceive sexual stimulation and in their ability to obtain an erection.

Neck and back injuries can interfere with nerve impulses and often cause substantial pain. If a man cannot feel himself being touched, this will usually have an adverse impact on his ability to get an erection. Many neck and back injuries cause a decrease in sensation over large parts of the body. A man’s body is a complex infrastructure of parts which need to work with each other in a precisely coordinated fashion.

Sometimes the only evidence or symptom of an injury to a man after an accident is his level of pain. Men with neck and back pain have a much higher likelihood of having erectile dysfunction. Men in pain are often not as interested in sexual activity. As the penis thrives on use, any period of relative sexual inactivity is not good for the general health of a man’s penis or his ability to get an erection going forward. Men in pain do not sleep well. Men who do not sleep well usually have dramatically decreased REM (rapid eye movement) sleep activity. Since it is during REM sleep that men get nocturnal erections, the lack of these nocturnal erections is also not a good thing for a penis.

There are many types of neck and back injuries. A whiplash injury usually affects the upper back and neck. This is a common occurrence in even minor car accidents, especially when the man is in a car that is hit from behind. A herniated disk is a spinal disk that is misaligned and which may compress a nerve or several nerves. Compressed nerves often cause weakness, numbness and pain. A spinal contusion is a bruising of the spinal cord. This serious type of injury can lead to permanent neurological damage, loss of reflexes and sensation and paralysis.

The older a man is the more likely he is to have a problem with his erections after an accident. Older men already have an age related decrease in blood flow to their penis. Older men are also more likely to have some vascular damage from years of high blood pressure, diabetes or smoking. In older men, the additional or contributory damage caused by an accident can often make them unable to achieve and maintain an erection. This does not mean that younger men cannot have an erection problem after an accident; sadly they can.

Many patients do not realize right after an accident that they have an erection problem. Sometimes they only make the connection that the accident cause them to have erectile dysfunction months or years later. This is often too late to help them with the problem or to allow the man to get no-fault medical coverage for his sexual dysfunction treatment.

Any man who is involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, should be promptly evaluated for erectile dysfunction. It is essential that men who sustain an injury have an early evaluation by a physician who is a sexual dysfunction expert. This will maximize the chances of preventing an erectile dysfunction from developing and the physician’s ability to treat an erection problem if present.

At Curran & Desharnais, P.C., we combine a substantial amount of legal experience with a unique perspective of the insurance industry to provide professional representation for indivuals who have been injured. Call 781-618-3197 to discuss a case or question you might have.


Lawrence A. Smiley, M.D.
Men’s Medical New York, P.C.

Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Uncategorized

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