Men who pay very close attention to good penis care will often notice immediately if something is not quite right. Almost every man will make note if his erection is softer than usual, takes longer to obtain or doesn’t rise at all. And though every man had the occasional erectile dysfunction - usually after a night of drinking too much! - sometimes the problem continues through several sex sessions.

When that happens, it is vitally important to get things checked out. That’s because good penis health isn’t just about what happens in the bedroom. It can speak to other problems happening in the body, and that can lead to questions about lifespan and overall health.

Does poor penis health mean a shorter life?

Here’s a shocker, one that a man might want to brace himself for: A study from University of Mississippi found that men who suffer from erectile dysfunction have a whopping 70 percent chance of premature death.

But before the panic sets in, it’s important to understand the reasons behind that dreadful number.

The small blood vessels that feed the penis during erections are actually quite small - they are only a few millimeters in diameter. Any problems with blood flow are going to affect the smallest vessels first, and that obviously includes those vessels in the penis. That’s why erectile dysfunction is often one of the first signs that something is going wrong inside the body’s cardiovascular system.

When the blood vessels aren’t healthy, thanks to things like smoking, lack of exercise, genetics, various medical issues and other problems, the first place it shows up is in the penis. It begins with erectile dysfunction, but it can soon become worse than that.

Remember that there are other tiny blood vessels in the body too, that are about the same size as those in the penis, or even smaller. For instance, the vessels that feed the kidneys are that small, and so are a few that go to the brain. If there is a problem in one of those vessels, there is likely a problem in another.

If the erectile dysfunction continues without exploring the underlying cause, it could lead to even worse issues. As plaque builds up in the smaller vessels, it is also building up in the larger ones - like those that feed the heart. Over time this leads to serious concerns. In fact, men with erectile dysfunction caused by poor cardiovascular health are likely to have a serious cardiac event, such as a massive heart attack, within five years of the onset of the dysfunction.

What to do about it

If a man is suffering from erectile dysfunction that lasts for three months or more, it’s time to get help from a physician. If a man is able to get it up but is experiencing other problems, such as an erection that doesn’t get hard enough or last as long as it used to, it is still worth checking out, as it could be early signs of cardiovascular problems.

In the meantime, a man should always pay close attention to penis health. To help him do that, the use of a high-quality penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) is a great option. A man should look for a crème that aids in erection issues with the use of L-arginine, an amino acid that helps increase blood flow, as well as vitamin C, which has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Add these nutrients and vitamins to other beneficial ingredients and mix it all in a Shea butter base, and a man has a penis health crème he can trust.