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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Vasoconstriction is a narrowing of the lumen of blood vessels.


Factors that trigger vasoconstriction are both of exogenous origin, i.e. medication, and as a response from the body itself.

Body mechanisms

Vasoconstriction is a procedure of the body that avoids orthostatic hypotension. It is a part of a body negative feed back loop in which the body tries to restore homeostasis.

For example, vasoconstriction is a hypothermic preventative in which the blood vessels constrict and blood must move at a higher pressure to actively avoid a hypoxic reaction. ATP is used as a form of energy to increase this pressure to heat the body. Once homeostasis is restored the blood pressure and ATP production regulates.



Vasoconstriction can be a contributing factor to erectile dysfunction.[1]

An increase of blood flow in the penis that builds up causes an erection, however if the body is not functioning properly the blood vessels in the penis activate and allow less blood to pool, meaning the erection goes down prematurely or simply fails to completely go up. This does not necessarily mean that the person in question is not aroused, it is a lapse in judgement between the Central Nervous System [CNS] and the Peripheral Nervous System [PNS] . When blood pools in the penis the body reacts to the excessive heat to cool it, resulting in vasoconstriction.


  1. Richard Milsten and Julian Slowinski, The sexual male, W.W. Norton Company, New York, London (1999) ISBN 0-393-04740-7

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