Have you ever wondered about how to avoid erectile dysfunction (ED)?
A healthy erection is a sign of good health and virility. However, as men grow older, it’s not uncommon for many to experience a dry bedroom due to erectile problems.
If you don’t want to end up in that situation, here are seven ways you can sustain your erection.
1. Review Your Medicine
If you felt that your sex life is at a standstill after taking prescriptions, there’s a possibility that these medications are causing a problem.
Some medicine negatively affects sexual performance.
Some common types that may affect it include:
- Blood pressure medications
- Narcotic pain relievers
While these prescriptions can be necessary, it’s best to talk with a doctor about adjusting the dosage or switching to something new. They may also prescribe sexual medicine like Tadalafil to address severe erectile dysfunction.
By getting professional medical advice, you can protect your health while still being able to prevent erectile dysfunction.
2. Curb Your Smoking Habits
One large study found that out of 28,842 participants, the risk of struggling with erectile dysfunction was 51% higher for current smokers and 20% for past smokers compared to those who never smoked at all.
The reason? Smoking damages the blood vessels that are essential for transporting blood to the penis, which is crucial for achieving an erection.
If you’re a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your sexual health. After two weeks to three months of smoking abstinence, ED symptoms can reduce in intensity and erection quality can significantly improve.
But, as any smoker would know, kicking the old habit isn’t the easiest thing to do. If you need help, talk to a doctor about possible remedies.
3. Reduce Daily Stress Levels
Stress is one of the leading psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. When you’re stressed, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, which releases a cocktail of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
These hormones reduce blood flow to vital organs like your penis, making it considerably more difficult to gain an erection. This is because the anxiety and nervousness caused by stress interrupt the creation of more positive and mood-enhancing chemicals like serotonin in the brain.
Stress can also indirectly impact your sleep and diet, which also shapes your ability to participate in sexual activities in the bedroom.
In addition, stress from PTSD is also a significant risk factor in contracting ED. One study found that veterans with PTSD were thrice more likely to gain sexual dysfunction than those without PTSD.
If you’re a workaholic or stressed over family issues, addressing these issues can be a good first step to recovering from psychological ED.
4. Watch What You Eat
Greasy foods, processed foods, fried foods. They’re delicious and irresistible at their best, sure, but they’re not doing your penis any favors—or your heart, for that matter. These foods are high in cholesterol and can restrict the flow of blood in your arteries, and consequently your penis.
Instead of downing that greasy burger, consider eating salmon or leaner meat instead. Eating a healthy diet is not only good for your overall health, but it also reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction.
Cut down on saturated fats, and try incorporating these foods into your diet instead:
- Spinach and Leafy Greens
Another diet to consider is the Mediterranean diet. This diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes—all of which have been linked with better erectile function.
5. Eat Smaller Portions
Obesity is a major risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Excess weight can cause hormonal imbalances and can negatively affect your blood flow, both of which are factors in ED.
New types of cardiovascular disease due to decreased blood circulation around the heart and blood vessels may also arise, including:
- Heart diseases
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
On top of those risks, obesity can also increase a man’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One study found that52.5% of men who had type 2 diabetes also had erectile dysfunction.
To achieve a healthy weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. One way to do this is by eating smaller portions. Try these portion control tips:
- Use a smaller plate
- Fill up on vegetables first
- Don’t eat until you’re stuffed
- Eat slowly
Contact a men’s health specialist or registered dietitian for help with creating a weight loss plan.
6. Get More Sleep
Sleep deprivation can cause many health problems, from increased blood sugar levels to obesity. Insufficient and disrupted sleep can also lead to sexual problems, including ED and low testosterone levels.
Doctors recommend adults sleep for 7-8 hours every night. If you’re not getting enough sleep, there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep habits:
- Set a regular sleep schedule
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine
- Limit screen time before bed
- Turn off electronics screens at least 30 minutes before sleep
By following these tips, you can improve your sleep quality and quantity, which may ultimately help reduce your risk of sexual dysfunctions like decreased male sex hormones and ED.
7. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Are your relationships taking a toll on your mental health? Do the responsibilities of your job feel too much to bear? Contrary to popular belief, ED isn’t just a result of physical health problems. Your mental state can play a pivotal role in it as well.
Psychological ED, also known as psychogenic ED, is a problem often linked to psychological issues like depression, anxiety, stress, or relationship problems.
If you’ve been struggling with any of these lately, a certified psychiatrist or counselor can help get to the root of the problem and provide you with lasting solutions.
Contact the Top Men’s Clinic in St. Louis for an Erectile Dysfunction Consultation
Erectile dysfunction is a frustrating condition, but it can be treated.
If you’re struggling with poor sexual function, try making some of the lifestyle changes listed above to help you recover.