Are you experiencing difficulty in achieving an erection? Is maintaining the erection a persistent problem for you? Is it affecting you psychologically? If yes, you may be suffering from erectile dysfunction. As a matter of fact, a lot of guys know that their lifestyle is harming their health, but it isn’t until it begins to affect their manhood that they start to listen.
Most men do have problems with achieving or maintaining an erection from time to time. However, some men happen to suffer from erectile dysfunction or ED. This occurs when they find it hard to get or keep an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse persistently. The most common factors contributing to ED are diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, ageing, neurological problems, and cholesterol levels. Due to erectile dysfunction, you can suffer from stress, lowered self-confidence, and relationship strain.
To address this problem, we have come up with certain guidelines aimed at helping men manage their masculinity with proper erection capability.
1. Re-Organize Your Medicine Cabinet
Certain antidepressants, blood pressure medications, narcotic pain relievers, anti-anxiety drugs, antiepileptic drugs, and antihistamines can cause problems with your erection. But, one of the most surprising culprits is your painkillers (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and allergy or cold medicine. So, if any prescribed medicines are causing you to fall flat, talk to your doctor about a possible substitution and your doctor may be able to change your treatment plan.
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking tends to directly affect the blood flow, which is known to be the foundation for a normal and strong erection. Nicotine in cigarettes (1 cigarette = 10 mg of nicotine) damages the lining of your blood vessels that affects the smooth muscle in your penis and inhibits blood from flowing smoothly, thereby resulting in Erectile Dysfunction. Some strategies for quitting smoking include identifying your triggers and beating them, joining a smoke cessation program or group, taking a break, avoiding the causes of smoking, and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) e.g. chewing gum, or lozenges.
3. Strike Up A Conversation About ED
Erectile dysfunction is significantly associated with stigma and embarrassment. However, talking about ED with your partner will help you. It may seem easier to avoid the problem, but good communication about ED is the first step towards finding a solution. Here are some conversation tips.
- Remember that you and your partner are not alone — more than 100 million men around the world experience similar symptoms and emotions.
- In case that both partners are waiting for the other to start the conversation, dropping hints or giving cues that you’re ready to begin may help.
- Focus on possible solutions, such as the ones outlined on this page. Plan your visit to a doctor together.
4. Assess Your Health
Erectile dysfunction or ED isn’t just always about sex. It can also be a red flag for a number of medical conditions and that shouldn’t be ignored, according to the experts. ED can be an early warning sign of a more serious condition, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, obesity, and low testosterone. So, treating such a condition, if you happen to suffer from it, can help improve your overall health and well-being as well as your erection.
5. Get Heart-Healthy
The diet that is unhealthy for your heart is also unhealthy for your erection too. The consumption of any food that increases your risk of getting a heart attack can also prove to be a trigger for suffering from erectile dysfunction. Also, high levels of harmful visceral fat tend to reduce the testosterone and result in inflammation, and both these factors can be responsible for hurting your penis.
So, if your diet prominently comprises fried and fatty foods and meats, you need to change it. Choose to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Avoid eating fried foods. Prefer to eat grilled or baked foods and minimize you’re the surplus fat.
6. Get Set Go
Lounging lazily is not only generally good for health but also no good for a man’s erection as it is not favourable for a healthy sex life. A routine exercise for 20 to 30 minutes a day helps in improving the blood circulation to all regions of the body and includes the pelvic area, where the vessels needed for the functioning are based.
However, men should still be careful when performing some types of exercises which can overload the perineum area, the area between the scrotum and anus. So, men should not stress themselves with bicycling and should go for it once in a while, preferably when they want to cycle outdoors in the fresh air. Exercise regularly and stay fit and in shape.
7. Get Quality Sleep
Sleeping for five hours or less affects testosterone levels of young, healthy guys by 10% after just a few days. Sleep tends to regulate the balance of your brain hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine, which tend to affect your erection. So, it is best to avoid habits or conditions which can hamper your sleep. Make sure you sleep at least six hours continuously at night, though continuous seven to eight hours sleep is ideally recommended.
8. Avoid Steroids
This advice is primarily for the athletic men and those who practice bodybuilding, as they are the prominent users of steroids. The regular use of steroids affects the testicles which can lead to a lowered level of testosterone. And, this can make you suffer from erectile dysfunction. So, it is advisable to avoid steroids, particularly excess of it when it comes to sports and bodybuilding.
9. Combat Your Anxiety
Having sex out of your relationship eventually causes guilt which in turn leads to anxiety. Anxiety produces chemical changes in the brain that adversely affect your ability to have an erection. High levels of anxiety turn your sympathetic nervous system on overdrive, thereby halting the release of the neurotransmitters which are in charge of stimulating an erection.
Problems that may cause ED also comprise anxiety from the past bad experiences with family, sex or work-related anxiety, unrealistic targets, and poor communication with the partner and expectations. So, it is best to combat your anxiety.
10. Your Laptop Can Lessen Your Sperm Count – Avoid Laptop On Lap
Laptops generate a tremendous amount of heat, and anything that warms the testicles excessively can decrease your sperm count and testosterone levels, particularly the laptops with wi-fi which generates electromagnetic radiation more than ordinary laptops. The cells in the testicles that produce your swimmers and hormones are heat-sensitive, which is why the heat generated over the scrotal region reduce the sperm production, thereby messing with your ability to get an erection and resulting into male infertility.
11. Stop Taking Your Work Home
Work-related stress disturbs the sexual functions too. Men doing demanding jobs work continuously under pressure at the office to complete the assigned task. So, they tend to experience a high level of anxiety. And, if you are a workaholic, sleep and exercise tend to take a backseat, thereby increasing your chances of suffering from ED.
Pursuing the above habits helps you to look after your most prized appendage so it doesn’t affect you adversely in the future. So, make sure you follow all the above healthy habits to avoid suffering from erectile dysfunction.
-Written by Dr Falak K., Associate doctor to Dr Rajesh Shah