We complete our series of posts devoted to Men’s Health Month with the unavoidable issue that plagues many men: the risk of erectile dysfunction.
It turns out that the first step in dealing with or avoiding the risk of erectile dysfunction is not always medication. Certain simple lifestyle changes can have a huge effect on increasing hormone levels, increasing blood flow and decreasing blood pressure.
Exercise your way to a better sex life
Improved cardiovascular health and lower stress levels (not to mention more energy) has been shown in a recent study to have a positive effect on men’s sexual health. Even six hours per week of light exercise were shown to make sex more enjoyable (and possible) for the men participating in this study.
A healthy prostate lowers the risk of erectile dysfunction
An enlarged prostate can actually be a cause of erectile dysfunction. Follow our suggestions on early screening, diet and other suggestions for a healthy prostate.
Not getting enough sleep can lower the level of testosterone in your body. A recent study has found that this, as well as sleep disorders that disrupt sleep, like sleep apnea, can cause increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. Lack of sleep can also affect a woman’s sex drive, as well, so BOTH partners should be sure to get some good rest.
Stay away from the booze!
It may make you feel more amorous but it also decreases nitric oxide which, as we’ve mentioned in our post about a diet for a healthy prostate, has a positive effect on sex drive when it’s in sufficient amounts. Moderation, of course, is the key. And, if you feel you’re already at risk of erectile dysfunction, it couldn’t hurt to take a break from it entirely, to at least see if there are any positive results.
There are many enhancement products such as flexible vibrating penis rings, variable sized erection rings, testosterone-enhancing creams and other vibrating devices that can be helpful. Many of these products can either help arouse or maintain an erection by increasing blood flow to the penis.
Medication and other medical treatments
If you feel you’ve tried everything and aren’t seeing any improvements, there are also medical options, including medications (Viagra, Cialis, etc.), implants, injections and even surgery. Talk therapy or psychological counseling can also be useful since, often, erectile dysfunction can arise from stress or anxiety.
Remember that there is help out there for this condition. Talking to a medical provider who you trust about the situation can be the first step in solving the problem.