Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a major source of confusion, embarrassment and concern for any man. And while ED is more common in men over 50, it can happen at any age.
A lot goes on behind an erection – the brain, hormones, nerves, muscles and blood are all working towards a single goal. If something interrupts this process, it can lead to erectile dysfunction.
And while it is a sensitive and often emotional topic, it is important to remember that many men will suffer from it from time to time. If it’s an ongoing problem, however, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by your doctor.
Not being able to obtain or maintain an erection can create problems in relationships and with self-image. The reasons behind ED can be physical or psychological, so if you’re worried about your erections, it’s a good idea to find out what is causing the problem.
Luckily, there are many ways of achieving lasting power and maintaining the health of your penis. One of the most effective ways is looking after the whole of you – and keeping yourself well-fed, well-exercised and well-rested. But there are also some other ways you can look at that can help you get harder erections.
There are a lot of oral medications available to treat erectile dysfunction. The most common types are Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, which all became available in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The introduction of these tablets became very effective in bringing the subject of erectile dysfunction into the public arena.
While these pills have seen a lot of success, there are side effects to them which can include dizziness, muscle pain and insomnia meaning they are not an ideal choice for some men. Moreover, a small percentage of men also do not find these pills effective.
There are also drugs available that can be injected into the penis. Alprostadil is used to improve erections as and when needed and should be injected shortly before sex.
Countless men who suffer from ED have found that using a penis pump is the quickest and easiest way of maintaining a satisfying sex life. Using a vacuum constriction device like Hydromax can create a strong erection safely by using warm water to create a vacuum around the penis. This allows all blood vessels around the penis to be stimulated and aids a harder erection.
The Hydromax is so effective that users can also benefit from an enhanced penis size and a longer lasting performance in bed.
But while the Hydromax is ideal equipment for someone suffering from ED, there are other lifestyle choices that might be worth looking at in order to enjoy long-term penis health.
What and how much you eat has a direct effect on how your body functions. So food that isn’t good for the heart – processed meats, too much salt, sugary drinks – will cause cardiovascular problems that cause restricted blood flow. Of course, the penis relies on blood to maintain an erection, so look at a diet that is based on fruit, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains.
You’ll probably know by now that your mind affects your penis significantly. So it makes sense that if you’re not feeling 100% - whether it’s through stress, depression or anxiety – it’s going to affect your penis. Always ask for help if you’re not feeling great mentally – a lot can be done to resolve any issue by talking about it.
As well as impacting your heart, being overweight can lead to type 2 diabetes, which causes nerve damage throughout the body. Erectile dysfunction can occur when nerves are damaged, so it’s important to keep a focus on your weight – and try to stick on or around the recommended weight for your height and age.
Cholesterol and blood pressure levels
Cholesterol and blood pressure can be exacerbated by stress, poor diet or simply genetics. High cholesterol and blood pressure levels can result in damaged blood vessels – which in turn affect the flow of blood to the penis. It’s important to get a regular check up on these levels by your doctor and to get treatment if they become a problem.
While enjoying a few beers at the weekend is unlikely to cause major ED problems, heavy drinking over a prolonged period can cause liver and nerve damage. Chronic alcohol consumption can also lead to irregularities in the levels of testosterone – which can lead to problems maintaining an erection.
Research has shown that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to erectile dysfunction, so it’s a good idea to get active through exercise. However, there are certain forms of exercise you should avoid if you’re worried about ED. Anything that causes pressure on the perineum – like bike riding – can affect the blood vessels that connect to the penis. For keen bikers, wearing padded pants, standing up while pedalling and making sure their bike fits properly are recommended.
After you reach 50, your testosterone levels drop – leading to erectile problems. Symptoms of testosterone deficiency include a low sex drive, lack of stamina and moodiness. Your doctor can keep checks on your levels if you’re concerned.
Smoking works against penile health in two ways. The many chemicals in cigarettes promote arterial narrowing, while nicotine causes the blood vessel to contract which causes the penis to shrink – not a good look.
Sleep is essential for mind, body and soul – and penises. While you sleep, men experience three to five hour-long erections. This is your body’s way of recharging your penis, exercising the blood vessels and keeping them oxygenated. So make sure you get those eight hours a night – they do you a lot of good.
Feeling confident in bed may not come as easily as it once did, but there are so many ways you can improve and strengthen your penis for firmer and longer lasting erections.
By simply realising that most cases of ED are not only common but easily treatable, you should gain perspective on what is really a short-term problem - and find the remedy to a better performance in bed.