10 tips to improve your erection

Practical advice on how to get hard and stay hard.

1. Improve diet and exercise

A healthy and active lifestyle is a sure way to improve your sex life. Having a poor diet can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Try to reduce processed foods, red meat and sugar, and increase whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  Ditch that soda and drink some beet juice instead.  
Work out daily, even if it’s just 20 minutes a day. Men who exercise regularly report greater self-confidence, which in turn may reduce performance anxiety. Performance anxiety is one of the main causes of erectile dysfunction in younger men.  

Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and being overweight are common contributing factors for erectile dysfunction.  Overweight individuals are 1.5 times more likely, and obese individuals are 3 times more likely, to have erectile dysfunction than men of average weight.  The effect of excess weight on sexual function is actually greater than the effect of aging.  Regular exercise can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, thereby reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction.  

2. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol should be consumed in moderation or not at all. Alcohol intake is directly proportional to sexual dysfunction.  The more alcohol you drink, the worse your erectile problems can become. In the short term, alcohol acts as a central nervous system depressant, decreasing sexual arousal and leeding to temporary impotence. Alcohol suppresses testosterone production in the gonads directly and raises cortisol levels which also suppresses testosterone production.  Long-term alcohol use can damage the liver leading to cirrhosis.  Individuals with cirrhosis have very low testosterone levels in addition to being generally unhealthy.

3. Quit smoking

Smoking leads to numerous issues including heart disease, lung disease and strokes. To add to this list, smoking also impacts erectile function. The effect of smoking is largely reversible when it comes to erectile dysfunction. Individuals who quit smoking report an increase in erection quality and decreased symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

4. Check blood pressure

Sexual function is impaired when you have hypertension (high blood pressure). Long-term, uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage blood vessels.  Because the blood vessels that supply the soft tissue of the penis are finer than your normal veins and arteries, erectile dysfunction may be one of the first symptoms of high blood pressure. It is important to control blood pressure by reducing salt in the diet, exercising and taking medication when necessary.

5. Check testosterone levels

As we have touched on earlier, testosterone is a critical hormone in sexual function, sexual desire and mood.  Low testosterone is present in up to 28% of individuals with low libido, although it is less commonly a cause of erectile dysfunction.  Making changes in your diet and lifestyle, or potentially taking medications to increase testosterone levels may improve your libido and the quality of your erections.

6. Do pelvic floor exercises

Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will help both incontinence and sexual performance. It’s very simple – sit comfortably and tighten the muscles that stop the flow of urine for a few seconds, then relax for several seconds and repeat up to ten times.

7. Get enough sleep

Aim for at least hours of sleep every night. A lack of sleep results in reduced sexual interest and erectile dysfunction. Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea experience high rates of sexual dysfunction. Once they are on ventilation (such as a CPAP machine) and have better quality sleep as a result, erectile function tends to improve.

8. Avoid stress

Stress is a non-starter if you want to achieve a better erection. There are several ways to combat stress. Take walks, read a good book or perhaps take up meditation. Men with lower stress levels perform better in the bedroom. Learning how to manage stress has many health benefits, including an improved sex life.

9. Limit porn

Recently, there has been an unexplained rise in younger males - under the age of 40 -  developing erectile dysfunction. One possible culprit is watching too much pornography.  Too much pornography may change the way the brain reacts to arousal, making a man less likely to feel aroused when confronted with a real-life partner.   Although the connection is not definitive, it can never hurt to cut down on porn.

10.  Consider erectile dysfunction medication

There are several options out there if lifestyle changes are not enough to overcome erectile dysfunction. Drugs such as Sildenafil, Tadalafil and Vardenafil work by dilating blood vessels and allowing blood flow to the soft tissues of the penis, resulting in an erection. These medicines can be prescribed by your doctor.  In other words, when all else fails, we have a pill for that!!

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24720114
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15610111
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8254833
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039517/
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322720.php

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