Erectile difficulties can happen at any age for a variety of reasons; in fact, most men experience some type of erectile issue at some point during their lives. The reason for ED might be temporary, or there might be an underlying cause that’s contributing to ongoing ED symptoms. Regardless of the cause - and even if the episode doesn’t last long and erectile function returns - it can still be upsetting and embarrassing to experience.
The good news is, there are quite a few ways to help prevent erectile difficulties in the future – including leading a healthy lifestyle, monitoring your overall health through regular doctor visits, and maintaining your mental health.
Eating a diet rich in natural foods such as fruit, vegetables, and fish (with less red and processed meat and refined grains) decreases the likelihood of ED. Choose whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy foods, lean meats, and avoid foods high in fat; especially saturated fat and sodium.
Additionally, brightly colored vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes are rich in antioxidants that have numerous health benefits. Research has found that a diet rich in antioxidants also increases your body’s production of nitric oxide and prevents its breakdown. Nitric oxide is essential for erectile function — it helps to relax blood vessels and smooth muscle, allowing for increased blood flow to the penis.
High blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides can all damage arteries in the heart, brain, and those that lead to the penis. Check with your doctor to find out whether your vascular system is functioning well or whether you need to make lifestyle changes and perhaps take medications to help.
Losing weight can really help prevent or reverse ED, so make it your goal to achieve and then maintain a healthy weight. Obesity also raises your risk for vascular disease and diabetes, two major causes of erectile issues. Improving your overall health, exercising regularly, and cutting out excessive drinking can all have a significant impact on your condition.
Alongside a standard fitness regime, there are also some exercises specifically designed to improve penile health directly; including penile kegels, pelvic exercise, and vacuum pump exercises. Incorporating one or more of these exercises into your regular routine can help improve sexual health and function over time.
Our bodies are closely connected to our minds, and ED is no different. Psychological factors such as performance anxiety, relationship problems, depression, stress, and general anxiety can all lead to erectile issues. Fortunately, there are several ways to combat mental health issues and reduce the negative effects of stress and anxiety; including meditation, yoga, and exercise. It might be a good idea to see a professional therapist, or talk to your healthcare professional about finding someone who can help you manage your day-to-day anxiety and/or depression.
If you are already experiencing some erectile difficulties, consider helping your physical symptoms through penile exercises and vacuum pumps. When used, vacuum pumps create a vacuum around the penis, quickly drawing in blood, resulting in an erection. Many users report improvements after using vacuum pumps: in fact, 86.66% of hydro pump users report better and longer-lasting erections (Survey, Q1 2020).
Additionally, taking up healthy habits such as exercise (particularly aerobic exercise) have been shown to help with erectile issues and overall cardiovascular health.