Erectile dysfunction (ED), a very common condition, occurs when a man is unable to achieve and maintain an erection. As the years pass, ED becomes more common because it is a natural result of aging. Studies indicate that ED affects more than 50 per cent of men aged 40 and over. For many men, it is a topic they prefer not to talk about, but discussing ED and having it treated can significantly improve the condition.
Erectile dysfunction can be related to other diseases; it may be a symptom of conditions such as obesity, diabetes (the risk of developing ED increases 50 per cent), high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or testosterone deficit. ED not only compromises the sexual life of a man and his partner but can damage his self-esteem.
Both physical and psychological factors can lead to erectile dysfunction. The causes can be classified as organic, due to other diseases or vascular or neurological issues, and hormone imbalance.
Sometimes it is difficult for men to discuss ED. Having erection problems once in a while is no reason to worry, Stress may affect sex life instantly, but it does not mean it will last. On the other hand, if the problem persists, it is best to talk to a doctor.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
Reaching an erection is a complex process. First, a man needs sexual stimulation, which is influenced by the testosterone hormone. Then, several signals travel from the brain through the spinal cord and neurotransmitters such as nitric oxide are released at the nerve endings of the penis; they make the cells relax to increase blood flow to the penis to cause rigidity. If sexual stimulation stops or ejaculation occurs, the arteries return to normal, blood flow decreases and the penis becomes flaccid again.
Symptoms that indicate ED include persistent problems achieving an erection, constant difficulty in maintaining it and diminished sex desire.
Most ED causes are physical and psychological. ED may be due to:
- Heart diseases.
- Clogged blood vessels.
- High blood pressure.
- Parkinson’s disease.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Tobacco use.
- Abuse of alcohol or other substances.
- Sleep disorders.
The brain plays a fundamental role in achieving an erection; several factors can interfere with sexual feelings, causing or worsening ED such as:
- Stress due to external situations or because of the inability to maintain an erection, which aggravates the condition.
- Couple problems because of stress, poor communication or constant concerns.
- Depression, anxiety, among other mental health issues.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
For years, pharmaceutical companies have been working to find practical solutions to this condition. In the process, Viagra was invented. However, taking this pill is not a long-term solution. It activates blood vessels to promote firmness of the penis to enhance sexual performance once. ED can be cured through pills, injections or suppositories, alternative therapies, an enhanced diet, home remedies, stress relief and happy living.
Before considering self-medicating, visit a doctor to be examined and evaluated. It is important to determine if it is a physical or psychological problem. ED can be a consequence of cardiovascular disease or diabetes, for example.
These steps can help men deal with erectile dysfunction:
- Evaluate general health to determine if the ED cause is physical or psychological.
- Make important decisions about lifestyle in order to improve heart and overall health.
- Discuss with the doctor treatment options such as pills, other medications or alternative therapies, and adding supplements to one’s diet.
- Make dietary changes, adding foods that promote circulatory health.
Erectile Dysfunction Drugs
In addition to Viagra, Cialis and Levitra are other erectile dysfunction pills. They relax the muscles of the penis, increasing blood flow to allow a man to have an erection.
Injections and suppositories are other treatment alternatives. These are vasodilators injected directly into the penis with a small needle or by the insertion of a suppository into the urethra; they act by relaxing the muscles and blood vessels of the penis to keep blood long enough to complete an erection.
Most men enjoy having an active and regular sex life and improving diet and applying exercise routines daily can enhance the mechanisms involved in the erection process.
Ingredients that can be used as home remedies to enhance male sexuality and mitigate the effects of ED include:
- Garlic. Adding this vegetable to recipes increases production of nitric oxide, thus relaxing blood vessels.
- Olive oil. Its properties help mitigate heart problems, high cholesterol and vascular disorders.
- Rhodiola rosea. This plant increases physical resistance; taking infusions with the leaves at least once a day provides excellent results as a natural medicine for ED.
- Red ginseng. Eat 800 grams of this popular Korean plant. It can also be added to meals.
- Nuts. Rich in arginine, an amino acid that contributes to nitric oxide production which dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to enter the penis.
- Watermelon. Rich in citrulline, a compound that stimulates the production of nitric oxide and increases blood flow to the penis, thus improving erections.
Erectile Dysfunction Exercises
Another home remedy is to be physically active. The best ED exercises are:
- Relaxation. Causes of ED include stress, problems at home, insecurity and low self-esteem. Relaxation exercises or practices such as yoga are essential to help find calm and release tension.
- Cardiovascular. The cardiovascular system is responsible for keeping the heartbeat stable and blood flow adequate. So, a weak cardiovascular system can lead to erectile dysfunction. Therefore, including an exercise routine such as walking, jogging or running can promote healthy blood vessels.
- Pelvic floor. Kegel exercises are ideal for strengthening the pubococcygeus muscle between the anus and the base of the penis. It helps to control an erection.
- Squats. After the cardio routine, performing four sets of 25 repetitions will help not only to tone muscles but also to lose weight and have more resistance.