Disclaimer: The natural methods listed in this article may help to improve ED, however as erectile dysfunction is a complex thing (and each individual is different) we cannot make any guarantees as to whether they will work either temporarily or permanently. While trying natural remedies is a sensible first port of call for those who are looking to improve the quality of their erections, we would always advise our readers to speak to their doctor or a qualified physician.
Suffering from erectile dysfunction? Try these seven natural fixes…
In today’s article we will delve into the world of erectile dysfunction and provide several options that those suffering from weak erections may wish to try before turning to prescription medication.
In addition to that (as this is a website dedicated to bodybuilding and anabolic steroids) we will also be looking at the effects that anabolic steroids can have on erections quality and sexual intercourse, and whether steroid-induced impotence/ED is an issue that is easily resolved.
Let us first take a look at what erectile dysfunction is and who it affects.
What is ‘ED’, who suffers from it, what are the causes and what are the symptoms?
What is it?: Erectile dysfunction – or ‘ED’ as it is often called – is the inability to get and/or keep an erection of sufficient hardness to facilitate sexual intercourse. It can occur on a one of basis or for a more prolonged period.
Who suffers from it?: There is a common misconception that only older men have issues with maintaining erections, but in reality men of all ages can suffer from ED. It is more prevalent in older males, but there are plenty of younger men who have issues with it also.
What are the causes?: There are many physical and mental health issues that can cause erectile dysfunction. These include, but are not limited to: diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and stress.
What are the symptoms?: There are three main symptoms – decreased sexual desire; difficulty getting an erection; difficulty maintaining an erection. A person suffering from ED may get one, two or three of these symptoms – everyone is different.
Getting treatment for ED is extremely important as it may indicate that the person has an underlying health issues, in addition to the fact that it may negatively impact upon their mental health, relationships and ability to get their partner pregnant.
If you don’t want to take the prescription medication route then here are a plethora of things you can do that may help with your erections.
Unsure or unconvinced about natural remedies? A study in 2014 showed that erectile dysfunction can be reversed through some of the lifestyle changes listed below.
Seven ways to a stronger, longer lasting erection
1. Exercise can be used to improve health and treat ED
According to our in-house medical expert Anthony-John Micheal Plimmer, there are a plethora of lifestyle changes that can be made to improve the symptoms of ED, but number one on the list is exercise.
Exercise increases and improves blood flow throughout the whole body, which is required for a strong erection. In addition, it can also improve the levels of nitric oxide within the blood, which is how viagra increases erection quality.
(Heavy) weight training increases testosterone, which can in turn increase sexual desire and help with erection strength.
2. Healthy diet = healthy body and a healthy penis
You’ve all heard the saying ‘You are what you eat’, and this is very apt where ED is concerned. A poor diet can lead to a poor erection. However, a quality diet that us full of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish and Omega-3 will help to reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.
A healthy diet will also assist in keeping a healthy body weight. Men who have a waist of 32 inches are half as likely to suffer from ED when compared to men who have a waist of 42 inches.
3. Better quality sleep = a better quality erection
A 2011 study exemplified the correlation between sex hormones (such as testosterone), sexual function and sleep. It showed that poor sleep go hand-in-hand with erectile and sexual dysfunction, whereas quality sleep increased testosterone levels, which in turn can promote increased sexual desire and stronger erections.
The key is to not only have a sleep schedule, but also to stick to it.
4. As cigarette intake goes down, erection quality goes up
Smoking is one of the leading causes of blocked or narrowed arteries – which is one of the main causes of ED. By stopping smoking you will either reduce the risk of this happening in the future, or you will halt the damage that has already been caused in its tracks.
Giving up smoking can be very difficult, so we advise speaking to your doctor if you are having trouble ‘kicking the habit’.
5. Alcohol will dampen your mood and your ability to get an erection
Alcohol is actually a depressant (although it certainly doesn’t feel that way on a night out, I know!), which is why you feel down either during or after you’ve had a few too many drinks. It can also have a negative impact on erection quality too.
Drinking too much alcohol will take its toll on your central nervous system, which is responsible for releasing nitric oxide into the blood – a chemical that is vital for strong erections. So the equation is simple:
More alcohol = lower nitric oxide = poor quality erections
6. Can acupuncture help with erectile dysfunction?
There is some debate within the medical community as to whether or not acupuncture can help to improves erection quality, however there is one study that suggests that men who are suffering from ED as a result of taking antidepressants (which is around 50% of those taking them) can be assisted with acupuncture.
7. Herbal remedies: Good or bad for those suffering from ED?
With so many supplements out there claiming to be a ‘miracle cure’ for ED it can be difficult discerning the good from the bad, and the useful from the not-so-useful.
If we take a look at the science behind these there are only a few that really stand out as potential treatment options for erectile dysfunction. Any that increase testosterone may have this effect, although those that improve blood flow are more likely to have a positive effect. Both ginseng and pomegranate can help to improve blood flow and reduce or prevent atherosclerosis, therefore they may be beneficial.
Does steroid-induced erectile dysfunction exist?
I am often asked by those that are considering taking steroids whether they will any affect on the penis of the user.
To answer this question is very simple. I just tell them about the number of people who are taking steroids that have asked me how to reverse erectile dysfunction!
Taking steroids can cause erectile problems, although it is a complicated subject because firstly, not all steroids were created the same, and secondly, not all people were either, i.e. some steroids are more renowned for causes penis problems than others, and some people may simply be more prone to them.
Whenever you play around with hormones you risk causing ED related issues. The body is a finely-tuned machine and disturbing the equilibrium (even slightly) can cause negative side effects.
Taking testosterone can increase erection quality and sexual desire, but take too much or get your A.I dose wrong and your estrogen will spiral out of control or decrease too much – both of which will impact upon erection quality.
Taking 19-nortestosterone based steroids such as Deca Durabolin or Trenbolone is synonymous with ED as they have progestin-like effects, which isn’t exactly something you want as a man.
Taking only steroids with low androgenicity can also have negative connotations upon sex drive and erection quality.
The takeaway message is a clear one: if you want to keep your penis healthy and erections strong then either don’t take steroids or take testosterone only and control your estrogen levels.