How to prevent Erectile Dysfunction

1 Apr 2022 MEN’S HEALTH

The cause of erectile dysfunction is commonly related to ageing, however there are other causes that lead to ED that you might not be aware of.

Here is our top list of causes that should be considered when wanting to prevent or reduce the impact of erectile dysfunction.

1. Look at your diet

Research indicates that eating habits, including poor diet can lead to clogged arteries which reduces flow to the penis. Therefore, a man’s heart health generally correlates to their sexual health. Diets that contribute to heart disease include processed, fried, sugary foods as well as a diet that includes minimal fruits and vegetables. Research now indicates that men who eat a Mediterranean diets show improvement in erectile dysfunction. The standard Mediterranean diet is high in fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, and natural oils including olive oil and nuts. 

2. Smoking

Smoking can damage the blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the penis. Nicotine may tighten the blood vessels which also reduces blood flow to the penis. Smoking is not always easy to stop, seek help through the Quitline and don’t give up, it’s definitely worth it.

3. Reduce excess drinking

Whilst there is no study that directly correlates drinking alcohol with ED, studies do show excess drinking not only impacts the liver, but it can also create nerve damage and interfere with male sex hormones. All these issues impact a man’s sexual health. 

4. Exercise often

Studies show that sedentary and an inactive lifestyle can majorly impact erectile dysfunction. Exercising regularly on the other hand can help prevent erectile dysfunction. Aerobic exercises that include running, walking, swimming, and team sports can have a positive impact on the body and heart. Cycling has great benefits for health and longevity, however it’s important to consider excess pressure on the perineum, which is the space between the anus and the penis. Cyclist should ensure that they have proper padded pants, the bike is the correct size and try to stand up regularly whilst peddling.

5. Check your testosterone

Low testosterone can directly impact ED, other symptoms can range from low sex drive, lack of stamina and trouble making decisions. Testosterone levels generally reduce as we age, particularly after 50, every year after 40 testosterone levels can drop by 1.3%. 

6. Avoid anabolic steroids

Whilst you might have a fitness or body building goal in mind, it's important to consider that anabolic steroids can shrink the testicles and reduce their ability to make testosterone. Perhaps it’s important to look at other means to grow muscle without reducing testosterone which correlates with erectile dysfunction.

7. Check high blood pressure and high cholesterol

High cholesterol and high blood pressure can lead to blood vessel damage which then impacts blood flow to the penis, which can cause ED. It’s worthwhile to get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly with the doctor and ask for treatment that doesn’t impede on your sexual health.

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