Dos & Don’ts
Some men feel as though erectile dysfunction is uncomfortable to talk about, however, it is a quite common problem that affects many men. According to the National Institute of Health, 5 percent of 40-year olds and 15 to 25 percent of 65-year olds have ED.
Despite those statistics we believe men should be able to have satisfying sex as they age, and we want to pass along a number of dos and don’ts that hopefully will help you achieve exactly that.
Watch what you eat
The penis is an organ, which means standard nutrition and diet principles apply. A simple rule of thumb is that any food that’s bad for a man’s heart is also bad for his penis. Recent studies have shown that ED is relatively uncommon among men who eat a traditional Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, heart-healthy fats like nuts and olive oil, and red wine.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight can bring on many health issues including type 2 diabetes, which can lead to extensive nerve damage. Erectile Dysfunction can result if diabetes affects the nerves supplying the penis.
Smoking contributes to ED both in the short-term and the long-term. In the short-term, smoking constricts the blood vessels needed for an erection. In the long-term, nicotine contributes to a hardening of the arteries that can lead to ED.
Avoid high blood pressure and high cholesterol
High blood pressure and/or high cholesterol can damage the blood vessels bringing blood to the penis, and this may eventually lead to ED. Have both these checked regularly.
Running, swimming and other aerobic exercises are known to help prevent ED. However, watch out for any exercise that puts excessive pressure on the perineum, the area between the scrotum and anus. Both the nerves and blood vessels that serve the penis can be negatively affected by excessive pressure in this area. Bicycling, in particular, can be problematic. If you ride a great deal, wear padded pants and consider getting a “no-nose” bike seat that relieves pressure in this area.
Alcohol in moderation probably won’t lead to ED, but heavy, chronic drinking can lead to liver and nerve damage and interfere with the normal balance of male sex hormones.
Psychological stress boosts adrenaline levels, constricting blood vessels and possibly contributing to ED. Anything a man can do to ease stress and feel better emotionally should give his sex life a boost.