If you have erectile dysfunction, it is common to want to manage it as much as possible, with as much control as possible. Fortunately, there are many treatments for ED, both medical and natural, so it is entirely possible to manage the symptoms of erectile dysfunction and regain the life you love. Here are five things you can do, starting immediately.
First, make sure it is ED.
Erectile dysfunction involves more than just not being able to get an erection every once in a while. Instead it is defined as a persistent condition, meaning you must experience an inability to achieve or sustain an erection at least 75% of the time.
Also, the condition must be erection‑related. Erectile dysfunction does not pertain to decreases in libido or problems with ejaculation. It is strictly about blood flow and blood containment in the penis to maintain an erection.
At its most basic level, ED happens when:
- There is not enough blood flow going into the penis.
- Weakening vein walls cannot keep blood in the penis.
- Signals from the brain triggering arousal are having trouble reaching the penis.
There are three different forms erectile dysfunction can take:
- An erection can be achieved, but it is too soft to allow for sexual intercourse.
- An erection can be achieved, but it does not last long enough for sexual intercourse.
- An erection cannot be achieved at all.
At the same time, there are many sexual issues men can experience that are different from erectile dysfunction, including:
- Low testosterone
- Low libido or sex drive
- Premature ejaculation
Knowing the facts about erectile dysfunction is the first step to managing its symptoms. So, before anything else, talk to your doctor and get an official diagnosis. Some causes, such as weakening veins or an enlarged prostate, are a natural part of aging, but ED could also be a symptom of a previously undiagnosed condition. Talking to your doctor and getting a proper diagnosis will make sure that you are not ignoring a potentially serious health issue. It will also help you find the best option for dealing with your ED.
Discuss a treatment.
After you determine whether you have erectile dysfunction, you can start to pursue the many treatment options for ED. These solutions include:
- Lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, losing weight, and exercising regularly to improve blood flow
One of the most common treatments is oral medication, such as Viagra or Cialis, which work by boosting blood flow to the penis to create an erection.
While the commercials make many men believe these medications are, literally, the magic pill, they are not always effective. In addition, many times medications are contraindicated if you are taking nitrate medication for heart disease of alpha‑blockers for prostate problems.
You can also manage the symptoms of erectile dysfunction by giving your penis some additional support. A vacuum therapy device can be used to create a vacuum suction over the penis. The force draws blood into the penis, creating a rigid and solid erection, and then an elastic support or constriction ring holds the erection in place.
The pump can be used by yourself to help keep your body familiar with being aroused and to help build confidence in your performance. The elastic penis ring can also be used on its own to sustain blood in the penis or to give you a new sensation in your erection and orgasm.
ED pumps have been proven effective in clinical trials, and have become so popular they’re also being used by men who don’t have ED because they provide such stimulation and enhancement in the bedroom.
A fourth step you can take to manage the symptoms of ED is to promote better health. Excessive drinking and smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stress, and carrying extra weight can all exacerbate erectile dysfunction. Basic lifestyle changes like the following can help minimize the symptoms of ED and improve your overall health:
- If you smoke, stop.
- Curb alcohol intake to no more than two or three drinks a day.
- Work with your doctor to control high blood pressure or high cholesterol through diet, exercise, and possible medications.
- Manage your moods. Sources indicate that up to 20% of cases of erectile dysfunction are related to psychological factors, including stress, anxiety, guilt, and depression. Open up about these feelings if you’re experiencing them and seek advice or treatment.
- If you are overweight, try to eat healthier and exercise. Losing just 10% of your body weight can reduce your risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can contribute to ED, and can help you feel more confident and attractive to your partner.
Check your medications.
Finally, talk to your doctor about any drugs you’re taking and whether ED is a side effect. If it is, ask about alternatives or ED treatments you can explore while still on the medication.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of erectile dysfunction, don’t ignore them and hope they go away on their own. Get out in front of the situation with confidence and optimism. There are many treatment options available, along with changes you can make in how you live, eat, exercise, and manage stress that can get you back to consistent and satisfying sexual performance.
If you're looking for a comprehensive resource on erectile dysfunction, check out our online guide, Everything You Need to Know About Erectile Dysfunction.