No matter your age or circumstance, it’s normal to want to achieve firmer, longer-lasting erections. It’s especially common if your erections are not as strong as they used to be or you’re experiencing ED after prostate cancer. Fortunately, there are answers to how to get better erections and make the most of your sexual health—naturally—after a radical prostatectomy or anytime. The following tactics are 100% natural:
It’s no secret that exercise is good for your health. But experts say it can also have a great impact on erectile dysfunction. Regular exercise can both prevent the development of ED and reverse it if it’s already a problem. Exercise is so effective because it:
- Helps maintain body weight, which can boost your mood, confidence, and overall health
- Promotes blood flow, which can improve the rigidity and duration of erections
- Increases nitric oxide in blood vessels, which is similar to how Viagra works
- Increases production of testosterone, which improves erectile strength and sex drive
How much should you exercise? Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 15 minutes of intense exercise every day.
Move your penis.
Another answer to how to get better erections is to do “penis exercises” or exercises that specifically strengthen your pelvic floor. Sources say these exercises can help relieve erectile dysfunction and improve overall sexual performance. They can also reduce urinary or bowel incontinence and prevent dribble after urination.
A common pelvic floor exercise is the Kegel, which involves squeezing and holding your pubococcygeus or PC muscles for a few minutes several times a day. These are the muscles used when you try to hold back urine mid-stream.
Check your medicines.
Another lifestyle change is to review your prescription medications. According to the Cleveland Clinic many prescription drugs, while essential for treating other conditions, can affect your hormones, nerves, or blood circulation, resulting in ED or increasing your risk.
A few of the medications that can cause ED include:
- High blood pressure medications
- Parkinson’s disease drugs
- Muscle relaxants
- Prostate cancer drugs
If you are taking any of these drugs, do not stop taking them. Instead, talk to your doctor about side effects and options.
Another lifestyle change is to stop smoking. Sources indicate men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day have a 60% higher risk of ED, compared to men who have never smoked. In addition, men who smoke now, or who used to, are about 30% more likely to suffer from impotence.
The main reason for this is that smoking causes plaque build-up in the arteries, which obstructs blood flow. These circulatory problems can directly result in ED. If you do smoke, consult your doctor about taking active steps to stop.
Slow down on the drinks.
Finally, another lifestyle factor to consider is alcohol consumption. Research shows drinking too much can have both short- and long-term effects on sexual performance.
One study found that sober men could achieve an erection more quickly than intoxicated men. And, while a few drinks may loosen you up, drinking too much before sex decreases blood flow to the penis, reduces the intensity of orgasms, and decreases your overall excitement.
Beyond just pre-sex drinking, it’s also been found that men who are dependent on alcohol have a 60% to 70% chance of experiencing sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and loss of sexual desire.
If you do drink, remember moderation is key. Mayo Clinic describes moderate alcohol use as up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. “One drink” means 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
- Let go: Accept that there are things you cannot control.
- Ask others for help.
- Express your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry.
- Maintain healthy and emotionally supportive relationships.
- Try to change or eliminate the source of stress, or distance yourself from it.
- Maintain a healthy sense of self-esteem.
Check your diet.
Finally, achieving and maintaining firm and satisfying reactions calls for a strong heart and good circulation throughout the body and to the penis. This means that foods that are known to be good for heart heath will be good for sexual health as well. For better erections, consider these dietary tips:
- Eat for your heart. Look for foods that are low in cholesterol and fat, and whenever possible seek whole grains, fruits, vegetables, skinless poultry and fish, nuts, and legumes.
- Drink up. What you eat also includes what you drink. The caffeine in coffee boosts metabolism and releases fat stores, which can give you more energy. In addition, wine, especially red wine, contains resveratrol. This antioxidant phytochemical enhances the production of nitric oxide, which expands blood vessels and arteries, promoting blood blow throughout the body, including to the penis.
- Add the protein. Oysters are high in zinc and vitamin B6, which help boost testosterone. Salmon and other “oily fish” like mackerel, trout, and fresh tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which enhance blood flow. Another good choice is pork. This white meat contains thiamine, which promotes a healthy nervous system key to sexual performance.
- Spice it up. To spice up both food and your sex life, try onions and garlic. They contain allicin, which thins the blood and enhances circulation. Eating chillies also helps because they expand blood vessels, allowing for greater blood flow throughout the body, including to the penis.
- Remember the fruit. For firmer erections, it can also help to grab a banana. Bananas are high in potassium, which promotes cardiovascular health and circulation. Getting enough potassium also helps control sodium levels, which can lower blood pressure. Another beneficial fruit are cherries. Cherries are high in anthocyanins, which protect artery walls and help prevent clogged arteries. Other artery-protecting fruits are berries, peaches, nectarines, and plums.
While you consider the many foods that can improve erections after prostate cancer or anytime, it’s also important to avoid certain foods, which can include the following:
- Too much meat. Erectile dysfunction can be the result of poor blood circulation, which is also bad for your heart. Eating too much animal fat and cholesterol can impair cardiovascular health and add to problems with ED. Experts advise to reduce your intake of meat and opt for alternatives like plant sources of protein, nuts, and fatty fish.
- Fried foods. French fries, fried meats, doughnuts: They’re delicious but bad for your heart. They can hinder circulation and promote obesity, which can lead to heart disease, cancer, problems with cholesterol, and erectile dysfunction.
- Soy. Soy can have an “estrogenic” effect, which can throw off your balance of estrogen and testosterone and affect your sexual health, mood, energy, and strength. If you do enjoy soy, look for the healthier “fermented” soy found in miso soup and soy sauce. Avoid soy found in processed foods and energy bars.
- Microwave popcorn. Sources say this treat is not bad because of the food, but because of the lining of the bag. It’s made with perfluorooctanoic acid, which has been linked with cancer and with lower testosterone levels.
Discovering how to get better erections after prostate cancer doesn't have to mean popping a pill. Browse our blogs to learn more about everyday changes you can make to improve your erections, and download our free ebook, A Beginner’s Guide to Natural ED Solution.