LONG ISLAND, NY – Did you know two-thirds of men older than 70 and up to 39% of 40-year-old men have problems with erectile dysfunction? Here’s some ways to improve your sex life, if you’ve been diagnosed with ED.
Leading risk factors for ED include atherosclerosis, damaged nerves after surgery, neurological or psychological factors, certain medications, or chronic illness.
While erectile dysfunction most commonly affects middle-aged men, it can affect younger men too. It is common for men to occasionally experience erectile dysfunction, especially when under a lot of stress, overconsumption of alcohol, or with fatigue. However, if men suffer from erectile dysfunction often or on a regular basis, it can be a sign of other underlying health conditions that are in need of treatment. It may also be an indicator for mental or emotional issues.
The majority of erectile dysfunction cases are caused by a combination of psychological and medical conditions. About 70 percent of ED cases are caused my medical conditions and about 30 percent of ED cases are caused by psychological conditions.
- Hit the gym, it’ll improve your sex life. One of the main benefits to men with regards to exercise is it boosts testosterone. Weight training can help pump up testosterone levels, the male sex hormone. Research has found that men’s testosterone levels were highest up to 2 days after they lifted weights.
- Drink coffee: A new study shows that men who drink 2 cups of coffee per day reduced the effects of erectile dysfunction or of developing it. Learn more about why.
Exercises to try:
- Kegel Exercises: We recently wrote about Private Gym, the first FDA registered kegel exercise program. The Private Gym exercise program builds upon the scientific findings of Dr. Arnold Kegel, who, in the 1940s, developed simple exercises to prepare women for childbirth. For decades, doctors and leading medical institutions have recommended these exercises for women. Many people think that strengthening the pelvic floor is only for who are pregnant or considering getting pregnant. But more research has proven it is also great for men to improve their sexual function.
- Aerobic Exercises: Beyond the pelvic floor, working the muscles can also help combat erectile dysfunction. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that aerobic exercise may help improve ED which is often caused by blood flow problems to the penis. Risk factors for this condition include obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, vascular disease. Adding aerobic exercise to your daily routine can improve overall health and improve ED. Even physical activity as simple as walking 30 minutes a day, 3-4 times per week may be enough to fight erectile dysfunction.
4 Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction
- Yohimbe: An African evergreen tree where the bark of the treat contains yohimbine. This is a chemical used to make yohimbe. It’s been studied as a treatment for ED and many positive findings have been determined. This should not be taken without doctor supervision since some serious side effects were found including kidney failure, seizure and heart attack. If a patient takes antidepressants or stimulant medication, yohimbe should be avoided.
- L-arginine is an amino acid found in red meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. It’s what we call a vasodilator which means that it helps expand blood vessels and increase blood flow. It’s been studied as a treatment for ED and regarded a safe treatment. It can cause several side effects including nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. It should not be taken with Viagra, nitrates or high blood pressure medication. Talk to your doctor and see if it’s right for you.
- DHEA: Or also known as Dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone produced naturally in the body. It’s been studied as a treatment for ED and also regarded as a safe treatment. But research does show it may not be effective if erectile dysfunction stems from diabetes or a nerve disorder. It can interact negatively with some medications and side effects include acne, upset stomach and hair loss.
- Panax Ginseng: Also called Korean red ginseng, stemmed from the root, this is used to make medicine for several conditions related to erectile dysfunction. The plant is regarded as a safe treatment for erectile dysfunction but should only be taken for a short period of time. Some side effects include insomnia or trouble sleeping and can interact negatively with alcohol, caffeine and some medications.
If you’re taking erectile dysfunction medication and it’s not working, you may be using them wrong.
- Sexual arousal is key. 3% of men in the study said they weren’t getting enough sexual stimulation when trying them out. When sexually excited, the brain sends signal via the nerves down to the penis. This releases a chemical into the penis which activates the production of the chemical that the drugs work on to produce an erection. If a man is not aroused, that second chemical will never be activated.
- Take more than the minimal dosage. 31% of men in study assumed their ED drugs didn’t work before testing out the maximum dosage. Researchers say that for the majority of men who complain about ED, the drugs are going to work at higher dosage. However, if you have hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol, your will probably start with a lower dose to be safe. Otherwise, researchers say to ask doctor if the prescription is for the maximum dose.
- Don’t eat before taking your ED medication. Over 20% of men in study took Viagra or Levitra right after eating. On a full stomach, only half of the drugs get absorbed. Viagra and Levitra work best on an empty stomach. Wait at least 2-3 hours after eating a full meal to take them. This is not true for Cialis.
- After taking your ED medication, wait a little while to have sex. 1 in 6 men in study reported attempting to have sex too soon after taking their ED meds. For Viagra and Levitra, wait at least one hour before having sex. This is when these drugs are at their highest efficacy in your body. Cialis works best two to three hours after ingestion.
- Try more than one type of ED medication. 40% of men in the study didn’t try another kind of ED medication after the first was unsuccessful. This was the most common mistake made in the study. Every patient responds differently to different drugs so it’s important to discuss with your doctor and try more than one to see which works best for you.
- Test each type out a few times. 33% of men in study did not try the medication at least 6 times – the standard recommendation. Try taking it a few times before assuming it doesn’t work to rule out any related factors such as not enough sexual arousal or being too full.
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery, and an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel’s Medical A-Team and the chief medical correspondent for am970 in New York City, where he is heard Sundays at 10 a.m.