Erectile Dysfunction (ED) – Dr Shelley
It is estimated that by 2025, 332 million men will be affected by Erectile Dysfunction (healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/ed-and-vitamins).
As a sexologist I have found this to be a very common issue. But there are ways to resolve this and also ways around this! So read on!
So, what are the causes of ED? For many it is a side effect of medication they are on, such as blood pressure prescriptions. For other’s it is to do with their health – maybe they are overweight, stressed, lacking sleep, or missing essential minerals/vitamins in their diet. For other’s it may just be low testosterone which can affect mental state and sex drive. Then there is the influence of upbringing with parents who said sex was bad, not to play with our bits… or religious dogmas associated with sex – that sex is only be for procreation not for pleasure, or due to lack of self worth/self-esteem stemming from negative sexual experiences, or fear of non-performance.
There are a myriad of reasons for ED. If we address each of these probable causes then there is hope to regain erectile function and if all else fails the “little blue pill” or a penis pump, or even an implant could be a “solution!”
And for those that have tried ALL that and still have ED issues, all is not lost! There are many ways to be pleasured and to pleasure that don’t involve the penis! There are so many other erogenous zones on the body, and sex toys that can assist in giving pleasure – to both!
In my work as a sexologist I do not focus on the negatives or the past. I look at the now and how to make now better! What can you do to make your life more sexually joyful?
Let’s start with diet… one way to increase your sexual energy is to cut out all grains from your diet. No bread, no pizza, no pasta… anything made from wheat. Wheat clogs up your arteries and if you want good dick function then you want good blood flow to all the essential areas! It is also an easy way to drop the weight that may be contributing to the drop in sexual performance.
Increase your intake of foods high in zinc such as beef, pork, lamb, chicken and nuts. Always be aware of your sources of food and choice healthy meats raised naturally, without added hormones or chemicals. Zinc is a key mineral that is lacking in most people’s systems. Zinc enables the male body to produce testosterone. You can supplement your diet with zinc but a reminder to take zinc with food unless you want to experience morning sickness like symptoms without being pregnant!
Testosterone levels can decrease as men get older. Get yours tested! If it is low then you can take bio-idential testosterone to boost your levels which boost your erectile function and libido! I had one couple I saw and were struggling with their sexual performance. Both subsequently got tested and proceeded to get their hormones in balance through the use of bio-identical hormones and their sex lives returned and transformed! Worth checking out!
If you do happen to be on blood pressure medication or heart medication that has the side effect of lowering erectile function… if you are planning on going on a date, try stopping your medication the day of your date, or taking it after your date and see if that helps!
I was honored to be invited to China after I completed my PhD and presented the findings of my thesis to a conference there. I spoke with one of the Chinese Doctors at the conference about ED in China. He said it was rampant. I asked if they had a Chinese equivalent to Viagra. He responded that in all of his cases ED was directly as a result of too much stress. The Chinese have an amazing work ethic but obviously at the expense of their personal lives. He recommended meditation, and taking time out for oneself to destress.
Sleep is also an important factor in sexual function. Maybe use some melatonin to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.
Alcohol in moderation can actually benefit erectile function yet it can be a fine line to where too much alcohol inhibits erectile function!!! So moderate your intake if you want a hot date!!!!
Inactivity is another contributor. Erectile function requires first and foremost good blood flow. Keeping active is essential to helping blood flow so look at your exercise regime and incorporate at least some walking every day to increase your blood flow!!
Vitamin D helps stimulate nitric oxide production which is an important part of erectile response. So get your Vitamin D levels checked too! Vitamin D can be taken as a supplement and is also found in oily fish, eggs and fortified dairy products.
Other supplements you may consider taking to help with ED are: red Ginseng (help to relax the muscle in the penis and improve cardiovascular health) , L-Arginine and L-Carnitine (amino acids that help increase nitric oxide production and help stimulate an erection).
Doctor prescribed medication such as Viagra, Cialis or Levitra can also help.
If those “little blue pills” are not an option due to other medication you are taking, or have not been effective, penile injections (intracavernosal Alprostadil) have apparently up to 85% success. The downside is an erection lasting more than 4 hours! Which could cause permanent damage.
There are also penis vacuum pumps and penile implants. I have had clients who have used vacuum pumps successfully and also know one who had the implant and has enjoyed sexual activity successfully afterwards!!!
As the saying goes… “If you don’t use it, you lose it!” so make sure you keep active! In my dissertation that I did for my Doctorate on the Health Benefits of Sex, one doctor suggested at least 3 times a week. I would modify that to 3 sexually intimate times a week, no necessarily 3 orgasms or ejaculations a week, but definitely 3 focused self-pleasuring or intimate connections with another for mutual pleasure!
If you still find yourself with sexual performance issues… try experimenting with sex toys, fantasies to inspire you, sensual massage and touch… there are so many ways to have an active, sexually satisfying life that do not necessarily depend on erectile function!!!!
Positive affirmations and gratitude can also go along way. As they say, “you have to love yourself before you can share love with another…” so honor your own body, your own sexual organs, give thanks, tell them you love them!!!!
Anti-Aging & Health Benefits of Sex – Dr Shelley