When you are sexually aroused, there are many different parts of your body that work together. Your brain, nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and hormones communicate with each other via nerve signals for you to have an erection. From your brain, the nerve signals travel to your penis, causing the muscles to relax and allowing blood to flow to your penis. Once your penis is filled with blood, an erection occurs. During sex, the blood vessels that lead to your penis are closed off, which ensures that your penis remains erect. Once you orgasm, these blood vessels open up again, releasing the blood inside your penis.
Sometimes, getting an erection or maintain an erection can be difficult. This problem is called erectile dysfunction, and it can occur because of some underlying health problems, poor lifestyle habits and practices, or injuries.
According to health experts, erectile issues are common, and every man has encountered them at least once in their lifetime. If these troubles occur only occasionally, you should not be so worried and get into panic mode. However, if these happen quite frequently or about 50% of the time, and have severely affected your sex life and relationships, you have to seek medical help as soon as possible.
Causes of erectile dysfunction – Why can’t you get hard?
There is a long list of things that can cause erectile dysfunction. They can be diseases and medical conditions, emotional issues, or a combination of both.
High blood pressure
Also called hypertension, high blood pressure is a prevalent health problem that can be caused by a lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, and stress. If not diagnosed and treated right away, it can damage your arteries and disrupt proper blood flow to your penis, increasing your risk of erectile dysfunction.
If your blood vessels are clogged or narrowed, your risk of heart disease increases. Because your heart function is impaired and cannot pump blood efficiently, you become at high risk of erectile issues.
Having high levels of cholesterol in the body means there are fatty deposits forming in your blood vessels that make blood circulation and blood flow difficult. Over time, this can lead to not only erectile dysfunction but also a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular problems.
There are many health complications tied to being obese. Because you have an excessive amount of fat in the body, you are very likely to suffer from a variety of diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and even erectile dysfunction.
Being constantly under high levels of stress can mess up your hormone balance, negatively impacting your testosterone levels, libido, erections, sperm count, and other sexual functions.
Mental health problems, such as depression, can be detrimental to your sexual health. They can reduce your sexual desire or libido and make getting and sustaining erections difficult.
There are certain medications that can weaken your erections. If you are taking high blood pressure medicines, for instance, some of them can have a variety of negative side effects, including sexual dysfunction.
Tobacco and cigarettes contain nicotine and other substances that are harmful to the body. They not only can damage your heart, lungs, brain, and other vital organs, they can also impair your sexual and reproductive health.
Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of heart, liver, kidney, and brain damage, as well as your risk of erectile dysfunction, low testosterone levels, low sperm count, and other sexual health problems.
Certain treatment procedures
There are treatment procedures that can reduce the quality of your erections. If you had undergone radiation treatment or surgery for prostate cancer, for instance, one of the common side effects is erectile issues.
Ways to combat erectile dysfunction – What can you do to enhance your erections?
If you are having erectile issues, you have to go see a doctor immediately. It is important to identify the cause of the problem early on, so that the proper treatment solution can be recommended.
Alter your diet
Eating foods that are high in fat, sodium, or sugar increases your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other medical complications that can negatively impact your erections and your sexual health. Therefore, you should start eating more healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains, so that your body can avail of the various essential nutrients necessary to achieve optimal health.
Increase your physical activity
A lack of exercise can contribute to erectile dysfunction, as well as many other health problems. It can lead to a decrease in your testosterone levels and libido and an increase in your risk of heart disease and obesity, making you more likely to experience sexual health problems.
For the good of your erections and overall health, you should strive to get even at least 20 minutes of exercise three times a week. For beginners, some highly recommended exercises to get started with are walking, running, and cycling.
Quit bad habits
Excessive alcohol intake, smoking, and drug abuse are known to contribute to erectile dysfunction and other sexual health complications. Thus, you have to work hard to quit them now to improve your erections, avoid diseases and disorders, and live longer.
See a mental health professional
If your erectile issues are brought about by stress, depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems, seeing a therapist or counselor should be your top priority. You need them to learn how to manage your symptoms and properly deal with your condition so that your sex life and other aspects of your life are not severely impacted.
Take prescription medications
Some cases of erectile dysfunction can be treated with the help of prescription medications, such as Sildenafil, Vardenafil, Tadalafil, and Avanafil, which can help enhance blood flow to the penis, making it easier to achieve and maintain an erection for sex. If you want to know if you need them to fix your erections, you have to talk to your doctor about it.