How do You Prevent Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction becomes increasingly common with an increase in age. Age is not considered to be a causal factor to ED. The associated factors may influence your erection directly or indirectly.[1] Prolonged unhealthy diets and lifestyle, diabetes, increased levels of blood sugar and cholesterol, smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity- all have been known to be influencing factors of ED.

Medical experts suggest the following steps to prevent or cure an erectile dysfunction.

1)  Have a healthy and balanced diet

Food items that are bad for your heart are also bad for your ED.

The body mechanism behind having an erection is the pumping of blood into the penis from the heart. Therefore any item that restricts or hinders the performance of your heart is bad for your ED. Eating food rich in cholesterol limit the blood flow- which impacts your ED negatively. A healthy diet including lots of fruits, vegetables, and less fatty, oily or processed foods is recommended for the prevention of ED. Such a diet prevents loss of blood circulation. Avoid sweets- if you are a diabetic.

What’s bad for a man’s heart is also bad for his penis.[2] Studies also show that erectile dysfunction is uncommon among people adhering to a Mediterranean diet. Cuisines from those regions are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Nuts, Olive oil, fish, red wine or any item rich in Vitamin E and improving blood circulation are good for your sexual health.

2)  Check your body weight

Hit the gym and shed those extra kilos off your body. Being overweight(or obese) brings a lot of health complications. some of them include type-2 diabetes. Diabetes damages the entire nervous system in the body. It may cause ED if it damages the nerves associated with your penis.

3)  Keeping  blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check

People suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure stand at a higher risk of developing ED. [3]The artery wall linings get damaged over time due to the extra pressure exerted. High blood pressure is also a significant cause of heart strokes and other coronary diseases. Many people incorrectly blame the pressure pills used to control the pressure levels as a cause of ED.

High cholesterol levels restrict blood flow. As stated earlier, blood circulation is crucial for curing/preventing erectile dysfunction. Cholesterol is a constituent of plaque- which clogs up inside the artery-limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood in your body. It can cause ED if the flow of blood into your penis gets disrupted.

4)  Avoid drinking alcohol in large quantities, steroids, and drug use.

Many medical experts suggest a small consumption (say 60-90 ml) is good for your health. Drinking alcohol in moderation is rather beneficial than harmful. Heavy alcohol consumption over a prolonged period leads to liver damage and nerve damage- which can lead to ED.

Alcohol, opioids, barbiturate and many other drugs are well-known depressants- which hinder activities of the central nervous system in our body.[4] It also interferes with the balance of male sex hormone(Testosterone)- leading to an erectile dysfunction.

Anabolic steroids are often abused by athletes and bodybuilders. One dangerous side-effect of using steroids the reduction in the size of testicles- resulting in lesser and in extreme cases, zero ability to produce testosterone.

5) Workout regularly

Cardiovascular exercises are great for improving blood circulation. Aerobic exercises like running, swimming work wonders-improving the content of oxygen in your blood. Kegel exercises are not known to be very beneficial in preventing erectile dysfunction.

Exercises like bicycle riding can attribute to erectile dysfunction in the long run. Any form of exercise that exerts too much pressure on the perineum- can damage the blood vessels and nerves in your genital region- increasing chances of ED.[5] Long time bike riders should make sure that the cycle seats them properly. Use full cycling gear- wear padded cycling pants and the preferable “no-nose” bike seats. Standing up frequently while pedaling is advisable.

6) Check Your Testosterone Levels Regularly.

The level of testosterone secretion in men decreases rapidly each year starting from 40. Research suggests the level falls approximately 1.3%.

Low testosterone levels lead to a low sex drive, mood swings, indecisiveness. Consult a physician and have your levels checked at least once a year.

7) Quit Smoking

An Australian Medical survey carried among 8367 men- aged between 16-59 years, established a direct link between ED and Smoking.[6] Smoking reduces the oxygen-carrying content of the blood. It damages airways and alveoli in the lungs, causing a lower oxygen intake. Smoking aggravates atherosclerosis- plaque deposition in the artery walls.

ED was reported in much lesser quantities among non-smokers. Besides erectile dysfunction, smoking also causes 84% of deaths due to lung cancer. Quit smoking for healthier sex life.

8) Avoid Risky Sex

As laughable it may seem, penile injuries due to risky sex are not uncommon.[7] Penile injuries may lead to erectile dysfunction. Be patient, you do not have to try every position in the kama sutra. Although uncomfortable, consulting your doctor helps in cases like these.

9) Check your Mental Health Conditions.

Psychological Stress can negatively impact the sexual performance of a male- ranging from erectile dysfunction, lower drives, severe mood swings.[8] Under stress, the brain signals and orders the gland to secrete adrenaline hormone- which contracts blood vessels. Stress may stem due to a variety of reasons, including tension and low self-esteem.

Consult a specialist if you are facing severe bouts of depression or psychological issues. Anything which relieves your tension and makes you feel better will help in the prevention and cure of ED



[3] Moreira ED, et al. Incidence of erectile dysfunction in men 40 to 69 years old: results from a population-based cohort study in Brazil. Urology. 2003;61:431–436. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]


[5] Tsertsvadze A, Yazdi F, Fink HA, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction. Vol. 171. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); Rockville: 2009. [Google Scholar]



[8] Lue TF. Erectile dysfunction. N Engl J Med. 2000;342(24):1802–13. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]