Erectile dysfunction – what to do? Tips and home remedies

Erectile dysfunction - what to do? Tips and home remedies

The processes in the body that lead to an erection are very complex: blood vessels, hormones, nerves and the psyche are involved. Conversely, this means that there are often several triggers responsible for erectile dysfunction. Certain risk factors promote erectile dysfunction: In addition to age, obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise, the consumption of alcohol and nicotine are also part of it.

Possible causes of erectile dysfunction are:

  • Stress, pressure to perform and fear of failure
  • partnership conflicts
  • Mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders or depression
  • Heart and vascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure or heart attack
  • Metabolic diseases: for example, diabetes mellitus, renal insufficiency or thyroid diseases
  • Diseases of the nerves and the brain, such as multiple sclerosis or a herniated disc
  • Diseases in the genital area, for example, narrowing of the foreskin, inflammation of the prostate or tumour diseases
  • Traumatic sexual experiences
  • Side effects of medication, for example, beta-blockers, psychotropic drugs or hormonal preparations

Problems with potency should be taken seriously – if you have erectile dysfunction, you should consult a doctor early on. In addition, there are home remedies and tips on what you can do specifically for erectile dysfunction. Could you find out more about it in our photo gallery?

A classic among the options for treating erectile dysfunction are drugs such as Viagra ®. The blue pill for men inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase 5. As a result, the smooth muscles relax, and the blood vessels dilate. In this way, more blood is pumped into the penis, and it remains stiff as a result.

After patent protection for Viagra ® fell in 2013, various drugs with the active ingredients Tadalafil, Vardenafil, Acanafil and Sildenafil are now on the market. All are phosphodiesterase (PDE)-5 inhibitors. All medicines are only available on prescription in Germany and must be prescribed by a doctor.

Erectile dysfunction can also be due to a lack of the male sex hormone testosterone. In such a case, the potency problem cannot be treated with a drug like Viagra – it would simply not have any effect. Instead, the testosterone level that is too low is raised with a suitably dosed hormone preparation. The doctor can determine whether there is a testosterone deficiency using a blood test.

How does a testosterone deficiency manifest itself?

From the age of 40, the body produces less testosterone. The falling hormone levels can manifest themselves in the following symptoms:

  • sexual desire decreases
  • fewer nocturnal erections
  • erectile dysfunction
  • decreased sperm production
  • Muscle mass decreases, endurance decreases
  • Hair on the face and body decreases
  • Insomnia, mood swings and listlessness
  • Belly fat increases

An alternative to drug treatment for erectile dysfunction is mechanical aids such as vacuum pumps and penis rings (cock rings). The vacuum pump consists of a clear plastic cylinder with a suction pump that is placed on the penis. A negative pressure is generated, which increases blood flow into the hollow body of the penis, which leads to an erection. A rubber ring sits at the base of the penis so that the blood cannot flow back. The vacuum pump must be removed after 30 minutes to prevent circulatory disorders.

The penis ring can help men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction, as it prevents blood from draining from the hollow body of the erect penis, and the limb remains stiff.

Especially for men who cannot take medication for health reasons, these tools are an excellent way to increase their potency. Affected men should seek advice from their doctor.

Since the chances of success are not very significant, surgeries to treat erectile dysfunction are rarely performed. Surgical intervention is an option when a man cannot take potency-enhancing drugs for health reasons or refuses mechanical aids such as a vacuum pump.

During the operation, either the blood supply to the penis is increased by another vessel, similar to a bypass. Or the outflow of blood from the erectile tissue is reduced by the vascular operation. A penile implant can also be used as part of the operation. However, parts of the natural erectile tissue in the penis are irreparably destroyed. Therefore, an implant is only a last option.

Men can also train their pelvic floor with specific exercises. Muscle groups in the pelvic region are activated in a targeted manner, which improves blood circulation. These muscles support the penis when it becomes stiff and can prevent premature sagging.

Suitable exercises  for pelvic floor exercises are:

  1. Tilt your pelvis:  Stand up straight and stretch your buttocks slightly backwards so that you arch your back slightly. Spread your legs shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Now tense your butt muscles and straighten your pelvis – your knees remain slightly bent. Hold the tension briefly, then return your pelvis to the starting position. Slowly repeat the exercise 7 times.
  2. Raise your pelvis:  Lie on your back and bend your knees. Place your feet hip-width apart on the floor. The arms are at the sides of the body. Tighten your buttocks and slowly push them up so that your thighs and stomach form a straight line. Squeeze your pelvic floor and hold it for a few minutes. Then, slowly lower your back and buttocks back down. Repeat the exercise 7 times.
  3. Incline:  Sit up straight and stretch your legs slightly apart. The arms support the upper body; the hands are flat on the floor next to the hips. Lift your buttocks off the floor so your legs are in a straight line with your torso – only your heels and palms are touching the floor. Repeat the exercise 5 times.

In the case of erectile dysfunction, you can also try acupuncture, especially if the causes are of a psychological nature. The needles can help stimulate blood flow and release hormones and nerve transmission. The needles are inserted along the meridians of the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, these are the pathways through which life energy flows. The genital area is spared during the treatment. You can also try acupressure in ​​the lower back and abdomen if you like.

Men with mild erectile dysfunction can also try natural alternatives to medication or mechanical aids. Vegetable foods that promote blood circulation and stimulate the metabolism are suitable: Garlic, ginger and ginseng. In most cases, an effect is only noticeable when consumed over an extended period.

Certain foods, such as so-called aphrodisiacs, can heat your love life. These foods contain substances that make you want more or stimulate hormone production.

There is a lot of zinc in fish, mussels, crustaceans and fruit such as strawberries. The trace element plays a vital role in the production of testosterone and supports good blood circulation. Vanillin also has an aphrodisiac effect. It is found naturally in vanilla and is chemically similar to human pheromones. The spice cinnamon stimulates blood circulation and can be used as an aphrodisiac.

No physical reasons are responsible for erectile dysfunction. Stress at work, conflicts in the partnership or other mental problems can also limit potency. Affected men or couples should not be afraid to seek professional help in the form of psychotherapy or couples therapy in such cases. With the help of an experienced therapist, the underlying conflicts and problems can be worked through and eliminated.

Sex therapy is a unique form of couple therapy. Here, the couple should learn again to enjoy sex together, and the man can reduce existing fears of failure.

Talk to each other.

Whether in couples therapy or not, partners should speak openly to each other if he is having trouble getting an erection. Most people react positively or even feel relieved when their partner talks about their erectile dysfunction. Such a conversation promotes trust and intimacy between a couple – this can be a first step in treating erectile dysfunction.

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