Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Protect Your Erection: 11 Tips

How to avoid erectile dysfunction and protect your potency.

5. Exercise regularly. continued...

Watch out for any form of exercise that puts excessive pressure on the perineum, which is the area between the scrotum and anus. Both the blood vessels and the nerves that supply the penis can be adversely affected from excessive pressure in this area. Goldstein says bicycle riding, in particular, can cause ED.

An occasional short ride is unlikely to cause trouble. But men who spend a lot of time biking should make sure their bike fits them properly, wear padded cycling pants, and stand up frequently while pedaling.

"No-nose" bike seats protect against genital numbness and sexual dysfunction, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

6. Don't rely on Kegels.

One form of exercise that doesn't seem helpful is Kegel exercises, which involve repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles in the pelvis.  Kegels can be helpful for men and women suffering from incontinence. But there's no evidence that they prevent erectile dysfunction.

7. Keep tabs on testosterone.

Even in healthy men, testosterone levels often begin falling sharply around age 50. Every year after age 40, a man's testosterone level typically falls about 1.3%.

Symptoms like a low sex drive, moodiness, lack of stamina, or trouble making decisions suggest a testosterone deficiency, as do lackluster erections. Your doctor can check on that.

8. Avoid anabolic steroids.

These drugs, which are often abused by athletes and bodybuilders, can shrink the testicles and sap their ability to make testosterone.

9. If you smoke, stop.

Smoking cigarettes can harm blood vessels and curb blood flow to the penis. And nicotine makes blood vessels contract, which can hamper blood flow to the penis.

10. Steer clear of risky sex.

Believe it or not, some cases of erectile dysfunction stem from penile injuries that occur during sex. Taking your time and avoiding certain positions can help. It may be uncomfortable, but consider talking to your doctor about what to do and, more importantly, what not to do.  

11. Curb stress.

Psychological stress boosts levels of the hormone adrenaline, which makes blood vessels contract. That can be bad news for an erection. Anything a man can do to ease tension and feel better emotionally is likely to give his sex life a big boost.

1 | 2
Reviewed on October 18, 2013

Today on WebMD

Testosterone Health Check
Article
man behind computer screen
Article
 
screening tests for men
Slideshow
man drinking glass of water
Health Check
 
concerned man
Article
stress in bed
Article
 
Life Cycle of a Penis
Article
Mens Body Problem
Slideshow
 
bored man
Article
Lamm Erections Over Life
Video
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Article
lowering blood pressure
Slideshow
 

WebMD Special Sections