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    Sex and Romance: Working Together to Relight the Fire

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    If you’re experiencing erection problems, you’re probably not alone. Your spouse or partner is also affected. Fortunately, there’s plenty both of you can do to overcome ED and enjoy better and more intimate sex.

    Get a Checkup

    The first step when you begin to notice persistent problems getting an erection is to make an appointment to see your doctor. Erectile dysfunction is a vascular disease (a blood vessel problem) and often is associated with other vascular diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

    The ability to develop and maintain an erection depends on healthy blood vessels. When arteries become clogged with cholesterol or damaged by high blood pressure, blood flow into the penis can be impaired.

    Men over age 55 with erectile dysfunction have a 50% greater risk of developing heart disease than men without erection problems. Younger men with erection problems have an even higher risk of heart disease.

    Tweak Your Diet

    Smarter food choices can help reduce risk factors linked to erection problems, including high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. As with many conditions, when more risk factors are present, they increase the risk of the disease.

    The basic advice may be familiar, but many men still don’t follow it:

    • Eat more fruits and vegetables – 5 to 9 servings a day.
    • Consume less salt by eating less processed food, which is often high in sodium.
    • Eat more fish, poultry, and other sources of lean protein.
    • Cut back on red meat.
    • Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
    • If weight is a problem, gradually trim your portion sizes.

    Making changes in the way you eat isn’t easy, of course. When a couple makes healthy changes together, they improve the chances of success.

    Lose a Few Pounds

    Being overweight gets in the way of good sex in many ways. It can make a man feel less than sexy. And let’s face it, your partner may not find that beer belly so appealing, either.

    Obesity is also associated with lower-than-normal testosterone levels in men, which can cause a loss of sex drive. Consuming fewer calories by eating less and burning more calories by increasing physical activity are effective ways to lose weight.

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