Sex and Romance: Working Together to Relight the Fire
Put Out the Cigarette
Men who smoke are at a greater risk of developing erection problems. Smoking damages the small vessels that deliver blood to the penis. In a 2005 study of 2,115 men, current smokers were 2.5 times more likely to suffer ED than nonsmoking men. Former smokers who had kicked the habit dramatically reduced their risk.
Quitting smoking is never easy. But millions have done it. Support from your spouse or partner improves your odds of success. Your doctor can also help by prescribing nicotine replacement therapies or other treatments and pointing you toward effective smoking cessation programs.
Getting a firm erection is a matter both of mind and body. Even if the problem has physical causes, such as impaired circulation, emotional and psychological worries often makes things worse. Stress at work or home can make it difficult to relax and enjoy sex.
Erection problems can make sex itself stressful. To reduce stress, make a list of the main worries in your life right now. Identify those that you can change. Then find ways to ease the unavoidable stresses. Take 10 minutes now and then to sit quietly, relax, and focus on your breathing.
Other effective ways to ease stress include yoga, meditation, physical activities such as walking or swimming, and simply doing things you enjoy, such as listening to music or talking with a friend. Spending quality time with your spouse or partner is another good way to ease stress. One great way to get quality time with one another is to take a vacation together.