What can I do?

Young couple outdoors

Lifestyle Changes

In the first instance there are a number of steps that you yourself can take to either prevent erectile dysfunction from getting worse or to actually improve it.

—If you are a smoker, stop. As well as improving your cardio vascular health, vital if the organs of your body, including the penis, are to be properly supplied with blood and oxygen, it will improve your overall health and stamina.

—Take some moderate intensity exercise - the minimum recommendation is thirty minutes three times a week. Moderate intensity exercise requires you to break into a sweat and feel slightly out of breath. You do not have to spend hours on a treadmill! Even something which might seem fairly inconsequential such as brisk walking will give your cardiovascular system a reasonable workout but only if you do it for long enough.

—Change your diet. A diet that is low in fat and consists of at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day will improve your health. This kind of diet (sometimes known as ‘Mediterranean’) is low in cholesterol which helps to keep the arteries from becoming lined or blocked, allowing blood to flow more easily to the penis. You will also feel more energised from the nutrients that you are consuming.

—Cut down on the amount of alcohol that you drink. In the short term drinking more than the recommended amount of units of alcohol (21 for a man) will lead to a distinct lack of ability in the bedroom department (the notorious ‘brewers droop’) and in the long term may lead to far more serious health problems, all of which may cause or add to erectile problems.

—If you are a recreational drug user you should bear in mind that these can also cause erectile dysfunction as well as other health problems. Many of the recreational drugs that are available today are so new on the scene that it is impossible to know the long-term health consequences. Even something like marijuana that has been around for hundreds of years divides scientists and general opinion alike about its long-term health implications.

—Try to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Many people now regard stress as something that is simply a part of modern life; others actually see it as something positive, as a ‘driving force’ in their lives. Remember, however, that stress can lead to many health problems as well as erectile dysfunction. Reducing the amount of stress that you deal with on a daily basis might be easier said than done but remember It is important to achieve a good balance between work and leisure/ relaxation time.

—If you suffer from diabetes, and the number of people that do is rising steadily, then remember to control your blood sugar levels properly.