1. Stress Reduction
Stress and anxiety lead to increased epinephrine (adrenaline), resulting in the inability of smooth muscle in the erectile tissue to relax (relaxation of this tissue is necessary to allow for increased blood to enter penis to result in erection)
Inability to achieve a satisfactory erection can lead to performance anxiety, which can worsen erectile function even more
Diederichs W, Stief CG, Benard F, et al. The sympathetic role as an antagonist of erection. Urol Res 1991;19:123-6. 10.1007/BF00368189
Diederichs W, Stief CG, Lue TF, et al. Sympathetic inhibition of papaverine induced erection. J Urol 1991;146:195-8.
Reed-Maldonado AB, Lue TF. A syndrome of erectile dysfunction in young men?. Transl Androl Urol. 2016;5(2):228-234.
2. Cardiovascular exercise
Sedentary lifestyles have been shown to worsen erectile function
Exercising multiple muscle groups throughout the body may improve erectile function
Gerbild, H., et al. Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies. Sexual Medicine. 2018; 6(2): 75-89.
3. Weight Management
Obesity leads to more inflammation throughout the body
Weight management may improve erectile function likely by decreasing inflammation throughout the body which can improve blood vessel function
Losing excess lower abdominal weight can also improve penile length as less of the penile shaft will be buried by the overhanging tissue
4. Communication with one’s partner
Poor (or no) communication with one’s partner can lead to unsatisfying intimacy, as well as difficulty obtaining and maintaining erections and reaching climax
Talking with one’s partner (consider sex therapy) and working on improving sexual communication skills, can improve erectile function