An erection is the personification of a man’s masculinity. It is a visual representation of the ego and of a man’s viability to produce and create offspring. Not only is it a physical part of the body; it also represents a metaphorical presence along with a genetic predisposition to pass on our DNA to future generations.
However, as a man, getting and maintaining an erection is not always simple and straightforward. In fact, a large majority of men (52% according to one study) struggle with this, regardless of age. While some studies do indicate that age is a factor in the likelihood of experiencing sexual dysfunctions like ED or premature ejaculation, the larger opinion of the scientific community is that it’s not.
Yet, to truly understand how you can get and maintain a strong erection, you must understand how the process works. It’s not just a matter of the physical processes involved. This also includes the emotional, mental and environmental cues as well. For example, even if everything is working properly from a physiological standpoint, there could be other issues.
Keep in mind that getting and maintaining an erection requires several things to happen simultaneously. Not only do we have to get aroused sexually, with some sort of stimulation (either physical or mental), it also requires numerous physiological processes to happen as well. This includes the ability for six times the blood to flow to reach the penis.
What’s Required For An Erection To Occur?
To get and maintain an erection, there’s far more that needs to happen. Yet, to truly understand the process, you need to understand the major components involved. Here’s how it works. Those erotic thoughts or physical contact actually produces nitric oxide.
In fact, this molecule is incredibly important to the human body since just about every single cell inside of us is responsible for producing it. So what is nitric oxide really? It’s something called a vasodilator. It dilates blood vessels by relaxing the muscles inside of them. What does this mean at the end of the day?
By relaxing the blood vessels, it allows blood to flow more freely. In turn, that allows the ability for an increase in blood flow required to get and maintain an erection. But this doesn’t just happen in the penis. Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels throughout the body.
Naturally, by dilating blood vessels, nitric oxide decreases blood pressure. When the pressure on the blood vessels are decreased, blood can flow more freely. Now, part of the process of getting an erection is not just the ability for the erection to occur. There’s also the body’s response to returning the penis to a flaccid state.
The Role Of Phosphodiesterase
This happens through an enzyme called phosphodiesterase (PDE). More specifically it is called PDE-5, which are phosphodiesterase found in the corpus caverernosum. PDE-5 is responsible for returning the penis down to a flaccid state once the sexual activity is complete. However, this requires proper hormone balances and other nervous system functions to be working properly.
The issue at hand, and whee most men experience erectile dysfunction, is when PDE-5 is released in larger quantities, inhibiting the ability to get or maintain an erection for any prolonged periods. This leads to not only ED, but also other sexual dysfunctions like premature ejaculation.
When there’s an imbalance of phosphodiesterase, it counteracts the nitric oxide working to produce the erection. In turn, not only does this have a strong physical impact on men, it also has a severe psychological impact as well. However, when everything is working smoothly, erections are firmer and last longer.
What Can You Do If You Can’t Get An Erection?
If you’re having trouble getting an erection (or maintaining one), there are options. Of course, there are medications that can treat the erectile dysfunction. These medications work to inhibit the PDE-5 enzyme that returns the penis back to a flaccid state.
Clearly, some of these ED pills are incredibly popular and have pervaded our pop-culture for decades now. Medications like Viagra and Cialis are so widely adopted that they’re accepted by societies around the globe. Additionally, they actively help hundreds of millions of men around the world to get and maintain erections.
It’s obvious that if you’re experiencing problems with your erection, you can certainly resort to taking pills to treat the ED. However, that doesn’t get to the root cause, it merely attacks the symptoms. ED pills certainly offer a temporary solution, but they are definitely not a long-term fix.
So what can you do to help tackle the root causes rather than merely treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction? A number of things can be done. Most of these are lifestyle changes to things like diet and stress and exercise. All of these help with the hormonal balance and to ensure that all systems are firing properly.
1. Start Exercising Daily
Exercise is the most underrated habit. In fact, for most men, exercise is not part of their daily routine. Often, those daily routines are far more toxic and detrimental to their health as opposed to helping to strengthen and improve it. But one easy fix and lifestyle change is merely to exercise daily.
Exercise is intimidating. Yes. That much is true. However, it’s not as scary as most people make it out to be. In fact, in order to strengthen your heart, your body doesn’t require that much exercise. Roughly 20 minutes of vigorous activity per day will cut it.
Now, that doesn’t mean you have to start there. All you need to do is start walking. 10,000 steps per day will cut it for the time being. Remember that all habits form slowly over time. Yet, this is the single greatest thing you can do for your heart, which is largely responsible for your ability to get and maintain an erection.
Keep in mind that the heart beats roughly 100,000 times every single day pushing roughly 2,000 gallons of blood throughout the body. If you aggregate that amount of a single year, it equates to roughly a quarter-of-a-million gallons of blood. That’s more than an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Keep in mind that in order to get an erection, the penis requires 6 times the regular blood flow. If your heart is not beating properly and if your blood vessels and arteries are under large amounts of pressure, blood cannot flow freely. In turn, you cannot get or maintain an erection and will likely experience issues with ED.
2. Decrease Stress Levels
Another way to tackle the root causes of ED is to work on the amount of stress that you’re under. If you experience large amounts of stress, it releases a variety of stress hormones in the body. Hormones like cortisol and adrenaline can wreak havoc on the body. They can impact sex drive, immune system functions, digestion and overall health and well-being.
In fact, when you look at a hormone like Cortisol, which most people refer to as the “stress hormone,” you understand how something like stress can impact your ability to get or maintain an erection. But, to take a step back and understand this, you have to understand the function of cortisol in the human body.
The fact is that most of the cells in the human body have cortisol receptors. For this reason, it has a wide impact on the body and affects numerous functions such as your blood sugar and metabolic rate, along with your ability to digest and even to remember things. Now, keep in mind that a rise in blood sugar is detrimental to the sex drive.
However, high levels of cortisol don’t just impact a man’s sex drive, it also rings true for women’s libidos as well. High levels of cortisol can also lead to larger diseases and things like heart failure, stroke and some forms of cancers. If you want to avoid the problems associated with things like cortisol and adrenaline, you have to reduce your amount of stress.
This is easier said than done for most people. Stress is a natural part of many people’s lives. Huge amounts of pressure and stress can derive from financial situations, living situations, marital problems and more. However, your ability to control and mitigate stress levels will play a large role in your ability to get and maintain an erection.
3. Eliminate Bad Habits
It’s easy to say. I know. Just eliminate the bad habits in your life and you’ll be free and clear of erectile dysfunction. It’s far easier to say this than to actually do it. Why? It’s because most of the habits we have, we’ve had for years, sometimes even decades. To unwind bad habits, it takes more than just flipping a switch.
For example, smoking cigarettes. Most people who smoke cigarettes experience problems with erectile dysfunction. Yet, quitting is certainly no walk in the park. This means that if you’re smoking more than 10 cigarettes per day, you could easily become a candidate for increased likeliness of erectile dysfunction and even premature ejaculation.
Other bad habits include your diet. What you put in your body has a massive impact on your overall health. That includes your ability to get and maintain an erection. What types of foods are you eating? Is it a health and balance diet? Or, is it full of fatty and sugary foods?
Other bad habits include things like alcohol and drugs. If you’re consuming alcohol on a daily basis, not only are you impairing your mind, you’re also preventing your body from closing blood vessels that are used to trap blood in the penis. Yes, alcohol does dilate blood vessels, but you’re also unable to keep that blood in the right place long enough to get an erection.
Getting Help For Your Erectile Dysfunction
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