Dr. Niket Sonpal is the Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn and an Associate Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. He's a practicing Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist with a focus on Men's and Women's Health, and a regular contributor to Women's health, Shape and Prevention Magazine.
Controlling stress, having a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep to create a good foundation for sexual satisfaction. But sometimes the basics aren’t quite enough. Millions of men experience erectile dysfunction (ED), but ED can usually be successfully treated with prescription medications like Viagra, Levitra, Staxyn, and Cialis. These drugs have helped men understand that ED isn’t all in their mind, have opened up the topic to a more honest discussion, and have transformed many men’s sex lives.

Most human studies completed thus-far examine the impact of oral yohimbine consumption on erectile dysfunction (ED) in males. A meta-analysis of seven randomized, placebo-controlled trials found that yohimbine is significantly more effective in treating ED compared to placebo. [11] These findings did not compare yohimbine to prescription medications like Viagra®, which are designed to treat ED.


All of these medicines work by relaxing smooth muscles and increasing blood flow in the penis during sexual stimulation. You should not take any of these medicines to treat ED if you are taking nitrates to treat a heart condition. Nitrates widen and relax your blood vessels. The combination can lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure, which may cause you to become faint or dizzy, or fall, leading to possible injuries.
They found that men who exercised the most were also the most likely to have higher scores in sexual function. Specifically, those who expended 18 METS, or metabolic equivalents, per week were most likely to enjoy sex. METS is a physiological measurement that denotes the amount of energy a person spends on a specific activity, as well as the intensity of it. According to the researchers, 18 METS was equal to about two hours of strenuous exercise like running or swimming, 3.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise, or six hours of light exercise.   

Testosterone levels generally decrease as an individual ages. This is normal and natural, but it can lead to erectile problems for some people because androgenic hormones such as testosterone play an important part in regulating the function of tissues in the penis and testicles. One study found that supplementing with testosterone gel improved both the libido and erectile function of participants with low testosterone between the ages of 32 and 84.
The Institute of Medicine recommends cumulative daily vitamin D intake of 600 international units (IU) for adults between 18 and 70 years of age , and 800 IU for those over 80. A 3oz serving of salmon contains about 450IU, while an 8oz. glass of milk only has about 100IU. Low vitamin D levels may be an independent, potentially modifiable risk for ED, so it’s worth taking Vitamin D supplements for your “D.” However, keep your daily vitamin D supplement intake below 4,000IU, as too much vitamin D can be toxic.
In conceiving the potential solutions to issues around erectile dysfunction, it’s really helpful to understand clearly how an erection is achieved and completed. To achieve an erection, there needs to be some form of stimulation, either from touch or some sort of audiovisual stimuli.  Once the stimulation occurs, chemical messengers are released and blood starts to fill into the penis. In terms of the musculature, the bulbospongiosus and ischiocavernosus muscles need to be relaxed so blood can fill the area completely. Then the bulbospongiosus needs to contract to keep the blood in the penis. The erection ‘completes’ with the rhythmic contraction of the bulbospongiosus muscle.
Long prescribed for women who want to restore muscle tone after childbirth, pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, can benefit men significantly too. A study by researchers at the University of West of England in Bristol showed that pelvic floor exercises can help men with erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Furthermore, experts think these exercises can make orgasms stronger. Once learned, pelvic floor exercises can be done any time, even while doing other things.
Esposito et al (18), in their randomized study investigated the effect of physical activities on 110 obese subjects. They reported significant effect of physical activities on both body mass index and EF. The physiological rationales underlying this hypothesis are that healthy lifestyle factors are associated with maintenance of good erectile function in men (19); obesity has been positively associated with endothelial dysfunction and increased serum concentrations of vascular inflammatory markers (34, 35); and both endothelial and erectile dysfunction may share some common metabolic and vascular pathways that may be influenced by behavioral-related pathways (19, 36). Obese men with erectile dysfunction had evidence of abnormal endothelial function, which was indicated by reduced blood pressure and platelet aggregation responses to L-arginine and elevated serum concentrations of markers of low-grade inflammation, such as IL-6, IL-8, and CRP. It has been shown that there are significant associations between IEEF score and proxy indicators of elevated body fat, the vascular response to L-arginine, and circulating IL-8 and CRP levels. The association we found between IEEF score and indices of endothelial dysfunction supports the presence of common vascular pathways underlying both conditions in obese men. A disturbance in nitric oxide activity linked to reduced nitric oxide availability could provide a unifying explanation for this association. In particular, in isolated corpus cavernosum strips from patients with erectile dysfunction both neurogenic and endothelium-dependent relaxation is impaired (37).
In the end, open and honest communication with your therapist will yield the best course of action. If you do decide to try pelvic floor PT, a comprehensive evaluation will determine what exactly is going on with your muscles. They may be tight and weak or they could have poor coordination. So my advice for those suffering from erectile dysfunction is this: before you try kegels, make an appointment with your pelvic floor therapist.
A noticing fact is that each of these men had problems of lipid levels and high levels of cholesterol. According to the author Dr. Chi-Fai in Hong Kong, "Niacin or Vitamin B3 is one among the old erectile dysfunction drugs and medical experts have documented its safety in well manner. Because of this, we should consider it as a simple and an easy way to bring improvements in the men's erectile function."
*all photos are models and not actual patients.If you are interested in a prescription product, Hims will assist in setting up a visit for you with an independent physician who will evaluate whether or not you are an appropriate candidate for the prescription product and if appropriate, may write you a prescription for the product which you can fill at the pharmacy of your choice.

Esposito et al (18), in their randomized study investigated the effect of physical activities on 110 obese subjects. They reported significant effect of physical activities on both body mass index and EF. The physiological rationales underlying this hypothesis are that healthy lifestyle factors are associated with maintenance of good erectile function in men (19); obesity has been positively associated with endothelial dysfunction and increased serum concentrations of vascular inflammatory markers (34, 35); and both endothelial and erectile dysfunction may share some common metabolic and vascular pathways that may be influenced by behavioral-related pathways (19, 36). Obese men with erectile dysfunction had evidence of abnormal endothelial function, which was indicated by reduced blood pressure and platelet aggregation responses to L-arginine and elevated serum concentrations of markers of low-grade inflammation, such as IL-6, IL-8, and CRP. It has been shown that there are significant associations between IEEF score and proxy indicators of elevated body fat, the vascular response to L-arginine, and circulating IL-8 and CRP levels. The association we found between IEEF score and indices of endothelial dysfunction supports the presence of common vascular pathways underlying both conditions in obese men. A disturbance in nitric oxide activity linked to reduced nitric oxide availability could provide a unifying explanation for this association. In particular, in isolated corpus cavernosum strips from patients with erectile dysfunction both neurogenic and endothelium-dependent relaxation is impaired (37).
Although not proven, it is likely that erectile dysfunction can be prevented by good general health, paying particular attention to body weight, exercise, and cigarette smoking. For example, heart disease and diabetes are problems that can cause erectile dysfunction, and both are preventable through lifestyle changes such as sensible eating and regular exercise. Furthermore, early diagnosis and treatment of associated conditions like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol may prevent or delay erectile dysfunction, or stop the erectile dysfunction from getting more serious.
Many men experience E.D. According to UW Health, “Mild and moderate erectile dysfunction affects approximately 10 percent of men per decade of life (i.e., 50 percent of men in their 50s, 60 percent of men in their 60s).” And if you think erectile dysfunction is only a problem for older men, think again. As reported by The Greatist, a 2014 study found a quarter of patients newly diagnosed with E.D. were under 40. Of these men, almost half were experiencing severe E.D., meaning they were unable to get or maintain an erection during sex. If this is happening to you, before ordering Viagra online, check in with your primary care practitioner. It could be an early warning sign of atherosclerosis, so it’s worth getting a full evaluation before simply throwing medications at the problem.
If you’ve been to the health food store lately, you’ve seen shelves lined with vitamins and “organic” supplements, each claiming to boost immunity, revitalize organ function, or “promote health.” And it’s working. Supplements are currently a $30 billion industry in the US, with more than 90,000 products on the market, and vitamin use is on the rise. In fact, a recent survey in Journal of American Medicine Association showed that “52% of US adults reported use of at least 1 supplement product.”
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