More Culture:

March 26, 2019

11 tips for a stronger erection

Wellness Sexual Health

Content sponsored by Limited - hims logo transparent

LIMITED - HIMS PHOTO hims/for PhillyVoice

Not totally satisfied with your erections? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Studies show that erectile dysfunction (which is commonly known as ‘ED’) is common, even amongst men aged 40 and under.

ED can occur because of a variety of factors. Sometimes, it’s psychological. Other times, it’s the result of physical conditions like high blood pressure or low hormone levels. Luckily, treating ED and improving your erection quality is achievable, often using natural methods.

Below, we’ve shared 11 science-based tips for stronger, more reliable erections. Whether you’re a younger guy suffering from performance anxiety or an older man aiming to improve your after dark performance, implementing these 11 tips could help you see noticeable results.

Ready to start? Let’s begin with the first step in improving your erection quality -- keeping your weight and body composition under control.

1. Keep Your Weight Under Control

Excessive body weight is closely correlated with erectile dysfunction. In fact, a study from 2014 shows that men with a BMI of 25-30 (considered “overweight” by the NHI) have a 1.5x greater risk for erectile dysfunction.

Increase your BMI into the 30+ range and your risk of sexual dysfunction becomes three times higher than it would be for a man with a healthy body weight.

Simply put, being overweight or obese can have a serious negative impact on your erections. In fact, obesity is even more closely correlated with ED than aging. For optimal erection quality, it’s best to maintain a healthy, normal body weight through responsible dieting and exercise.

2. Stay on Top of Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure isn’t just a health risk -- it can also be a major threat to your erections. Men with high blood pressure are more likely to experience blood flow issues that could result in decreased sexual performance and weaker, less reliable erections.

Although high blood pressure is linked to obesity, it’s possible to have higher-than-normal blood pressure even if you’re not overweight. If your diet is overly rich in sodium or you don’t exercise often, there’s a risk that you could have hypertension or prehypertension.

Luckily, this one is easy to check. A quick visit to your local doctor will give you an idea of where your blood pressure sits for most of the day, while simple lifestyle changes like exercising more and eating less salt can help you get your blood pressure under control.

3. Avoid Alcohol, Except in Moderation

From a cold beer to a glass of wine, drinking too much alcohol can have a major negative effect on your sexual performance. The effect is also proportionate -- studies show that the more liquor you drink, the more likely you are to develop sexual dysfunction.

Alcohol can affect your erections from multiple angles. In the short term, it dampens your mood and cause temporary impotence. In the long term, it can lower your testosterone levels and give you a weaker sex drive and recurring sexual performance problems.

The solution is simple: only consume alcohol in moderation, or avoid it completely. Lowering your alcohol consumption is a great way to fight ED in both the short and long term, as well as a good way to avoid waking up on the weekend with a nasty hangover.

4. Use ED Medication Responsibly

Unfortunately, not all cases of ED can be treated using natural tactics and treatments. For many men, the most effective way to treat erectile dysfunction and get stronger, better erections is by responsibly using doctor prescribed medication like sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil.

These medications work by increasing blood flow to the soft tissue of the penis, making it easier to develop and maintain an erection. For people with performance anxiety, they can make achieving an erection much easier. For men with physical ED, they’re often essential for maintaining a healthy sex life.

Most ED medication require a prescription, meaning you’ll need to talk to your doctor about this step. However, the results offered by ED medications can be big, boosting everything from your sexual performance to your general self confidence.

5. Limit Your Porn Consumption

Although study data is limited, some doctors believe that watching excessive amounts of porn -- a habit that’s become more common with the rise of porn streaming websites -- could lead to an increased risk of psychological ED in young men.

One of these doctors is Matthew Christman, MD, a urologist at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. Dr Christman and other professionals have called the condition “pornography-induced erectile dysfunction” and link it to increasing levels of ED in younger males.

Right now, study of porn-induced ED is limited, meaning there are no definite conclusions that can be drawn. However, if you’re a frequent porn consumer, reducing your porn consumption could potentially be a good way to improve your real-life sexual performance.

6. Quit Smoking

Along with obesity, smoking is one of the biggest causes of erectile dysfunction for men aged below 40. Luckily, it’s a reversible one -- studies show that quitting smoking leads to noticeable improvements in erection quality and a reduction in the symptoms of ED.

Add the cardiovascular benefits of quitting into the equation and cutting back on cigarettes (or preferably, quitting smoking entirely) is one of the best ways to improve your erections and get better results in bed.

7. Train Your Pelvic Floor Muscles

The pelvic floor muscles are responsible for everything from preventing urinary incontinence to helping you perform sexually, making them just as worth training as your pecs, delts, arms and back.

Our guide to ED exercises explains the role your pelvic floor muscles play in preventing erectile dysfunction, with a simple exercise routine you can use to strengthen yours in just a few minutes per day.

8. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep disorders are closely linked to with erection problems, ranging from a reduced interest in sex to erectile dysfunction.

In a 2015 study, researchers learned that patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSAS) were more likely to score lower on the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire (IIEF) test than patients with healthy, normal sleep habits.

When the sleep apnea was treated using a CPAP machine, the patients’ IIEF scores improved suggesting that sleep quality can play a role in male sexual performance.

9. Check Your Testosterone Level

As the primary male sex hormone, testosterone is responsible for everything from sexual desire to some aspects of male sexual performance. Although low testosterone (or “Low T”) is a fairly rare cause of ED, it is linked to reduced male sexual performance in some studies.

Low testosterone is also linked to reduced physical performance, lower-than-normal mood and a variety of other symptoms, making it important to monitor your testosterone levels as you get older.

If yours is a little on the low side, your doctor will be able to recommend the best approach to bringing it up to baseline, from diet and lifestyle changes to medication or supplements.

10. Feeling Stressed? Take it Easy

Feel like you just can’t perform in bed? Not all sexual performance issues are physical. In fact, for many men, work or life-induced stress and performance anxiety can make enjoying sex far more difficult than it normally would be.

Several erectile dysfunction studies show a possible link between stress reduction and improved sexual performance, including a recent study from 2014. In the study, men who took part in a course to reduce stress showed a noticeable improvement in erectile function scores.

If your work is wearing you down and affecting your sexual performance, taking a break to relax could be all it takes to help you get your confidence -- and your physical performance -- back in bed.

11. Stay Active, Healthy and Fit

Finally, one of the best ways to get stronger erections and enjoy better sexual performance is to live an active, healthy life.

Numerous studies show an improvement in sexual performance among men who exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle compared to those who live a sedentary, inactive life.

In one 2013 study, men who lifted weights and did interval training on an ergometer achieved a statistically significant increase in erection quality after six months. Other studies show a rise in perception of sexual performance in men who exercise, increasing sexual self confidence.

Simply put, exercising regularly won’t just improve your general health and quality of life; it might also improve your sexual performance, confidence and erection quality.

If you want to be connected with a doctor to see if ED medication is right for you, you can try hims and get your doctors visit free.