(Written By Seb Scala)
Is your erection not hard?
If so, you should take the situation seriously because the inability to achieve stiff wood is usually a sign of physical or psychological problems.
Is turning to medications the best answer?
Medications only give you a temporary solution, often with a high price in terms of negative side effects (source).
Luckily, there are steps you can take to naturally and permanently enhance your ability to get and maintain strong erections.
Most of us have dark childhood memories of being told to “eat your greens, they’ll make you big and strong.”
Well, your parents were right!
Did you know that eating vegetables rich in nitrates increases the amount of Nitric Oxide in your body?
Well, they do…and this is a very good thing because Nitric Oxide is an absolutely essential part of the erection process.
“Penile erection is a complex process involving psychogenic and hormonal input. Nitric oxide (NO) is believed to be the main mediator of penile erection.” (source).
How does nitric oxide work?
When NO is released, the blood vessels expand allowing them to fill with blood…and this saturation of the blood vessels is what creates solid, hard wood.
It’s for this reason that conventional erectile dysfunction drugs act on the NO pathway by chemically forcing the blood vessels to open.
How do I increase NO naturally?
One of the best natural sources of NO are vegetables that contain high levels of nitrates.
When you eat these vegetables, the nitrates they contain are broken down by bacteria on your tongue and in your gut and converted into Nitric Oxide.
The amount produced is dose dependent; meaning the more nitrates you eat, the more NO is produced.
One study, which used a nitrate-rich supplement made from beetroots found the following:
“Patients taking the NO dietary supplement twice a day for 30 days led to a significant increase in systemic NO availability.” (source)
So the next time you’re thinking about skipping your greens, think about the effect it could have on your erections!
Which vegetables contain the most nitrates?
Nitrates are build right into nutrient rich soil, so the closer a vegetable is grown to the ground, the more nitrates it will contain.
Choose vegetables such as carrots, green beans, spinach, beets, parsley, cabbage, radishes, celery and collard greens for the best nitrate boost.
Pharmaceutical drugs often come with a serious trade off…they usually fix one thing at the cost of breaking something else.
People with unexplainable health issues should take a hard look at the medications they’re using…
Yes, that’s right!
Over 200 commonly used medications list erectile dysfunction as a potential side effect. (source).
If you’re having problems getting hard wood, your medication could be to blame.
Let’s look at a few of the worst offenders…
In one study conducted on patients treated with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), 73% reported adverse sexual side effects.
The study was so conclusive that “the authors concluded that adverse sexual effects appear to be the rule rather than the exception with SSRIs” (source).
A mainstay for many during the summer, antihistamines might help you control your sneezing…but at what cost?
Antihistamines act on four different histamine receptors to reduce their reaction to the histamines in your system.
The problem with this plan is, the H2 histamine receptor is heavily involved the blood vessel dilation process…and less dilated blood vessels = softer erections.
Prostate Cancer Drugs
Most prostate cancer drugs manipulate hormones to treat the condition…
A common side effect of this can be a loss of interest in sex, testicular atrophy and, you guessed it, erectile dysfunction.
Hair loss drugs work by stopping the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) because DHT causes hair to thin leading to male pattern baldness.
However, you need adequate levels of DHT for proper sexual function, so you always want to have some, just not too much.
Unfortunately, these drugs often take DHT levels far to low, which can lead to crippling side effects.
If taken long enough, most users will eventually be hit with erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and problems ejaculating
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Common medications like Ibuprofen, Aspirin and Naproxen, can reduce more than just your headache.
Studies have shown that people who regularly take NSAIDs are almost twice as likely to suffer from erectile problems.
If you’ve bought a plastic bottle recently, you might have seen a “BPA FREE” sticker prominently stuck onto it.
But what is BPA?
Bisphenol-A is a chemical that is used in the production of many types of hard, clear plastics.
Commonly found in water bottles and food packaging, BPA has been under fire in recent years for its alleged role in all types of diseases…one of which is erectile dysfunction.
A study performed on Chinese workers in a factory that produces BPAs found:
“Among the men who work with BPA, the risk of having difficulty ejaculating was seven times greater than it was among the non-exposed group, and the risk of erectile problems was more than four times greater.”
Many countries have now banned the use of BPA in food packaging, but this isn’t the case everywhere.
Be sure to check that your water and food containers state that they are “BPA FREE” to be on the safe side.
Sometimes you can eat well, avoid harmful medications and still find that your erection isn’t as strong as you’d like.
It isn’t necessary to obsessively avoid things that you enjoy, but moderation is the key to maintaining optimal sexual health.
Smoking and Drinking:
An occasional whiskey and cigar aren’t going to do you much harm in the big scheme of things.
Unfortunately, for most people, “occasional” wouldn’t accurately describe their alcohol or tobacco consumption.
Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with low levels of testosterone which negatively impacts your ability to get an erection.
No point in drinking for “Dutch courage” if you can’t close the deal!
Smoking can cause your arteries to stiffen….and arteries hard = erection not hard!
Cycling can be an excellent exercise for health when done in short, sharp bursts….distance cycling, however, can cause problems if you’re not careful.
Some saddle style bike seats can cause damage to the delicate nerves around the testicles and the blood vessels that feed blood to the penis (source).
This damage can reduce blood flow into the area, leading to problems with wood production.
Frequent Pornography Consumption
Pornography is seemingly ubiquitous in the modern world. This stuff is almost impossible to avoid if you spend any amount of time online.
Problem is, watching pornography causes too much dopamine to be released into the brain.
If you consume pornography frequently your receptors will become much less sensitive to dopamine so normal physical intimacy won’t produce enough to stimulate your dopamine receptors.
When you’ve been watching well lit, professionally shot porn, the sight of a real girl in your dimly lit room can be a bit of an anti-climax.
Your dopamine receptors get so burned out that they don’t get excited, and neither do you!
It’s not exactly news that problems in a relationship can seriously affect your happiness.
But did you know that they can seriously affect your erections too?
Bad relationships often go hand in hand with some form of power struggle between the parties involved.
Why is power balance important?
There is a difference between having a dominant and submissive relationship in the bedroom and having one in life.
In any relationship, it is imperative that there is a balance of power and that you feel empowered and respected and NOT controlled and dominated.
If a woman is too dominant, it can cause a build of up anger, fear, rejection and resentment…and noting will kill off an erection faster than these negative emotions.
But it goes deeper than that…
Stress Hormones: Our bodies have inbuilt stress systems that are essential for survival…
Feeling powerless and dominated in an unbalanced relationship can lead to a chronic buildup of stress hormones.
This isn’t a good thing.
Sure, stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, are completely natural and essential.
You wouldn’t want to be running away from a rabid dog without a burst of adrenaline and cortisol to quickly provide the focus and energy you need to escape.
But when cortisol and adrenaline are elevated chronically, they can literally torch your erections.
When cortisol is elevated, testosterone production goes down rapidly. And low testosterone is one of the primary drivers behind erectile dysfunction in many men.
How about adrenaline?
Adrenaline reduces blood flow to the penis as soon as your blood levels begin to rise which is fine for a few minutes while on a roller coaster but not something you want in the long term.
What can you do about it?
If your relationship is being driven by too much estrogen and not enough testosterone, taking steps to rectify the situation can go a long way to helping you reenergize your erections.
And I promise you, you’ll have a happier woman on your hands once you make this happen.
Just starting with simple things like instigating sex, being decisive and displaying confidence will help you tip the balance of power back in your favor.
Article edited by Mark Wilson. Mark currently owns 5 sites in the men's sexual health niche and has published more than 5,000 articles and blog posts on dozens of websites all over the world wide web.