I am a prostate cancer survivor. I initially underwent radiation treatment, and when that didn’t get rid of the cancer, I had a prostatectomy. I also suffer from heart disease. As a result, I have severe erectile dysfunction. The prescription pills (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and their generic equivalents) simply stopped working for me. (Many people are surprised to learn that the pills only work for about 65% of men with ED.)
I have also used injections of Trimix, which worked better than the pills. (Injections work for about 85% of men.)
I have used many different techniques to combat my ED. They have helped, but I will never get back to “normal.” However, men with milder conditions – depending on the cause – may be able to.
So in this article, I’m going to describe the treatments that I have used. I’m going to include a lot of links, so you can read more about any of the topics that interest you. Most of the pages on this site include references to clinical studies, so you can actually learn about the science behind the recommendations.
But the first step in fighting ED is talking to your doctor! There are many things that can cause erectile dysfunction, and some of them are serious. ED is actually a “predictor” of early mortality. So you need to see your doctor to find out the underlying cause of your problem.
Cardiovascular issues are the leading cause of ED, and also the leading cause of death in the United States. It just makes sense to do the things that can minimize the risk of both!
Lower your sodium intake. The USDA recommendation for sodium is 2,400 mg per day, and they are considering lowering this to 2,000. The average American consumes 3,400 mg per day! Salt is a major contributor to hypertension and heart disease. Learn how to reduce salt in your diet, and aim for 2,000 mg or below. If you need help getting started, visit the HeartHealth.info website.
Eat a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Many studies have shown that changing your diet can reduce your risk of heart disease and combat ED.
Get plenty of aerobic exercise. This will improve your circulation and strengthen your heart. If you are sedentary or have health problems, talk to your doctor about a safe exercise program.
Establish a regular sleep pattern. Getting enough sleep can reduce stress and help prevent heart disease. Studies have even shown that poor sleep is linked to ED.
Don’t smoke or vape! Both are linked strongly with ED.
Avoid alcohol. Minimize your consumption of alcohol, or eliminate it entirely.
Find ways to reduce stress. Stress is a major psychological contributor to ED, and can also worsen heart problems.
Get enough vitamins and minerals. Your body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to function properly, and to achieve erections. Most people in developed countries get everything they need from their diet, but your doctor can run a blood panel that will alert you to any deficiencies. Note that consuming more vitamins and minerals doesn’t help anything. It’s like the motor oil in your car engine. You need to have enough, but adding more won’t make your engine run better.
Improving Blood Flow in the Penis
Poor blood flow in the penis is a major cause of erectile dysfunction – it falls under the general heading of “cardiovascular” issues.
Men with moderate to severe ED don’t get nocturnal erections. Scientist believe that erections while you sleep are the body’s mechanism to provide blood and oxygen to tissues in the penis. When this doesn’t happen, the tissues atrophy, and the penis can actually shrink.
There are two good ways to address this problem.
Shockwave therapy. Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (LI-ESWT), commonly called shockwave therapy, is used to treat ED caused by vascular problems. Administering low-intensity sound waves has been found to encourage the development of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), and improve the function of smooth muscle and endothelial cells. Shockwaves may also break up and reduce blockages in arteries in the penis.
Dozens of clinical studies have shown that this is a safe and effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. The downside is that it is expensive… thousands of dollars for a series of treatments. However, there is a home device designed specifically to treat ED, which I have used.
Vacuum pump therapy. Regular use of a vacuum pump draws blood into the penis… essentially replacing nocturnal erections. Studies have shown that it can actually restore penis size!
Note: it won’t make a healthy penis bigger. Sorry guys, you’re stuck with what nature gave you!
Kegel exercises, which strengthen pelvic floor muscles, can fight urinary incontinence for both women and men. Some studies have found that Kegel exercises can also fight ED. The exercises are very easy, and you can do them while you are doing other things.
What Doesn’t Work
Many people turn to herbal supplements, which are promoted everywhere on the Internet. Sadly, these products have just one goal: taking money from gullible and vulnerable men.
Clinical studies have shown little if any benefit from the many different herbs that are contained in these products. The benefits can mostly be attributed to placebo effects.
Moreover, there are serious risks. Many of these substances have side effects, can worsen medical conditions, or conflict with prescription drugs. Herbal products are very poorly regulated in the United States. Studies have found that about half the product sold don’t even contain the ingredients they claim, and hundreds have been found to contain chemical and pharmaceutical contaminants.
Don’t waste your money and risk your health with supplements. Read what doctors, scientists and investigators have found:
What You Should Know About Natural Herbal Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction
Confession: Even though I have read all the evidence, and I know better, i tried a combination of L-Arginine and Pycnogenol (Pine Bark) for several months. It had no noticeable effect on anything except my wallet.
As a result of taking a broad approach, I have definitely seem improvements. Size and generally “fullness” have certainly improved. The Trimix injections now work reliably, and sometimes the “pills” work.
But remember, I have very serious erectile dysfunction due to some major medical issues.
If you have mild-to-moderate ED, and you use these treatments, you may recover completely.
Of course, that depends on the underlying cause of your ED. None of the things I have recommended will help with nerve damage or low testosterone, for example. (Your doctor can check for these problems.)
But here is the great thing about these recommendations: they will dramatically improve your overall health, and lessen the risk of heart disease.
Get started, guys!