How Can I Gain Erectile Strength?

An erection is defined as ‘The state in which a body part (such as the penis) becomes firm and swollen because of sexual excitement’. An erection starts with sensory and mental stimulation, prompting your brain to send signals to your penis through nerves. These signals instruct the muscles in the corpora cavernosa, which contain sponge-like tissue, to relax, allowing blood to flow in and fill the open spaces. As blood fills the corpora cavernosa, it gets trapped under high pressure by valves, creating an erection. The tunica albuginea, a membrane around the corpora cavernosa, helps trap this blood, maintaining hardness. When the stimulation ends, the muscles contract, blood flow stops, pressure decreases, valves open, and the penis becomes flaccid again.

The Erection Hardness Scale (EHS) is a straightforward, four-point scale designed to assess erection hardness and its implications on erectile dysfunction treatment. It ranges from 1, indicating the penis is larger but not hard, to 4, where the penis is completely hard and fully rigid. This scale enables men to gauge the severity of their condition and monitor treatment effects. A recent study evaluated the erection hardness scale alongside other clinical trial scales like the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). Involving 209 men with an average age of 52, the study compared sildenafil (Viagra) and placebo treatments, followed by an open-label extension with flexible-dose sildenafil. Results demonstrated a nearly linear relationship between the erection hardness scale ratings and other scoring systems. This correlation highlighted the link between erection hardness, erectile function, satisfaction with erection quality, overall sexual experience, and emotional well-being in men with erectile dysfunction. It is crucial to develop and maintain erectile strength as we age. Here are some recommendations that have been shown to improve erectile strength. 

Maintain A Healthy Diet For Erectile Strength

Your diet has a significant impact on managing erectile dysfunction. The foods you eat influence your cardiovascular health, hormone levels, and overall well-being, crucial for maintaining healthy erectile function. Making the right dietary choices can support sexual health and help improve erectile strength. Here are some of the risks of a poor diet on erectile strength: 

  • Reduce Processed Foods and Refined Sugars

When you achieve an erection, oxygenated blood flows into the penis, filling its spongy tissue to make it firm for intercourse. For this process to work smoothly, your blood vessels must function effectively. However, a diet high in processed foods and refined sugars can harm these vessels. These “foods” containing sugars and trans fats contribute to plaque buildup in your arteries, which slows blood flow and increases the risk of heart problems. When your blood vessels are compromised due to a poor diet, they struggle to function optimally. This can lead to difficulties maintaining an erection or experiencing rapid loss of firmness or erectile strength.

  • Reduce Alcohol Consumption

One may consider a drink to relax, thinking it could facilitate an erection. However, alcohol impacts your circulation and disrupts various aspects of the complex process involved in achieving an erection. Initially, alcohol slows down brain function and response times. Surprisingly, erections originate in the brain, where signals prompt the release of hormones and direct blood flow to the penis. Yet, alcohol delays these signals. Moreover, alcohol acts as a diuretic, increasing urine output and causing dehydration. When dehydrated, inadequate blood flow hampers achieving a strong erection.

  • High Fat Percentage Increases Oestrogen

Suppose your diet lacks proper nutrition and you’re not exercising enough. In that case, you might accumulate excess fat, especially around your midsection. This weight gain isn’t just a cosmetic concern—it can significantly impact erectile function. Being overweight or obese reduces the efficiency of your circulatory system, which is essential for maintaining strong erections. Moreover, excess fat tissue, known as adipose tissue, produces oestrogen. When oestrogen levels rise, testosterone levels tend to decrease. Adequate testosterone is crucial for achieving and sustaining erections. Unfortunately, being overweight often correlates with lower testosterone levels due to this hormonal imbalance. This situation creates a detrimental cycle where high oestrogen levels contribute to further weight gain and muscle loss, exacerbating the problem.

Prioritise Your Vascular Health For Erectile Strength

The vascular system, or circulatory system, comprises vessels responsible for transporting blood and lymph fluid throughout the body. Arteries and veins distribute oxygen and nutrients to tissues while removing waste products. Additionally, lymph vessels transport lymphatic fluid, a clear, colourless liquid containing water and blood cells. This fluid plays a crucial role in the immune system by filtering and draining toxins and waste from various body regions. When there is a dysfunction in our vascular system, this can directly impact our erectile strength. Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, has two primary categories: psychogenic and organic. Psychogenic erectile dysfunction originates from psychological factors, while organic causes include vasculogenic, neurogenic, and hormonal factors. Among these, vasculogenic erectile dysfunction is the most prevalent form. It occurs when there are issues with the arteries or veins responsible for blood flow to and from the penis. This dysfunction can manifest in two main types:

  • Arteriogenic Erectile Dysfunction, or arterial erectile dysfunction, results from conditions like atherosclerosis, where cholesterol plaque buildup obstructs arteries supplying blood to the penis.
  • Venogenic Erectile Dysfunction, also referred to as venous erectile dysfunction or venous leak syndrome (VED), occurs when arterial blood flow to the penis is adequate. Still, there’s excessive drainage of blood from the erectile tissue, leading to difficulty maintaining a firm erection during sexual activity.

Taking adequate care of your vascular health is crucial to maintaining erectile strength. Here are some recommendations:  

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet

Your diet plays a crucial role in vascular health. Avoid foods high in saturated fats and bad cholesterol, contributing to arterial plaque buildup. Instead, opt for a diet rich in high protein and fibre. Include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meat, and poultry to improve blood flow and regulate blood pressure.

  • Stay Physically Active

Regular exercise is vital to circulatory health. You don’t need intense workouts—simple activities like jogging, yoga, or swimming can suffice. Walking for at least 30 minutes daily stimulates the growth of new blood vessels and enhances circulation in your legs. Consult your healthcare provider for personalised exercise recommendations.

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight

Keeping a healthy weight is vital for vascular health. Excess fat can clog blood vessels, hindering circulation and increasing the risk of vascular diseases. Losing weight if you’re overweight can significantly improve blood flow and prevent complications.

Manage Diabetes

Control blood sugar levels to prevent the narrowing of blood vessels, which reduces blood and oxygen supply. Effective diabetes management is crucial in maintaining vascular health and preventing related complications.

Control Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can damage blood vessel walls over time, leading to narrowing, leaking, or rupturing. Managing blood pressure effectively reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney damage.

Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol

Smoking thickens blood and accelerates atherosclerosis, significantly increasing the risk of vascular diseases. Avoid smoking and tobacco products, and limit alcohol intake to maintain vascular health.

  • Reduce Stress

Chronic stress can adversely affect vascular health by increasing blood sugar,

cholesterol, and blood pressure. Adopt stress management techniques to mitigate these risks and reduce the likelihood of arterial plaque buildup.

Ensure You Maintain A Healthy Weight For Erectile Strength

A variety of physical and mental health issues can contribute to erectile dysfunction, and obesity is one of them. Before delving into the link between erectile dysfunction and obesity, it’s crucial to understand the mechanics of erectile function. Achieving an erection requires two key elements: sexual stimulation and adequate blood flow to the erectile tissue of the penis. When sexually aroused, the blood vessels supplying the penis dilate, increasing blood flow to the corpora cavernosa, spongy tissues inside the penis that expand and retain blood during sexual activity, enabling penetration during sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can result when either sexual arousal or sufficient blood flow is compromised. Physical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and nerve damage around the penis can all affect these processes. Mental health issues like depression and performance anxiety can also hinder sexual arousal.

Obesity emerges as a significant independent risk factor for many of these conditions, directly linking it to erectile dysfunction. Numerous studies have explored this association. For instance, a review in the International Journal of Impotence Research found that being overweight or obese increased the risk of developing erectile dysfunction by 30 to 90 per cent in adult men. Recent research from the University of Adelaide supports these findings, showing that overweight or obese men are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, though improvements in physical activity and weight reduction can often alleviate the condition.

Increase Your Daily Walking For Erectile Strength

According to a recent study, walking just 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction by 41%. Additional research supports that moderate exercise can significantly improve sexual performance in obese middle-aged men with erectile dysfunction. Regular physical activity enhances cardiovascular health and boosts blood flow, hormone levels, and overall energy, all of which are crucial for maintaining strong erections. Furthermore, Implementing a home-based walking regimen can significantly improve erectile strength. A study compared a control group to a home-based walking group, assessing erectile dysfunction (ED) using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire. At hospital discharge, both groups had high ED prevalence. However, 30 days post-discharge, the walking group showed a 71% decrease in ED (from 83% to 12%).

In contrast, the control group saw a non-significant increase (84% to 93%). Additionally, the walking group exhibited a greater increase in 6-minute walk distance (16.5% vs. 6.6% in the control group), highlighting the positive impact of regular walking on erectile function. This study underscores the effectiveness of incorporating regular walking into daily routines to enhance erectile strength.

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