Erectile Dysfuntion

We’ve all been there at one time or another; that irritating moment when you just can’t get it up! It’s often a case of, “I really shouldn’t have had that last beer”, or a highly stressful week at work is playing on our minds. However, if it’s becoming the rule rather than the exception, it could be time that we stopped to ask ourselves if there’s a little more to it.

A ‘one off’ may be slightly embarrassing, but is easily forgotten after one or two days! When it starts to become a regular occurrence, it can be a real cause for concern, inspiring anxiety and, in some cases, depression. The inability to fully satisfy a partner can be devastating. It could lead to relationship problems and affect confidence in day to day life. The effect that is has on emotional as well as physical wellbeing should never be underestimated.

Erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient enough for sexual performance. 52% of men aged 40-70 years old are believed to suffer[1]. There are many contributory factors to consider, including underlying health concerns. As such we would always recommend a visit to see your GP. It could just be that with age, both you, and your penis, are not as agile as you once were. However, it is important that ED is never simply accepted as the inevitability of getting older!

Whatever the underlying cause, there are ways in which it can be treated; simple lifestyle changes and pelvic floor exercise being one of them.

Drug Free Treatment

Wait! Don’t reach for that Viagra just yet. Treating erectile dysfunction with medication isn’t the only option available to you. Performing pelvic floor exercises is an excellent natural remedy that is proven to work. A study from Sommer et al. found 80% of men that performed pelvic floor exercises reported “better erections”. Just 74% of The PDE5-inhibitor group (e.g. Viagra) reported the same[2]. Another study concluded that pelvic floor muscle exercises should be considered as a first-line approach for men seeking long-term resolution of erectile dysfunction[3].

Viagra may seem like a simple solution to your ‘problem’, but it could actually result in any number of unwanted side effects. Some of which include headaches, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhoea and tinnitus.

How it works

It’s pretty basic, right? We get aroused and our penis becomes erect. However, there really is a lot more to it than that!

Sexual stimulation causes the nerve endings within the penis to release chemicals. These chemicals ultimately cause the smooth muscle to relax. It is the smooth muscle that is responsible for controlling blood flow into the penis and, when relaxed, blood flow increases dramatically. The penis contains many chambers which ultimately become engorged with blood, causing it to become hard and rigid. The enlarged chambers compress the venous channels, which normally drain the blood, ensuring that the blood stays within the penis, thus maintaining rigidity.

The pelvic floor ensures that an erection is as powerful as is required. The same muscle contraction that stops urination is used to prevent blood flow out of the penis. It compresses the roots of the penis (the deep, inner part) enhancing rigidity, and further elevating blood pressure. An erect penis has extremely high blood pressure, ensuring bone like firmness. The role that the pelvic floor plays in sexual function is all too often overlooked, particularly when it comes to men. When weak, the muscles cannot effectively inhibit outflow, resulting in partial or total flaccidity.

It seems as though the older we get, the more our bodies start to give out on us. This is true even when it comes to sexuality. Over time our pelvic floor muscles weaken. This can make it difficult to maintain an erection. Never accept erectile dysfunction as an inevitable part of the ageing process. With the Private Gym you can increase the strength of your pelvic floor, thereby facilitating a powerful erection.

Things will really start to look up!

[1]https Menshealthanswers.co.uk, (2014). How to Help Erectile Problems? :: Men’s Health Answers. [online] Available at: https://www.menshealthanswers.co.uk/facts-about-erectile-dysfunction [Accessed 30 Sep. 2014].

[2]Sommer et al. A Conservative Treatment Option of Curing Venous Leakage in Impotent Men. European Urology Supplements 1 (2002).

[3]Dorey G et al. Pelvic Floor Exercises for Erectile Dysfunction. BJU International 2005; 96: 595-597.