If a person wants to get harder erections, making lifestyle and dietary changes and communicating with sexual partners may all help. People should work with healthcare professionals to find the best solution.
In some cases, persistent erectile problems may be a symptom of an underlying psychological or medical condition. Certain medications can also cause problems with getting and maintaining an erection.
This article will examine some options to help improve erectile function and when to see a doctor.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Problems getting or maintaining an erection is called erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is a
Some people with ED can get an erection, but it may not last long enough for sex, and they may not be able to get an erection every time they want to have sex. Other people may not be able to develop an erection at all.
A healthcare professional may suggest making lifestyle changes or taking medication to help relieve ED symptoms. Below are 14 options those looking to get harder erections can try.
What causes erection problems?
1. See a doctor
If someone has trouble getting or maintaining an erection, they should speak with a doctor. They can discuss possible causes, run tests, and prescribe medication if necessary.
Seeking treatment may also help prevent
- a lack of enjoyment in their sex life
- a loss of intimacy in a relationship
- low self-esteem
- difficulties conceiving
2. Eat a nutritious diet
Eating a diet that supports heart health may also help support penile health.
The same risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity and high blood pressure, can also increase the chance of erectile dysfunction. Adopting a Mediterranean diet may help
A Mediterranean diet
- plenty of fruit and vegetables
- whole grains
- legumes, such as lentils, peas, and beans
- olive oil
- a moderate intake of fish
- a moderate amount of alcohol, such as a glass of wine with a meal
- a low intake of dairy and meat
- a low intake of candy
Foods to avoid
- saturated fats
- red and processed meats
- refined flour
- white fish
- refined grains in bread, pasta, and white rice
A person should speak with a doctor before making changes to their diet.
3. Get regular exercise
Research involving over
Exercise increases blood flow to the penis, as well as to the rest of the body. Researchers suggest people participate in
4. Communicate with sexual partners
These could include issues such as:
- traumatic previous sexual experiences
- a lack of attraction to a partner
- feeling anxiety or pressure to perform well sexually
Sexual performance anxiety is a
Talking to a sexual partner about any issues may help improve erectile function and relieve a person’s pressure. Seeing a sex therapist, with or without a partner, may also help people resolve any issues.
5. Explore new things
Sex does not have to be penetrative to be pleasurable, and anecdotal sources suggest that exploring new approaches to sex may positively affect erections.
For example, the following things may help a person get and keep harder erections:
- using a penis ring or sex toys
- focusing less on sexual performance and more on pleasurable sensations
- trying role-play or foreplay to increase arousal
- exploring erogenous zones such as the ears, lips, neck, breasts, nipples, buttocks, and inner thighs
6. Limit alcohol intake
Limiting or avoiding alcohol may help improve erectile function. A person may wish to consider planning a romantic occasion without alcohol or increasing the period they go without alcohol.
7. Sleep well
According to a 2020 study on humans, sleep deprivation equal to or more than 24 hours can also decrease testosterone levels, but short-term sleep deprivation may not have significant negative effects.
Ensuring good quality sleep may help reduce the chance of erectile dysfunction and improve sexual function. People can
8. Reduce stress
Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure and circulatory systems. Elevated cortisol levels can interfere with the production of testosterone, which is crucial for maintaining libido, sperm production, and overall sexual function. Chronic stress can affect the male reproductive system and may lead to:
- changes in testosterone production, causing a reduction in sex drive or desire
- erectile dysfunction
Managing and reducing stress may help improve erectile function. A person may find that the following can help:
- getting regular physical activity
- having a social support network
- getting good quality sleep each night
- trying relaxation and mindfulness techniques
9. Limit smoking
Smoking can reduce blood flow to the penis and increase the chance of erectile dysfunction. Smoking can harm the blood vessels, and it has a link to heart and blood vessel disease, which can also affect erectile function.
Reducing or quitting smoking may help improve erectile function and reduce the chance of experiencing problems.
Choose the best apps to quit smoking here.
10. Take supplements
Certain supplements may help improve erections. Research has looked into yohimbe, Panax gingseng, and maca. However, a
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Additionally, supplements can interact with medication and cause side effects.
People should always consult a medical professional before trying a supplement to improve or treat a health condition. They should stop taking a supplement and speak with a doctor if they experience side effects.
11. Try medications
Some medications can help people get and keep an erection by increasing blood flow to the penis. These medications include:
However, people should avoid taking any of the above if they also take nitrate medication or alpha-blockers.
Erectile dysfunction may also be a
- blood pressure medications
- sedatives or tranquilizers
- appetite suppressants
- ulcer medications
Certain drugs, such as illegal substances, may also hurt erectile function.
People should speak with a doctor if they think their medication negatively affects their sexual function.
12. Maintain a moderate weight
Maintaining a moderate weight through regular exercise and eating a balanced and nutritious diet can play a part in maintaining healthy erectile function.
People with diabetes can help treat erectile dysfunction by managing their blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, losing weight may also help prevent erectile dysfunction.
13. Check testosterone levels
A person with low testosterone levels can discuss treatments and potential side effects with a doctor. The doctor may prescribe testosterone for people to take by mouth, through the nose, or under the skin.
At the time of publication, the
14. Order medication online
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
People can order ED medication online from several telehealth companies. These include:
Comparing options for buying ED medications
|Hims||from $4 per dose||Viagra, sildenafil, Cialis, tadalafil, Stendra, Vardenafil|
|Roman||from $4||Viagra, sildenafil, Cialis, tadalafil, daily tadalafil|
|Lemonaid Health||from $2 per dose, plus a one-time $25 consultation fee||sildenafil, tadalafil, daily tadalafil|
|BlueChew||from $20 per month||chewable forms of sildenafil, tadalafil, or vardenafil|
What causes ED?
ED can be a symptom of tiredness, stress, or an underlying health condition. While this may be a physical health condition in older males, younger males may be
Many different factors can cause ED,
- type 2 diabetes
- heart and blood vessel disease
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- chronic kidney disease
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- medication side effects
- prostate cancer treatments
- alcohol misuse
- illegal drug use
When to contact a doctor
As males age, it is common for erectile function to change.
However, enjoying sex is an essential part of many people’s lives, and ED can have an impact.
Anyone who has concerns about their erectile dysfunction, either age-related or otherwise, should speak with a healthcare professional.
Healthcare professionals can help determine any underlying causes and discuss possible treatment options, including lifestyle changes and prescription medication.
Frequently asked questions about getting a harder erection
How can I improve my erectile hardness?
There are several evidence-backed ways to improve erectile function, all of which we discuss in this article. Some options include exercising, stopping smoking, eating a healthy diet, and using prescription medication such as Viagra.
What causes a weak erection?
Many factors contribute to erection problems, including diet, exercise, medication, age, and underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, and sleep disorders.
What drinks help you get hard?
There are no FDA-approved drinks to help erectile dysfunction.
How long can the average male stay erect?
Typically, an erection may last from a few minutes to half an hour. However, there is no set duration for an erection; many factors can influence how long a person’s erection lasts.
A person may be able to get harder erections by making certain dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as having open conversations with their sexual partner. Taking certain medications or supplements may also help.
If a person is experiencing persistent erectile problems, they can talk to a doctor to determine the cause.
In some cases, erectile problems could indicate an underlying condition. Treating or managing that condition can often help treat erectile dysfunction.