How to Maintain an Erection

As you grow older, you may find that maintaining an erection becomes more difficult. Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be quite a common issue, but it doesn’t need to become a problem. There are steps that you can take to help to manage this condition.

It should also be noted that ED is not a condition that solely affects older males, it can be something that happens to younger men on an intermittent basis due to a variety of reasons including stress.

This article will discuss the various things you can do to help you combat the effects of Erectile Dysfunction.

A Healthy Diet

We all know the importance of a healthy diet for maintaining a healthy heart etc, but did you know that a lot of the same foods we eat to look after your heart, will also look after your erection.

Fatty, processed foods cause restricted blood flow throughout the body, which includes the penis. Scientific studies have shown that the foods linked to causing heart attacks by restricting the blood flow to the heart, are also responsible to restricting the blood flow to the penis, thus adding to the effects of ED.

In fact, recent studies have shown that men who have a mediterranean diet, rich in fruit, veg, whole grains and heart healthy fats such as olive oil, very rarely suffer from ED.

Of course a diet that is high in processed and fatty foods will also lead to you being overweight which can bring on other problems such as type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can cause nerve damage anywhere in the body and if it damages the nerves that supply the penis, the result could be ED.


Aerobic exercises have been shown to help prevent erectile dysfunction, but do be careful which type of exercise you choose. For example, exercises such as cycling, can put excessive pressure on the perineum, (the area between the scrotum and anus), and this can adversely affect the nerves that supply the penis.

This isn’t to say that you should give up cycling all together, but rather that this and any other activity that is likely to cause pressure on your perineum should be done in moderation or use protective measures such as wearing padded cycling pants or stand up frequently while peddling.

High Blood Pressure

Poor diet and little or no exercise can lead to high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. High blood pressure damages the blood vessels, which includes those that supply blood to the penis. Eventually those damaged blood vessels could lead to ED, so ask you your GP to check your levels.

Should your blood pressure or cholesterol levels be at a level that needs treatment, you may find that the blood pressure drugs make it difficult to get an erection. However, doctors advise that most cases of ED are caused by the arterial damage from the hypertension not the drugs used to treat it.

Monitor Your Alcohol Consumption

Mild or moderate alcohol consumption will not normally affect your ability to get and maintain an erection, but heavy alcohol abuse can have a detrimental effect. The reason for this is that heavy drinking may cause liver damage along with other conditions that can interfere with the normal balance of the male sex hormone levels, which in turn can lead to ED.

Avoid Harmful Drugs

Drugs such as anabolic steroids can have a harmful impact on your ability to maintain an erection. Anabolic steroids can shrink the testicles which in turn lowers their ability to produce testosterone.

Many illicit drugs will also have a negative impact on your ability to maintain an erection. Studies have shown that so called ‘party drugs’ were responsible for a decreased sexual desire and increased ejaculation latency making male abusers prone to ED while abusing those drugs such as amphetamines.

Smoking cigarettes can harm your blood vessels which curbs the flow of blood to the penis. Nicotine makes blood vessels contract, which can also hamper the penis’s blood flow.

One-off Problem

As discussed above, there are many reasons why you may be struggling to keep an erection during sex. It is something that many men will find happening to them at some point during their lives. It does not mean that the problem is here to stay, or even that you will suffer with ED again.

A one-off encounter with ED can be caused by simply being stressed, over tired, anxious (especially if you are with a new partner) or from drinking too much alcohol that day/evening. It can even be caused by a side effect of a prescription drug you are taking.

Remember it is perfectly normal and happens more often than you probably realise. Even if it is not a one off event, and happens a few times, there are still things you can do to help, such as taking medication like viagra which can help you to maintain your erection and get you through a particularly difficult period.


Testosterone levels will typically fall after the age of forty, even in a healthy male, and begin to drop quite dramatically around the age of fifty. So it is a good idea to keep an eye on your levels.

Low sex drive, lack of stamina, mood swings, difficulty in making decisions and erectile dysfunction are all symptoms of low testosterone. Your GP will be able to test you for this and advise you on a course of action.

Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction

There are many things that you can do to help maintain a healthy blood flow to the penis, which in turn will help with ED. However, sometimes you may need a little more help to get things going again. This is where drugs such as viagra can be of use. So here is a little breakdown of what is available to help.

Men who suffer with impotence have an imbalance between the cGMP nucleotide and the PDE-5 enzyme which means making and maintaining an erection is more difficult to achieve.

Cialis (Tadalafil)

Cialis is a prescription only medication that is used for the treatment of impotence, ED. The effects of Cialis can last for up to 36 hours after taking a single tablet. This time frame allows the man to take the tablet in advance of any sexual activity without having to worry about too much planning, it also offers a more discreet way of taking the tablet as it can be taken prior to any rendezvous.

How it works is that Cialis maintains the level of cGMP in the smooth muscle cells by inhibiting the PDE-5 enzyme that breaks down the cGMP nucleotide. So if you are not mentally sexually aroused, then your brain will not stimulate the release of any nitric oxide and you will therefore not produce increased levels of cGMP. This, therefore, means that it will not cause an erection without stimulation.

The duration of the Cialis is four times longer than that of Viagra and Levitra, which makes this drug particularly popular with men who wish to have more spontaneity in their sex lives than having to plan when to take a pill to have intercourse.

Viagra (sildenafil)

Viagra is the worldwide leading medication for the treatment of erectile problems. It has helped over 80% of men to achieve and maintain erections, helping them to maintain a sex life despite suffering from impotence.

The viagra tablet is a fast acting medication that will start to take effect within an hour of taking it. The effects of a single tablet can last for up to four hours. It should be noted that although there is no restriction on taking with or without food, foods with a high fat content may reduce the effects of the medication.

The cGMP nucleotide is released during arousal and viagra works in a similar way to the Cialis, by inhibiting the effects of the PDE-5 enzyme. By inhibiting the PDE-5 enzyme, men who suffer with ED will enjoy better, stronger and longer lasting erections when taking viagra.

Viagra is a long standing and well tested medication for erectile dysfunction and is highly effective in treating ED.

Levitra (vardenafil)

Levitra works in the same way as the two above, by blocking the chemical called PDE-5 which means that more of the chemicals responsible for the erection remain and the muscles in the penis do not constrict. This in turn allows the blood to stay in the penis for longer, which helps with maintaining an erection.

As with Viagra, Levitra needs to be taken 25 - 60 minutes prior to sexual activity. The effects are temporary and with stimulation can last up to five hours.

In Conclusion

Erectile Dysfunction may be the result of lifestyle, age or just a temporarily stressful situation. If you need a bit of help along the way, then see your doctor who can prescribe you the correct medication to help maintain your erection. This medication is tried, tested and approved when taken correctly it will help to restore your full function and confidence.