Non-pharmaceutical approaches like lifestyle changes can help stave off or reverse mild ED.
Want better sex? Improve your overall health.
The disclaimer, to ask your doctor if you’re healthy enough for sex, is a common feature of commercials for erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra. And generally, if you can climb a couple flights of stairs without getting winded, you get a green light in the bedroom.
But while so-called PDE5 inhibitors have been shown to be highly effective in treating ED, the medications aren’t the whole story – and the disclaimer winks at the bigger picture. That’s because, experts say, a man’s overall physical and mental condition play a major role in whether he’s able to get an erection that’s sufficient for satisfying sex. That’s in addition to relationship dynamics, communication with a partner and other interpersonal factors.
“I joke with my patients that anything that’s healthy for you is healthy for your penis,” says Dr. Nick Tadros, director of male infertility and men’s health in the urology division at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. “Improving your heart health, which will improve your overall health, can help with ED.”