Do erectile dysfunction exercises help?

Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man cannot get or maintain an erection. It is common in men of all ages.

Muscles, especially those important in maintaining an erection, sometimes lose tone and strength. As a result, exercises can help to reverse erectile dysfunction (ED).

Causes and risk factors for ED include:

cardiovascular disease
metabolic syndrome
prostate cancer
low levels of physical activity
alcohol use

Doctors may prescribe phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, such as Viagra, for ED. Lifestyle changes, including exercise and weight loss, are also effective in treating ED.

Exercise vs. other treatments

Treating the cause of ED will have long-lasting results, while medication only provides temporary relief. Also, some people find medication to be ineffective.

Sometimes, psychological factors are responsible for ED. In these cases, a person can benefit from forms of talking therapy.

What types of exercise can help?

Exercises that strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor can benefitTrusted Source people with ED.

The pelvic floor muscles are key in sustaining blood flow to the penis and maintaining erections.

The muscles do this by putting pressureTrusted Source on the penile veins. The pressure prevents blood from leaving the area, making an erection possible.

Kegel exercises to try

Pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels, are the most beneficial for ED.

These exercises target the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis, and particularly one called the pubococcygeus. This loops from the pubic bone to the tailbone and supports the pelvic organs.

When this muscle weakens, it is unable to prevent blood from flowing out of the erect penis.

Performing pelvic floor exercises will strengthen and improve tone in the pubococcygeus. It can take 4–6 weeks before a person notices a difference in erections.

1.Activating pelvic floor muscles

This exercise is simple but important. It teaches a person to activate their pelvic floor musclesTrusted Source.

    Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
    Exhale and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three.
    Inhale and release for a count of three.
    Take time identifying the right group of muscles — those at the bottom of the pelvis. It can be easy to accidentally contract other muscles instead, particularly those of the stomach, buttocks, or legs.

    2.Sitting pelvic floor activation

    Sit with the arms at the sides and the feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
    Using the same technique as above, activate the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three, and release for a count of three.
    Ensure that the stomach, buttocks, and leg muscles are not contracting.

      3.Standing pelvic floor activation

      Stand straight with the arms by the sides, and the feet hip-width apart.
      Using the technique above, activate the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three, and release for a count of three.
      Ensure that the stomach, buttocks, and leg muscles are not contracting.
      Once a person is comfortable performing Kegel exercises three times a day, it can help to add exercises that involve more movement.

      Things to remember when exercising

      At first, a person may only be able to perform an exercise three or four times.

      Build strength by practicing the exercises daily. Eventually, work up to 10 repetitions of each exercise per day.

      If a person stops doing the exercises, the muscles may weaken, and ED may return.

      Other types of exercise that can help

      Aerobic exercise can also benefit people with ED.

      People who practiced an aerobic exercise four times a week saw the best results, according to the authors of a 2018 systematic reviewTrusted Source.

      Each exercise session should be of moderate or high intensity and last a minimum of 40 minutes.

      Some examples of aerobic exercises include:

      spin classes
      A person should keep up their aerobic exercise routine for at least 6 months.

      Exercise is essential for maintaining the health of the blood vessels and the heart. Also, people with cardiovascular disease have an increased risk of ED.