Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a huge challenge for many men today regardless of their age .Having erection trouble infrequently isn't necessarily a cause for concern. However, if erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue, however, it can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems.

Because erectile dysfunction may be caused by many factors, a health condition, emotional or relationship problems, some kinds of medication, smoking, drugs, or alcohol, an erectile dysfunction cure is possible.

Symptoms

Erectile dysfunction symptoms might include persistent:

  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Reduced sexual desire

Causes

Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Likewise, stress and mental health concerns can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.

Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues causes erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.

Emotional stress and anxiety can lead to problems with erectile dysfunction too [Credit: Kenya Insights]

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction

In many cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by something physical. Common causes include:

  • Heart disease
  • Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome — a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
  • Sleep disorders
  • Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction

The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual excitement. A number of things can interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. These include:

  • Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns

Natural Solutions

Whilst pharmaceutical companies have a whole host of drugs that they claim cure erectile dysfunction, there are also a number of alternative, natural solutions.

Here are 5 natural ways to combat erectile dysfunction.

Certain medications can lead to issues with erectile dysfunction [Credit: Video Blocks]

1.Monitor your medication

Erectile dysfunction can occur as a side effect of medication taken for another health condition. Common culprits are high blood pressure meds, antidepressants, some diuretics, beta-blockers, heart medication, cholesterol meds, antipsychotic drugs, hormone drugs, corticosteroids, chemotherapy, and medication for male pattern baldness, among others.

If you think your medication might be causing ED, talk to your doctor, but do not stop taking it on your own.

2.Eat well and maintain a healthy weight

The foods you eat can have a direct impact on erectile dysfunction. A diet rich in fruit, veggies, whole grains, and fish, and with fewer servings of red meat and refined grains, decreases the risk for ED. 

A healthy diet also helps to maintain a healthy body weight, which is important because men who have a 42-inch waist are 50 percent more likely to have ED than men with a 32-inch waist. Also, obesity increases the risk for vascular disease and diabetes, two factors that contribute to ED.

Ginseng has been proven to be effective in combatting erectile dysfunction [Credit: Healthline]

3.Take some 'herbal viagra'

Ginseng, specifically “red ginseng,” is known as the “herbal Viagra” that helps puts to rest men’s bedroom woes. Red ginseng is when the root has been steamed and then dried. The ginseng root is the part of the plant that is mostly used as a natural remedy when in its supplement form. However, the plant must be grown for a minimum of five years before it can be used.

4.Take watermelon juice

A cold slice of watermelon can do more than just satisfy hunger during hot days, it can help with bedroom satisfaction. Citrulline, the amino acid found in high concentrations of watermelon, is found to improve blood flow to the penis. A 2011 study revealed men who suffered from mild to moderate ED and took L-citrulline supplementation showed an improvement with their erectile function and were very satisfied. Natural watermelon juice, or “nature’s Viagra,” can also be easier on the stomach, since taking pills like Viagra can cause nausea and diarrhea.

5.Get enough sleep

Poor sleep patterns can be a contributing factor for erectile dysfunction. One study emphasised the intricate relationship between the level of sex hormones like testosterone, sexual function, and sleep, noting that testosterone levels increase with improved sleep, and lower levels are associated with sexual dysfunction. Hormone secretion is controlled by the body’s internal clock, and sleep patterns likely help the body determine when to release certain hormones.