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What should I do if I can't achieve or maintain an erection?

Weight loss is critical for maintaining an erection. The heavier a man is, the more difficult it is for him to be able to get an erection. Fat deposits that can lead to blockages in both our coronary arteries can affect the penis as well. You won’t get the blood flow needed to get a good erection.

Movement can help improve blood flow to the penis. About 31 percent of men on a monitored exercise program see their erections return to normal. It’s never too late to lose weight. Moving is easy to do. Whether it's speed walking, biking or swimming, anything that gets that heart beating faster is going to make your heart – and penis – work better. 

Getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep a night is another way to get better erections. Fully recharging your brain increases your libido and ability to get a spontaneous erection. You must reach deep rapid eye movement (REM) sleep each night to obtain and maintain good erections.
It can take a lot of courage to seek help for erectile issues. Some men may get help on their own, and others may go with their partner for support and to work through the issue together.

If a man thinks something may physically be wrong, it can be helpful to see a doctor. Making an appointment to see a urologist to do some general tests can help narrow down or rule out the cause.

If the cause may be psychological in nature, it's helpful to see a sex counselor or sex therapist. In general, sex counselors and sex therapists tend to get specific training about sexual issues that sabotage sexual satisfaction, like erectile issues. It is important to find a counselor or therapist who is certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). As, experts with this certification have had training related to both relationship issues and sexual concerns.

A sex coach can also help individuals and couples. They tend to work on issues in the present, and through communication and home activities help get to the root of the issue providing education, support and guidance for an individual or couple to set and reach their goals. In regard to erectile issues, when the cause is not deeply psychological in nature, coaching can be helpful. Since many people can call themselves a "coach," it is best to find one that has a graduate or doctoral degree in human sexuality and certification from AASECT as a sexuality educator, counselor or therapist.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Guys who can't get or maintain an erection during sex, a condition called erectile dysfunction (ED), should swallow their pride and talk with their doctor. You should get some small measure of consolation from the fact that you're not alone. Millions of men suffer from ED, and the condition is treatable. The good news is that your ED may be temporary. Perhaps you're taking a medication that's causing a power shortage down under as a side effect. Or perhaps your sex life has been short-circuited by some outside stress and anxiety that's affecting your ability to get an erection. Your doctor will ask you questions and perform a few tests to determine if there's a physical reason for your ED. The next step is finding a treatment that will have you performing just like your old self.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.