Can erectile dysfunction be prevented?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs in many men as they age, but certain conditions increase the likelihood of developing it. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common conditions that increase your risk of ED. Other common causes of ED include drinking too much alcohol and smoking tobacco. Additionally, the drugs used to treat many conditions can increase erectile problems. So the best way to avoid ED is to watch your weight (to prevent diabetes and high blood pressure), not smoke and not drink too much.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Guys don't like to ask for directions when driving, but it seems every guy is all ears when it comes to preventing erectile dysfunction (ED), or the inability to get and maintain an erection during sex. It's pretty straightforward really: Start by making smart lifestyle choices. Skip the fatty, processed, and fast foods, don't supersize, and favor a healthy diet of lean meats, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. Get and keep moving—exercise regularly or get some physical activity at least 20 minutes a day. Watch your weight, monitor your blood sugar, and get regular checkups, especially if you're at risk for diabetes or high blood pressure. Snuff out the cigarettes if you do smoke, or, even better, never pick up a butt up to begin with.

There are some ways you may be able to prevent erectile dysfunction, or at least reduce your risk for the condition. The best way to prevent ED is by taking care of your overall health, including exercising regularly and avoiding or limiting alcohol and tobacco. It's also important to care for your psychological health by reducing stress and seeing a counselor for issues of depression or relationship problems. If you have any underlying health problems, such as diabetes or heart disease, it's important to get treatment and to see your doctor regularly to keep those and any other issues under control.

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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.