Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction

Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction

Learn about lifestyle changes that can heat up your sex life—and give your overall health a boost.

No one wants to admit it, but erection problems are common, occurring in 15–30 million men. Here are several lifestyle changes that may help you turn it around.

Weight loss for ED
If you're not into ED meds or can't take them because of a health condition, there may be a natural way to ease erectile dysfunction: losing weight. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed a strong connection between weight loss and sexual function. In the study, 55 obese men with erectile dysfunction lost at least 10 percent of their body weight through diet and exercise. Afterward, about one-third of them reported having better sex.

Walk your way to better sex
Another way to restore sexual vigor? Start walking. Physical activity—even without a big weight loss—can help with sexual function. In one study, men who were active had a lower risk of ED, but men who were sedentary had a higher risk of ED. Even men with health problems were more likely to have healthy erections if they lived a healthy lifestyle—including regular exercise—as they aged.

Not surprisingly, men with ED also have a higher risk of heart disease. That's because an unhealthy lifestyle doesn't just age blood vessels in your penis—it also ages blood vessels in your heart, lungs and all over the body. The bottom line: When you improve your ability to enjoy sex, you're adding years to your life.

Below-the-belt exercises
Who knew? Stronger pelvic muscles can also improve your chances of a good roll in the hay. That's right, they're for men, too. Pelvic-floor exercises (aka, Kegels) have long been recommended for a variety of female problems. Seems they're good for ED treatment, too. In a study, about 40 percent of men with erection problems regained normal function when they did pelvic floor exercises for 6 months, first with a skilled trainer, and then on their own. Here's how to do it:

To tighten your pelvic-floor muscles, squeeze or clench as if you're trying to cut off your urine flow. Your penis should retract and your scrotum should lift. You've just done one rep—try doing several reps in a row a few times a day.

If you smoke, quit!
Last but not least on your healthy ED-relief plan is to quit smoking. Smoking is a major contributor to erectile problems, even in younger men. After only one day of quitting, you may begin to see improvement, as blood flow throughout your body starts to return to normal.

Medically reviewed in January 2019.

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