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How can I prevent erectile dysfunction?

The symptoms of ED, being unable to get and maintain an erection, can often be prevented by making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight if overweight, quitting smoking, moderating alcohol consumption, avoiding illegal drugs, taking at least 150 minutes of exercise a week and trying to reducing stress.

Because erectile dysfunction is often related to poor blood flow, take steps that improve your heart health. Here are some suggestions to try:

  • Control your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and medical conditions like diabetes.
  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs that may reduce sexual desire or affect your ability to maintain an erection.
  • Discuss side effects of medications with your doctor. Some medications, especially those used to treat high blood pressure can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Additionally, prostate disease drugs, antidepressants and other medications used to treat psychological conditions may cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Try to establish open communication with your sexual partner as a way to ease tensions that could be affecting your performance.

Remember that occasional problems with erections are normal. Worrying about past failures can interfere with present pleasure.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on September 08, 2014

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