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Do erectile dysfunction exercises help?

By: Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT on January 18, 2020 — Written by Cathleen Crichton-Stuart
Source: Medical News Today
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Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man cannot get or maintain an erection. It is common in men of all ages.

Muscles, especially those important in maintaining an erection, sometimes lose tone and strength. As a result, exercises can help to reverse erectile dysfunction (ED).

Causes and risk factors for ED include:

cardiovascular disease
metabolic syndrome
prostate cancer
low levels of physical activity
alcohol use

Doctors may prescribe phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, such as Viagra, for ED. Lifestyle changes, including exercise and weight loss, are also effective in treating ED.
Exercise vs. other treatments

Treating the cause of ED will have long-lasting results, while medication only provides temporary relief. Also, some people find medication to be ineffective.

Sometimes, psychological factors are responsible for ED. In these cases, a person can benefit from forms of talking therapy.
What types of exercise can help?

Exercises that strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor can benefit people with ED.

The pelvic floor muscles are key in sustaining blood flow to the penis and maintaining erections.

The muscles do this by putting pressure on the penile veins. The pressure prevents blood from leaving the area, making an erection possible.
Kegel exercises to try
Exercise may treat the some of the causes of ED.28

Pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels, are the most beneficial for ED.

These exercises target the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis, and particularly one called the pubococcygeus. This loops from the pubic bone to the tailbone and supports the pelvic organs.

When this muscle weakens, it is unable to prevent blood from flowing out of the erect penis.

Performing pelvic floor exercises will strengthen and improve tone in the pubococcygeus. It can take 4–6 weeks before a person notices a difference in erections.
1. Activating pelvic floor muscles

This exercise is simple but important. It teaches a person to activate their pelvic floor muscles.

Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
Exhale and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three.
Inhale and release for a count of three.
Take time identifying the right group of muscles — those at the bottom of the pelvis. It can be easy to accidentally contract other muscles instead, particularly those of the stomach, buttocks, or legs.

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