Because many cases of erectile dysfunction are due to reduced blood flow from blocked arteries, it is important to maintain the same lifestyle habits used to prevent heart disease.
Diet and Exercise
Diet. Everyone should eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fiber and low in saturated fats and sodium. Because erectile dysfunction may be related to circulation problems, diets that benefit the heart are especially important.
Foods that some people claim to have qualities that enhance sexual drive include chilies, chocolate, scallops, oysters, olives, and anchovies. No evidence exists for these claims.
Exercise. A regular exercise program is helpful.
Alcohol and Smoking. Men who drink alcohol should do so in moderation. Quitting smoking is essential.
Stay Sexually Active
Staying sexually active may help prevent erectile dysfunction. Frequent erections stimulate blood flow to the penis.
Change or Reduce Medications
If medications are causing ED, the patient and doctor should discuss alternatives or reduced dosages.
Psychotherapy and Behavioral Therapy
Review Date: 07/20/2010
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.