If you only experience occasional episodes of erectile dysfunction, you may be able to treat it at home without a doctor's help.
- Lifestyle changes. Some of the causes of erection failure are within your control, such as stress, smoking, and alcohol use. Regular exercise and the correct diet help to prevent and treat ED.
- Talk to your partner. Often sharing your worries about sexual performance with your partner can break a vicious cycle of anxiety. You may find out that your partner does not view the problem as seriously as you do. This may leave you freer to enjoy sexual activity instead of consciously tracking your performance.
- Make some time together to enjoy simple sensual pleasure, such as caressing and massaging without the goal of having sexual intercourse or even an erection. You may discover new kinds of sexual pleasure while you reserve intercourse for another occasion when you are more at ease.
- Sexual problems are often the result of underlying difficult feelings between you and your partner. Are you angry with him or her? Are you worried about rejection? Talk openly about these feelings and try to resolve conflicts. At the same time you might want to reassure your partner that erectile dysfunction very seldom arises from lack of sexual interest.
- Pelvic-floor exercises (similar to Kegel exercises) may be helpful in some men with erection problems. These exercises have no risks.
- Don't be embarrassed about seeking professional help if home strategies don’t help and erection problems are persistent and troublesome.
Reviewed by Dr Werner Botha Specialist Urologist, Cape Town Medi-clinic.