According to the American Kidney Foundation, more than 20 million men in the US alone experience problems with weak erections. While sexual dysfunction is a complex problem, circulatory problems are often behind erections that are less vigorous than most men would prefer and addressing these underlying issues may help to correct the problem.
Understanding how blood circulation affects the penis, maintaining healthy lifestyle habits and nourishing the skin, nerves and blood vessels with penis vitamins and minerals may promote increased circulatory health and improve the firmness of erections.
How erections work
When sexual stimulation occurs; either via direct physical contact or by way of mental stimulus, the brain sends a signal to the nerves of the penis which instruct the blood vessels to relax and process allows for increased blood flow into a pair of spongy cavities known as the corpora cavernosa. Once these are full of blood, or distended, high level pressure prevents it from flowing back out, resulting in an erect penis.
How circulation affects erections
Healthy circulation is important in achieving and maintaining erections for two main reasons:
1) Without sufficient blood flow, the penis cannot become fully distended, and any erection will therefore be weak or may not occur at all.
2) The nerves that are responsible both for transmitting tactile sensation to the brain and for directing the blood vessels to relax depend upon adequate blood flow for nourishment to allow them to function properly. Because of this, reduced circulation can lead to nerve damage that may impair proper nerve function, ultimately affecting erectile function.
Factors that affect healthy circulation
Numerous issues may have an effect on circulation, both in the penis area and throughout the body. The most common circulatory problems involve health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes in particular is known to affect nerve function and erectile ability and men who suffer from clogged arteries and other cardiovascular problems are also prone to impaired circulatory health.
Other factors that can restrict circulation to the penis include being overweight and wearing restrictive clothing. In addition, men who participate in cycling for recreation or competition often report reduced sensation and erectile ability which is due to the pressure caused by the narrow bicycle seat obstructing blood flow to the penis over long periods of time.
Tips for improving penile circulation
The following suggestions may be helpful in improving erectile function and overall circulatory health. However, all men should keep in mind that underlying health conditions may be the cause of feeble erections and other penile problems and any prolonged or painful conditions should be treated by a medical professional.
1) Lose weight. Men who are overweight are prone to multiple health issues, not just weak erections and maintaining a healthy body weight is key practice to overcoming these problems.
2) Exercise. Staying in shape not only helps to keep body weight at a healthy level, it also improves circulation throughout the body, allowing for proper function of cells such as nerve tissue that are essential to sexual function.
3) Wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing. Tight pants or underwear can limit blood flow to the area, causing reduced circulation and loss of penile sensation. Men who are active in sports and use athletic supports should make sure they fit well and use them only when needed for play.
4) Choose wider, more comfortable bicycle seats. Men who cycle regularly may experience increased circulatory issues. Although a wide bicycle seat is not as sporty or stylish as a narrow racing seat, it creates less pressure in this sensitive area.
5) Nourish the erogenous skin with a specialized penis health formula (most health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). Nutrients such as Vitamin C (an important component in the formation and maintenance of blood vessels) and L-arginine (which assists with the oxygenation of nerve and skin cells) can help to improve circulation and may have a positive effect on sexual function and overall penis health.