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The Myths of Erectile Dysfunction

Hello all and welcome to ZenCentre’s Blog page, where I concentrate on topics that concern men and women in relationships.

This month I look at a condition that effects 15% of men around the world each year. It was estimated that 150 million men worldwide suffered from this condition and it is expected to rise by 320 million by 2025. Most who experience ED may feel inadequate and it can be a real blow to their confidence. It can also be hard on partners, making them feel unattractive, undesirable, or like they are doing something wrong.

A weak erection can be caused by

Heart Disease

Clogged blood vessels

High Cholesterol

High blood pressure



Parkinson’s disease

Bad diet

So what can be done to help cure Erectile Dysfunction?

Quit smoking

Lose excess pounds, as being overweight can cause or worsen ED

Eat healthy. Research has shown that adopting an antioxidant-rich diet or a Mediterranean diet can help ease ED by improving overall cardiovascular health.

Get treatment for alcohol or drug abuse

Work through any relationship issues

Steer clear of risky sex – this may be hard to believe, but some case of ED stems from penile injuries that occur during sex. Going slow and avoiding some positions can help.

Don’t rely solely on Kegel, but it can work wonders-Kegel is a pelvic muscle exercise, of contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. You can benefit from Kegel if you experience urine leaking from sneezing, jumping, coughing or laughing, as it helps to strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor.

No Vaseline does not help Erectile Dysfunction-there is no evidence to suggest that applying Vaseline to your penis will help.

Does eating Watermelon help?-Watermelon may be a natural Viagra. The summer fruit is rich in an Amino acid called Citrulline, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels like Viagra. Other fruits like Papayas and bananas that are rich in potassium can also help in smooth blood flow by dilating arterioles, which can improve your erection.

Can drinking water help?-ED can be effected by a lack of water in the system. Dehydration can reduce blood volume and affect moods. Drinking water can help maintain an erection.

Do Vacuum pumps works?-Yes they can help encourage blood flow to the penis, causing an erection. This works for most men and can be used if medicine is not suitable or doesn’t work. You can also speak to your doctor about where you can get a vacuum pump.

Can ED be due to emotional problems?-Yes most definitely. If you only have erection problems some of the time, it’s likely an emotional problem. For example, you get an erection waking up in the morning, but not during sexual activity. This could be down to many things. The two big ones are anxiety and depression, which can be treated with therapy. Your GP may even suggest sex therapy.


If it is a narrowing of the penis blood vessels, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, then medicine will be prescribed. If it is a hormone problem, you may be given a hormone replacement like Testosterone.

Medicines such as Sildenafil (sold as Viagra) is also often used by doctors to treat ED. Doctors will also use other similar medicines such as Tadalafil (Cialis), Vardenafil (Levitra) and Avanafil (Sedra) which all work in a similar way.

Remember that men with diabetes are three times more likely to have issues with ED and that Sildenafil is an effective, safe treatment to use for diabetics.

Sex therapy here at ZenCentre

I work with clients to improve and to encourage gradual steps to change sexual behaviours. The goal I have is to help people to move past the physical and emotional challenges to have a pleasurable sex life. With 43% of women and 31% of men in this country reporting some sort of experience of sexual dysfunction, I deal with many issues that can effect a person’s sex life.

Low libido

Lack of interest

Premature ejaculation

Low confidence

Inability to reach orgasm

Excessive libido

Inability to control sexual behaviour

Unwanted sexual fetishes

The goal is to move past the physical and emotional challenges to have a pleasurable sex life.

How a partner can help?

I have found that some female partners, cope with their partners ED with humour. Making light or off handed jokes can be seen as being insensitive and unsupportive. You as a partner should be trying to create a safe and non-judgemental space, that helps ease the stress and upset. Yes….. I understand it can be a frustrating situation, but communicate that in a journal or vent to a close friend. Also change your definition of sex. Stop seeing penetrative sex as your only option, think outside the box and begin to explore other forms of sexual activities, as well as different types of touching. Remember that your partner may have feelings of guilt or embarrassment, so communication is important. Let your partner know, that ED does not make them less masculine or desirable and that health and well-being comes before sex. Make them understand that you are willing to work through this with them.

Thank you for reading,

Zena Finn

Couples Counsellor


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