10 Ways to Improve Your Sexual Health
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Medically reviewed by Katelyn Haggerty, FNP. Last updated 8/18/2021
Sexual health is one of the most important parts of a man’s life.
Generally, a man’s sexual thoughts and behaviors arise at puberty and can last until well into his golden years. For a man, sex is more than merely a physical need propelled by hormones.
It is also a channel for intimacy with another person and provides a source of confidence, which permeates every area of his existence.
A man’s sexual health is an extensive subject that can include a variety of sex-related matters. Pleasure and sexual performance in bed are typically the primary focus of male sexual health but many other aspects are just as vital.
Psychological and emotional well-being, preventing sexually transmitted diseases, and being aware of the side effects of medications also play an enormous part in achieving and maintaining a healthy sex life.
10 Ways to Improve Your Sexual Health and Performance
1. Get STD Tested
Many people make the mistake of thinking that because they have no symptoms, they don’t have a disease, but most sexually transmitted diseases can take months or years to show any signs.
There was a 22% increase in Chlamydia, a 76% increase in Syphilis, and a 67% increase in Gonorrhea between the years 2013-2017. It’s more important than ever to know and understand your own sexual health, and a good place to start is by getting an STD test.
Did you know you can get tested for STD’s online? You can get tested for:
- Hepatitis A, B, C
- Herpes I & II
- Mycoplasma genitalium
STD testing online is now very easy. Just find a company online, create an account, fill out the forms and make an appointment.
You may have been told that masturbating is something you should not do, or that it is something that can harm you in some way, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Masturbation can be very good for you for a number of reasons!
These reasons include: improving your body image and your sexual stamina, boosting your confidence, strengthening muscles, and reducing stress.
When you orgasm, your body releases endorphins, which stop pain and flood you with good feelings.
Masturbating can also help you identify which areas of your body are more stimulating to the touch.
Therefore, you can discuss this with your partner, or guide your partner to those areas during sex, which can lead to a more satisfying relationship and improve your sexual health.
3. Take Your Medications into Consideration
If you find that your desire for sex (your libido) is not as strong as it once was, or you are having trouble achieving or maintaining an erection, or maybe having problems climaxing, your medications might be affecting your sexual performance.
The following is a list of medications that could be interrupting your sexual functioning:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including Tranylcypromine (Parnate) and Phenelzine (Nardil)
- Tricyclic antidepressants, such as Imipramine (Tofranil), Amitriptyline (Elavil), Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl), and/or Doxepin (Sinequan)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or (SSRIs), including Paroxetine(Paxil), Sertraline (Zoloft), and/or Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Antipsychotic medications, Haloperidol (Haldol), Thiothixene (Navane), and Thioridazine (Mellaril)
- Anti-mania medications such as Lithium Carbonate (Lithobid and Eskalith)
Medications that may cause erectile dysfunction include:
- Anti-hypertensive medications or blood pressure medications
- Diuretics, including Thiazides (Diuril, Naturetin) and/or Spironolactone (Aldactone)
- Centrally acting agents, such as Reserpine (Raudixin, Serpasil,) and/or Methyldopa (Aldomet)
- a-Adrenergic blockers, including Terazosin (Hytrin) and Prazosin (Minipress)
- b-adrenergic (beta) blockers, such as Metoprolol (Lopressor) and Propranolol (Inderal)
Hormones: Certain hormones, including Goserelin (Zoladex) and Leuprolide (Lupron) may decrease sexual desire.
Smoking: While smoking is not a medication, smoking can increase risk for hypertension, which can result in erectile dysfunction.
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4. Consider Therapy
Many times stress from a job, family, or finances can mean trouble for men’s sexual health. Online counseling or therapy can be an effective way to help overcome any of the psychological blocks preventing you from achieving your peak sexual performance.
If the idea of sitting face to face and discussing your daily challenges with another person does not sound enticing, you may want to consider online therapy.
Online therapy feels less invasive to many people, and it is also more convenient. The internet has made online therapy easier than ever.
Make sure to choose a HIPAA compliant company. Sign up with your chosen provider and fill out the questionnaire.
You may then read the short biographies from the available therapists and decide which one seems to be the best fit for you. Pick a plan and you are on your way!
Good male sexual health can also be poorly affected by anxiety. Tension and stress are common human feelings, which cause your body to tighten, and that includes your blood vessels.
When your blood vessels are narrowed, blood does not flow to your sexual organs correctly and this can be a cause for erectile dysfunction.
In addition, worrisome emotions keep you from being able to relax enough to even think about sexual activity.
Meditation is an extremely healthy habit to adopt. It is like pressing a reset button inside you. Mindfulness clears your brain and refreshes your soul making you more open to receiving pleasure.
Meditation can be as consuming as sitting down by yourself in a quiet room, closing your eyes, paying attention to, and slowing your breathing.
Or, it can be as simple as taking a ten minute walk outside, hanging out with friends, or engaging in a small activity that brings you happiness.
Incorporating any kind of meditation into your life will help your overall well-being, which means it will also greatly benefit your libido, your ability to get an erection, and your sexual satisfaction.
6. Do Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles reinforce the bowel and bladder. They also impact sexual function to help enhance your sexual health.
To practice Kegel exercises, you must first pinpoint your pelvic floor muscles. To do this, discontinue urinating in midstream and squeeze the muscles that stop you from passing gas.
Constrict those muscles for three seconds, and then relax them for three seconds, alternating several times. Try not to hold your breath and make sure you are only squeezing your pelvic floor muscles, not tightening your buttocks, thighs, or abdomen. When you feel you are consistently able to identify your pelvic floor muscles, you can do these exercises while sitting or walking too.
Try to incorporate these exercises into your daily life three times a day, holding and releasing the muscles ten times.
7. Try Natural Treatments
If you are experiencing Erectile Dysfunction, or the inability to achieve or maintain an erection, doctors may recommend surgery, implants, or vacuum pumps.
Before going to such extremes, using natural supplements can sometimes serve as a good alternative. However, it is important to note that they are not FDA approved and lack strong scientific evidence.
Some natural remedies you might try include:
- Rhodiola rosea
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. DHEA is helpful for men with diabetes
- L-arginine, an amino acid that your body already makes that loosens blood vessels to assist an erection
- Ginkgo Biloba
One exceptionally valuable way to improve your sex health is to get your body moving and get into shape.
Exercise boosts confidence, increases sperm count, lowers your risk for erectile dysfunction and an enlarged prostate (BPH).
Studies show that men who exercise regularly are less likely to develop erectile dysfunction.
Even moderate exercise such as walking for 30 minutes a day keeps your blood vessels open and delivers blood to the genitals more efficiently.
Doctors say that men who don’t keep fit are at a higher risk of acquiring an enlarged prostate, also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, which is a disease that causes erectile dysfunction, low libido, and less sexual satisfaction.
Inactive men also produce a lower sperm count and lower quality sperm. It’s important for men who are interested in having children to participate in daily aerobic exercise to ensure their chances of becoming a parent.
Another advantage to consistent exercising is that it keeps your weight down, which significantly decreases your odds of having trouble achieving an erection.
Overall, staying trim makes you feel good about yourself and that is critical to sustaining a healthy libido.
9. Change Your Diet
A link has been established between men who consume a Mediterranean diet and a lowered risk for erectile dysfunction.
The Mediterranean diet is a plant-based diet that consists of fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, nuts, beans, and potatoes. It also includes olive oil and fish or seafood twice a week. The plan calls for very little dairy and meat.
You may eat small portions of eggs, yogurt, cheese, and poultry, while a glass or two of wine is encouraged. Avocados are often used in place of margarine or butter. Red meat and desserts are allowed on occasion.
Following a heart healthy diet is the best way to keep your sex organs alive and well. Blood flow is the key to having a healthy sex life. Improve your circulation and you will improve your erections. Any food that is good for your heart is good for your genitals. [Interesting read: A Complete Guide to Intermittent Fasting]
10. Get Medication
It is possible you may want to try medication to increase sexual function. There is no shame in using medications if that is what it takes to get you back to enjoying a strong and vigorous sex life again.
You may think no one you know is taking medications for erections but many men don’t talk about it.
These medications will affect everyone differently, but in general, Viagra works faster than Cialis. With Viagra, you can be ready to have sex within an hour of taking it.
Cialis may take up to two hours to take effect. However, Viagra does not stay in your system as long as Cialis.
Viagra only lasts for approximately 5 hours, whereas Cialis can last up to 36 hours, so you may want to take Cialis if you are planning a weekend getaway with your partner.
You can now get these ED medications through an online doctor or a men’s health company for $30 or less. Your insurance may even pay for it.
Genuine Cialis has your back all weekend.
Improving Your Sexual Health
For optimal results, exercising regularly and changing your diet, along with getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are some excellent options for improving your sexual health.
Watch your medications carefully.
Don’t forget you can talk to your doctor if you are taking any anti-depressants, blood pressure medications, or hormones, and you are experiencing a decline in your sexual functioning.
Remember, increasing your confidence is one of the best ways to improve your sexual well-being. One way to help keep up your confidence is to pay attention to your thoughts.
Movies and television portray sex as being a perfectly smooth fantasy, but that is not always an accurate assessment of how sex plays out in reality. Remind yourself that it is normal to feel awkward sometimes.
Use positive visualization techniques to give your self-esteem a bump. Envision yourself making all the right moves and saying all the right things.
Then, go recreate the scene you imagined. Keep in mind that everything may not go as planned but you have a better opportunity for a good time if you have a plan.
If you know in advance that you are going to have sex, be prepared. Bring condoms, lube,
and toys. Having everything you need gives you a sense of ease and sets up a natural flow for the situation.
If you feel like you have tried everything, but you are still struggling to improve your
sexual health, make sure to consider options like therapy and meditation, which will help solve the root of your sexual anxieties.