Erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, is when you can’t get an erection, or the erection is not hard enough or doesn’t last long. If you’re experiencing this, know that you are not alone! 1 in 10 men is estimated to have ED at some point in their life, and for most, it is caused by physical problems rather than psychological. In this article we’ll list some tips to help prevent erectile dysfunction and what you can do to address it.

Check your Lifestyle

A healthy weight helps keep you at the top of your game in the bedroom. Obesity can lead to high cholesterol levels and diabetes, both of which can lead to erection issues. Even 30 minutes of low-impact exercise such as walking can make a difference: a Harvard study found that walking was linked with a 41% drop in risk for ED. If you smoke, try quitting, and the same goes for alcohol – keep it moderate, it pays off!

Get those Kegels in

The secret for hard hard ons is in your pelvic floor. A strong pelvic floor allows for stronger erections as it helps keep blood in the penis by pressing on a key vein. A British trial found that three months of twice-daily sets of Kegel exercises combined with a healthy lifestyle works wonders.

How healthy is your heart?

Your heart may be deeply in love, but this won’t translate into great sex if you’re often eating artery-clogging foods, such as fried foods and red meat. Go for a Mediterranean diet high in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains instead.

Sleep well

Quality sleep is key – researchers from the University of Chicago found that sleeping four hours or less, even for a few days, tanks testosterone levels. Dopamine and serotonin are regulated by sleep and an imbalance can affect your erection. Try to get at least 6 hours of sleep a night, more if you can!

Get your hormones checked

If your doctor suspects that a hormonal imbalance is behind your bedroom woes, they will order a blood panel to check your levels. This test measures testosterone, cortisol, thyroid and estrogen levels.

Watch those steroids

Steroid use puts you at an increased risk of erectile dysfunction. When you take steroids, the body stops producing testosterone. This leads to erectile dysfunction, but also to low sperm count, baldness and infertility. If your doctor didn’t prescribe anabolic steroids for a specific condition, stop using them and you should see an improvement on the sex front within 3 to 12 months.

If you’re worried about erectile dysfunction or your sperm levels, speak to your doctor and they will recommend the best course of action for you. You can also take a YO Sperm Home Test which will tell you if your motile sperm concentration is normal and use this information when speaking to your doctor about your concerns.

Learn more about Yo Sperm Home tests here.