Erectile Dysfunction in Males- Can Aerobic Exercise Solve the Puzzle?

Erectile Dysfunction in Males- Can Aerobic Exercise Solve the Puzzle?

Erectile dysfunction in the simple term means inability to attain or sustain an erection. British society for sexual medicine defines Erectile dysfunction as the persistent inability to attain or maintain are erection sufficient for sexual performance. Erectile dysfunction is also termed as impotence. Male erectile dysfunction in majority of situations is an indication of an underlying disease mainly the changing cardiovascular status and it warrants an immediate medical attention.



Erectile Dysfunction- Social and Family menace

Image credit- Ambros




Health experts at Mayo clinic believes that incidences of erectile dysfunction from time to time is not a matter of concern but if it is an ongoing issue then the role of qualified health professional becomes important. Erectile dysfunction if untreated may create rifts in a person’s personality, attitude, self confidence and relationship with spouse.


Mechanism of Erection

Erection commonly occurs when there is an increased blood flow to the penis and decreased venous flow from the penis. For an increased blood flow the arteries supplying the penis should relax so that blood fills the arteries. So any pathology or disease condition that affects the blood flow to the human body interferes with the blood supply to penis. People with arterial diseases, cardiac diseases, diabetes have greater chances of erectile dysfunction.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Causes for erectile dysfunction can be categorized into two main domains

  1. Physical cause
  2. Psychological cause

Physical causes include disease conditions like atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, low testosterone, tobacco use, spinal cord injuries.

Psychological causes are mainly depression, lack of proper communication, diseases affecting mental status.

Treatment Options

Drugs– The 3 fils (Sildenafil,Tadalafil and Vardenafil) These drugs mainly increases the nitric oxide in the body resulting in vasodilatation. This vasodilatation however is not physiological and may be associated with multiple side effects like flushing, nausea and vomiting.

Penis Pump and Implants– Penis pumps mainly works by creating a vacuum pressure that helps in making more blood flow toward the penis. Penis Implants help to control the time of erection.

Lifestyle Modification– Following a healthy life style, quitting alcohol and smoking, exercising regularly can help to solve erectile dysfunction to a greater extent.

Aerobic exercise and Erectile dysfunction- Master of All treatments

Effects of Aerobic exercise on the human body have been well documented by researchers. Exercise is inversely proportional to markers of inflammation in the human body. Aerobic exercise has got protective effects and it enhances the functioning and efficiency of cardiovascular and pulmonary system. However research data is still inconclusive whether exercise can reverse the erectile dysfunction.

Lamina Sikiru and co researchers from Nigeria tried to solve the puzzle. They did a review of past 28 years research done on the effect of aerobic exercise on erectile dysfunction. The results were amazing and it promise hope for millions of people who had literally spend a fortune to see the little leg treating erectile dysfunction.

The researchers found out that aerobic exercise is beneficial in reverting arterial erectile dysfunction in male population and they have listed out the possible mechanism by which arterial erectile dysfunction can be cured by aerobic exercise.


Positive Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Erectile dysfunction

  • Exercise results in changes in biochemical neural and hormonal status that brings a long term vasodilatation or relaxation of blood vessels. A relaxed blood vessel can accommodate more blood in the penis and facilitate better gaseous exchange.
  • Regular exercise reduces the inflammatory markers in the human body there by reducing the chances of penile inflammation.
  • Aerobic exercise increases the endothelial function of the blood vessel of penis. The endothelial walls secrete nitric oxide which is a potent blood vessel dilator. This physiological production of nitric oxide is safe compared to the non physiological and unnatural dilatation caused by blood vessels and free of side effects also.

Even though the studies that have investigated the effects of aerobic exercises on erectile dysfunction are less the results are certainly promising. Physiotherapy has added one more golden feather in the research finding and it warrants the importance of stressing aerobic exercise in patients have restricted blood circulation in their body leading to erectile dysfunction.







About Bibin Prasannan

A Post graduate physiotherapist specialized in orthopedics and Hand rehabilitation from manipal. His pass time hobbies includes reading books, cooking, reading Marquez. He is an avid fan of Sudha Murtys writings.
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