If you’re looking to maintain sexual activity in bed all night, you’re not alone. Or does your drive just not seem to be there like it used to? It happens to just about everyone. Your age, health, and how you feel about your relationship can all have an impact.
There is a new syndrome called Irritable Male Syndrome, or IMS, that's due to testosterone deficiency. It goes beyond low libido, and includes emotional withdrawal, lack of motivation, aggression, personality changes, and anxiety.
If this sounds like you or your man, you're not alone. Low testosterone affects at least 13.8 million men, with a significant number of those being men in their 30s.
The impact of low testosterone is not just low sex drive or even mood issues. Testosterone deficiency leads to higher rates of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and bone fractures.
Also, your sexual organ especially the penis works on blood pressure. The brain sends signals to your penis that causes vessels to swell with blood. Your heart is responsible for pumping the blood. If your heart isn’t at its healthiest, it can cause problems with blood flow from the heart to the vessels in your penis. This can make it difficult to achieve a full erection. Make sure your circulatory system is working at top shape.
There are plenty sexual enhancement pills in the market, but there are many simple and natural ways to stay firmer and last longer without having to visit the pharmacy.
In this case, what’s good for your heart is good for your sexual health.
1. Stay Trim.
Belly fat and obesity are testosterone killers. A study showed that obese teen boys have up to 50% less testosterone than their non-obese peers. One reason for this may be that fat cells contain more aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen.
Unfortunately, obesity and low testosterone reinforce each other, leading to a spiral of weight gain and hormone imbalance in men. The good news is that reversing the spiral is mutually reinforcing as well.
2. Stay Active.
One of the best ways to improve your health is cardiovascular exercise. Sex might get your heart rate up, but regular exercise can help your sexual performance by keeping your heart in shape. Thirty minutes a day of sweat-breaking exercise, such as running and swimming, can do wonders to boost your libido.
3. Get Eight Hours of Sleep.
One study showed that after only one week of just five hours of sleep nightly, testosterone levels dropped 10-15%. While surviving on only a few hours may sound macho to some, it’s actually eroding your most important male hormone.
4. Avoid Toxins That Harm The Testicles.
Phthalates and parabens in personal care products like lotions and shaving creams, and BPA in plastic bottles and on store receipts, are anti-androgens, meaning they disrupt the production and function of multiple hormones including testosterone.
5. Reduce Stress and Relax Like a Pro.
Stress is a major driver of low testosterone. Ultimately your adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones and sex hormones are all interconnected in a beautiful but complicated dance.
A stress-driven phenomenon called “cortisol steal” can lead to a hormone imbalance where the production of testosterone is decreased in favor of cortisol. Stress also increases the production of aromatase and 5-alpha-reductase, two enzymes that break down testosterone.
When you boost your parasympathetic nervous system by relaxing, even for just 10 minutes a day, you give your hormone system a chance to reboot and rebalance, lowering cortisol and increasing testosterone.
6. Take Your Vitamins Seriously.
Vitamins A and E, and minerals zinc and selenium are like fertilizer for androgen production and testicular function. Most of the food we eat a lot has minimal or totally missing these important micronutrients.
Supplements are one targeted way to get more of these critical nutrients, or, eat more shellfish for zinc and selenium, carrots and kale for vitamin A, and almonds and sunflower seeds for vitamin E.
7. Get Some Sun!
The male reproductive tract is a target for vitamin D, and vitamin D supplementation has been shown to increase total testosterone, bioavailable testosterone and free testosterone. So be sure to get your 15 minutes of direct sunshine a day.
8. Kick Bad Habits
What you rely on to unwind, such as smoking and consuming alcohol, could also affect sexual performance. While studies suggest that a little red wine can improve circulation, too much alcohol can have adverse effects.
Stimulants narrow blood vessels and have been linked to impotence. Cutting down or quitting smoking is one of the first steps to improve performance. Replacing bad habits with healthy ones can help boost sexual health.
9. Get Hands-On
Locking fingers with your sweetie is sweet, but can it make you hot and bothered? Absolutely. “Even little acts of touching your partner release oxytocin, a hormone that may boost closeness and arousal,” Dr. Goldstein says.
The trick is to be spontaneous, he adds. That out-of-the-blue excitement is what prompts your body to pump out oxytocin and other neurotransmitters related to sexual response, so choose unexpected times to get a little grabby.
10. Pay Attention to Your Partner
Sex isn’t a one-way street. Paying special attention to your partner’s desires not only makes sex pleasurable for them, but it can also help turn you on or slow you down. Talking about this beforehand can help ease any awkwardness if you need to slow down during a heated moment.
Alternating pace or focusing on your partner while you take a break can make for a more enjoyable experience for both of you.
Certain foods can also help you increase blood flow. These foods include:
Onions and garlic: These foods may not be great for your breath, but they can help your blood circulation.
Bananas: This potassium-rich fruit can help lower your blood pressure, which can benefit your important sexual parts and boost sexual performance.
Chilies and peppers: All-natural spicy foods help your blood flow by reducing hypertension and inflammation.
Omega-3 acids: This type of fat increases blood flow. You can find it in salmon, tuna, avocados, and olive oil.
Vitamin B-1: This vitamin helps signals in your nervous system move quicker, including signals from your brain to your penis. It’s found in pork, peanuts, and kidney beans.
Eggs: High in other B vitamins, eggs help balance hormone levels. This can decrease stress that often inhibits an erection.
The Not-So-Sexy Truth: In the past decade, researchers have found that hormonal contraceptives, including the Pill, the Patch, and the vaginal ring, can dampen how often women want, think about and even respond to sexual stimulation. And an online Women's Health poll backs that up: it was found that 36 percent firmly believe the Pill muffles their mojo.
Unfortunately, no official stats are available on how prevalent this problem really is. When asked to estimate how many of their patients on the Pill have suffered a blow to their libido, doctors' answers range from 10 percent to 40 percent--though some sexual-health specialists argue that 40 percent is a lot closer to reality.
The phenomenon may be underestimated because many docs simply aren't clued in to the ins and outs of their patients' sex lives. "Sex drive is not a subject most doctors are comfortable discussing, because it's not something they learn about in detail in medical school," says Irwin Goldstein, M.D., director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego. And while some European countries, including Germany, list decreased desire as a side effect on birth-control packages, there are no printed warnings about it.
If you have erectile dysfunction, Peyronie’s disease, or other diagnosed disorders, you may need medical treatment. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about how you can improve your sexual performance.
It’s never a bad decision to exercise, eat right, and enjoy your sex life to the fullest.