Monday Apr 10, 2017
This article is about how one man (that is me) who struggled with severe erectile dysfunction (as well as a low libido) from his late 20’s, was able to overcome his ED permanently.
But before I tell you how I cured my erectile dysfunction naturally, lets first understand what erectile dysfunction is. Then lets make sure we understand how the erection process work, lets look at how prevalent erectile dysfunction is, and also, lets understand the most common reasons why men develop erectile dysfunction.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Of the common male sexual dysfunctions, erectile dysfunction (also known as impotence) is probably the most common one. Other dysfunctions you may have heard of are premature ejaculation, low sperm quality or sperm count, and no or little sex drive (or libido).
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to get and maintain an erection adequately hard for sexual intercourse. In other words, a person who suffers from erectile dysfunction will not be able to have a full enough erection in order to have sex.
Many men have at some point been unable to ‘get it up’. There could be many reasons for this, as the process of getting an erection consists of a chain-reaction of events and is very complex. It is normal to occasionally be unable to get hard enough erections for sex. The body doesn’t always work optimally. Most people also get fatigued from time to time, feel weak from time to time, loose their voice occasionally, etc. Let me stress this: It is normal to not be able to perform sexually 100% of the times.
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to obtain and maintain erections adequately for sexual intercourse during a time-period of several weeks or months. In other words, the condition erectile dysfunction entails medium or long-term persistent difficulties, not the one-off events.
Erectile dysfunction can take on more than one shape. Some men are simply not able to get it up at all. They just can’t get an erection in the first place. Other men, however, can get a hard enough erection for penetration, but are not able to maintain this erection during intercourse. In other words, everything seems to work fine initially, but then the erection fades and it becomes impossible to continue the sex.
If you want to learn more about erectile dysfunction on Truelibido, please go here.
Now that we understand what is meant by erectile dysfunction, let’s also make sure we understand the process behind the erection.
How Does A Man Get An Erection?
The penis is flaccid most of the time. Normally only when a man gets ‘turned on’, does his penis start to fill with blood and becomes erect. But what is the process behind this erection? How does a man get hard?
The penis is kept in a flaccid state because the muscles in the penis (called smooth muscles) are in a state of contraction. To help understand this, let’s think of a clenched fist. When you clench your fist, several of the muscles in your hand contract in order to make this motion happen. When you let go of this clench, the muscles relax and are no longer contracting.
Similar to the muscles of a clenched fist, the smooth muscles in the penis are in an almost constant state of contraction. These smooth muscles squeeze and clench around the blood vessels in the penis, which in turn makes almost all the blood in the penis flow out of the penis. The only blood that is allowed to enter the penis is for maintenance purposes. Btw, the element that makes this almost constant clench around the smooth muscles in the penis possible, are high amounts of the chemical calcium.
Only when the smooth muscles in the penis stop this clench and instead relax, is blood allowed to flow into the penis. But how or when do these smooth muscles start to relax?
This happens when a man gets ‘turned on‘. Meaning, he has some kind of sexual thought or otherwise is being sexually stimulated. When this happens, the neurotransmitter dopamine is released in the brain.
This dopamine then sends a message to the smooth muscles in the penis to start producing a chemical called nitric oxide. Through a chain reaction of several events, the levels of calcium are reduced (remember it was the calcium that kept the penis flaccid).
This allows the smooth muscles to relax and let go of their tight clench. Now that these muscles relax, blood is allowed to flow into the penis and to fill it with blood. When the penis is fully filled with blood, an erection has taken form.
Dopamine is a key part of this process, because it is dopamine that kicks everything off. Dopamine is also largely responsible for you sex drive. Nitric oxide is another essential part, because this is what causes the calcium levels to drop. Nitric oxide will also help blood vessels in the penis expand so that more blood can be transported to the penis. Testosterone is also super important because it supports the process of the penis filling with blood, is required for dopamine and nitric oxide to do their tasks, and is overall responsible for a healthy and well functioning sexual system.
If you want to learn more about the erection process on Truelibido, you can go here.
Now that we understand both erectile dysfunction and how a man gets an erection, let’s try to understand how common erectile dysfunction is world-wide.
How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction?
It may actually be more common than you think. We will get into the numbers in a little, but I think it’s fair to say that erectile dysfunction is a very common condition that affects millions of men. And it particularly becomes prevalent as men get older.
There are a plethora of surveys and studies that investigate the prevalence of ED. Often they are for men in one country, and typically they break down the prevalence of ED by age group. For instance, one survey may report that the prevalence of erectile dysfunction for a group of 2,000 men in France is X% for age group 20-29, Y% for age group 30-39, etc.
By looking at the set of these studies and surveys, we can get a pretty decent estimate of how common erectile dysfunction is around the world.
One potential problem with this information however, is that a considerable amount of it is in the form of self-reported surveys. Meaning, it is filled out by the men who takes part in the survey. This is problematic because the answers the respondents give may be partly subjective and also there is reason to believe that not all persons would be totally honest when giving their answers. Nonetheless, we should be able to obtain some reasonably good estimates based on this information. When we look at all these studies as a whole, we find a few interesting take-aways.
First of all, large groups of young men have erectile dysfunction. And by young, we are talking about men in their 20’s and 30’s.
A second take-away is that ED is common all over the world. It seems to be more prevalent in certain countries, but it is nonetheless a condition that affects men world-wide.
A third take-away is that ED gets more and more common as men get older.
I intend to review the numbers of every report and survey that I can get my hands on, and do a world-wide average for each age group. I will update this article when that is completed. But based on a subset of all the report, it seems like we can draw the following preliminary conclusions regarding the prevalence of erectile dysfunction world-wide:
- Age group 20-29: 5-10%
- Age group 30-39: 10-30%
- Age group 40-49: 15-40%
- Age group 50-59: 25-50%
- Age group 60-69: 35-70%
- Age group +70: 50-75%
Please check in on this post at a later date in case you are interested in (hopefully) more precise world-wide average numbers by age group.
As we see from the numbers above (with the assumption that they are not completely wrong), we see that erectile dysfunction is a condition that is very, very common. I would dare to say that any condition that affects more than 10% of men world-wide would be considered very common. And lets assume based on this preliminary analysis, that 10% of all men world-wide is affected by ED.
As this is being written, the world population is a little less than 8 billion people. Assuming that approximately half of earth’s population is men, we have 4 billion men. 10% of 4 billion men is 400 million men.
Based on this preliminary analysis, the Truelibido estimate is that there are about 400 million men worldwide who are affected by erectile dysfunction.
Now that we also have an estimate of approximately how common erectile dysfunction is world-wide, let’s try to understand the most common factors that cause this condition.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction?
In order for a man to get an erection, his penis needs to be filled with blood. And in order for a man to maintain that erection, the blood needs to remain in the penis to keep it firm. If either of these events fail to happen, the erection will fade. The key here is blood. Or rather, the flow of blood.
Blood needs to be allowed to flow quickly an unhindered to the penis. If there is anything that stops the blood from flowing freely through the blood vessels to and in the penis, it will normally be more difficult to achieve an erection. And also, if there is anything that removes the pressure of blood inside the penis during the erection, the erection will taper off.
Erectile dysfunction will normally always be a result of impaired bloodflow. There are many factors that directly or indirectly can weaken this bloodflow and therefore cause erectile dysfunction. Here are the most common ones:
Low testosterone is likely to wreck havoc with a man’s ability to perform sexually. Adequate levels of the hormone testosterone are essential for a man to function sexually as it supports and governs and the reproductive system. If testosterone levels are low, the ability to get and maintain erections is significantly reduced. Inadequate testosterone levels can be caused by several factors, such as an unhealthy diet, too much stress, too little sleep, toxins, overall poor lifestyle, etc. To learn more about testosterone on Truelibido, please go here.
Aging causes cells to operate slower and divide less often than before. It also causes blood vessels to become stiffer, the inner walls of blood vessels to get littered with dirt and plaque, and it also causes the body to experience overall decay. This slows down bloodflow, and it also causes many systems in the body to generally work less well than they did before. This is particularly true for the reproductive system. In addition, testosterone production falls as we get older, and particularly after we pass the age of 30.
Lack of exercise or being out of shape can cause erectile dysfunction in several ways. A person that is overweight will normally have more glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol and fat in the blood than a person in good shape. First of all, this thickens the blood and makes it flow more slowly through a person’s veins. Secondly, it may also cause plaque build-up inside the veins which may disrupt bloodflow. It normally also causes testosterone levels to go down and estrogen levels to go up. And also, it normally makes the body produce less nitric oxide. None of these results will help a man function sexually.
Eating poorly means that a body would not get the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs in order to function optimally. If the cells, tissue and organs don’t get the building blocks and fuel it needs to operate well, several of a person’s body functions are likely to work sub-optimally. If the reproductive system works sub-optimally, it will often be more difficult to get and maintain erections. A poor diet is also likely to make a person’s blood have the wrong amounts and balances of nutrients, which is likely to directly disrupt normal bloodflow.
High blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases are conditions that are often linked (although not always) with being out of shape and eating poorly. All of these conditions have to do with bloodflow, and all of them have the potential to reduce the proper flowing of blood through the body and to the penis. These conditions can cause damages to the blood vessels, build-up of plaque inside the arteries (atherosclerosis), reduction of nitric oxide production and can also directly cause changes to the bloodflow. All of the above can be negative for a properly functioning sexual system.
Stress makes a person’s mind and body change priorities. A body in stress channels its resources towards dealing with the situation that is causing the stress. That means that a person will often get a burst of energy and alertness, the heart-rate will increase, the sense of hearing and vision may be boosted, etc.
This is brought about by release of chemicals such as cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine and dopamine. At the same time, the body gives no or little attention to parts of the body that are not essential for the current stressful situation. This means that functions such as the immune system and the reproductive system are put on hold or basically shut down. This means that during stress, it would be more difficult for a man to get an erection. Stress is OK in short bursts. However, experiencing persistent stress over a long period of time, or even constantly, can make it very difficult to get or maintain erections during this time. As a result, this persistent stress can cause erectile dysfunction.
Cigarette smoke contains more than 40,000 chemicals, and many of these are very harmful to the body. Introducing toxins into the body, can cause the fine-tuned system of a body to get out of balance, and it may as a result lead to several malfunctions. One effect cigarette smoke has, is to releases storages of fat into the bloodstream. This can cause plaque build-up on the artery walls and it also changes the composition of the blood, which again can change bloodflow. Smoke also causes blood vessels to form inside the existing blood vessels, which also disrupt bloodflow. Drugs and other substance abuse can have many of the same effects, but also direct effects on the nervous system, reward system, hormones, etc. When the reproductive system is disturbed, it can cause erectile dysfunction.
Alcohol is another toxin that can cause damage to the body. Alcohol may cause direct damage to the heart (alcoholic cardiomyopathy), can damage the inner lining of blood vessels and can also cause testosterone levels to be reduced. All of these effect can contribute to or cause erectile dysfunction.
Pornography can numb a man’s senses. The internet, computers and advances in technology have enabled pornography to provide a man’s brain with many of the same sensations he gets while having real sex. In fact, pornography is able to provide more and stronger stimulus than real sex often does. Online, a man can have sex with a new person every day, or every 2 minutes for that matter. He can have sex with a person of any gender, any age, any race, in any situation, any position, he can have a threesome, group-sex – there are almost no limits.
As a result, his brain can get overloaded with the happy chemical dopamine. And the brain can get so much dopamine, that it gets desensitized to the dopamine. When this happens, more extreme forms of pornography are needed to obtain the same sensations. This can cause a viscous cycle that can lead to porn addiction. But it also often makes a man’s reward system so numb that he is no longer able to get and keep an erection while having real sex.
Psychological factors can also cause erectile dysfunction. Although it is difficult to say with certainty how prevalent this cause is, it has been estimated that psychological factors may be behind as much as 20% of erectile dysfunction. Psychological factors can be depression, anger, guilt, fear, etc. These are conditions predominantly of the mind. Although one may think that matters related to erectile dysfunction happens between the legs, it actually mostly happens in the brain. Conditions of the mind can therefore impact or even control sexual functions. A person that suffers from psychological issues will often not be able to either focus on, or have a healthy focus towards sex.
Lack of sleep is another factor that can lead to erectile dysfunction. First of all, sleep deprivation can cause several functions in the body to work sub-optimally, including the ability to get an erection. But also, the very important hormone testosterone, is produced mostly when a person sleeps. So if a man doesn’t get enough sleep, his body will normally not produce adequate amounts of testosterone, and he will be testosterone deficient.
Sunshine is also something a person needs in order to function optimally. When ultraviolet sunrays falls on a person’s skin, it enables cholesterol in the skin to produce vitamin D3. This vitamin is again essential for testosterone production. If a man doesn’t have enough vitamin D3, he is also likely to be testosterone deficient.
There are also other factors that can cause erectile dysfunction, but the ones already mentioned are the most common ones. Now that we know the most likely culprits behind erectile dysfunction, let me tell you how I used this knowledge to overcome my own erectile dysfunction in a natural way.
How I Overcame Erectile Dysfunction Naturally
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, it took me more than 10 years of educating myself, researching, speaking to people and experimenting with several lifestyle changes – until I found the solution to erectile dysfunction. In hindsight, it should have probably not taken me that long, but I started from complete scratch and I also spent lots of time chasing rabbit holes that were dead ends. The good news is that I at least found a permanent and natural solution to cure my erectile dysfunction in the end.
As this is written, it has been more than three years since I overcame erectile dysfunction (as well as a very low libido). And for the last three years, my erectile dysfunction has been gone. Consistently. And my libido has been great. It seems as if I have slayed the ED monster from my life for good.
Today, I function sexually as I did in my peak. I have lots of sexual energy, I have no problems with erections or sex at all, my worries related to sex are gone and my sex-life is overall just great. To have been able to cure my erectile dysfunction permanently by natural means has been beyond amazing. It has given me back my life-quality, and I can candidly say that I am as happy now as ever. So how was I able to cure erectile dysfunction naturally?
Let me first say that one of my key discoveries from more than ten years of researching – perhaps the most important one – is that the body is an incredibly sophisticated and fine-tuned system. And that, at least in my case, it takes very little to kick this system out of balance. When this happens, the first sign or consequence (at least the first noticeable consequence to me) is very often that my sexual functions grind to a halt. What I mean is that my penis simply doesn’t work like it otherwise would. I am then normally incapable of getting or maintaining erections, and my libido normally plummets.
The way I cured erectile dysfunction was by making sure my body was in balance at all times. Sounds easy right?
It wasn’t necessarily easy in the beginning, but it is – at least for me – easy now. I now live by the principles I have discovered, and I dedicate myself to living a healthy life and making my body (and mind) happy. Btw, not only has this given me my sex-life back, but it has also made me overall healthy and super happy.
There are several principles or steps that I live by and maintain in order to keep my body in balance. Some of these principles remove bad habits from my life and other principles add healthy new habits to my life.
When I maintain all these principles, my body is in balance and my system works like a charm. It is by consistently maintaining these principles that I have been able to cure erectile dysfunction totally naturally. There are no pharmaceutical drugs, implants, devices or similar involved in these principles
The change I made that probably had the largest impact on my sexual health, was to stop having orgasms. Or at least, limit the frequency of having orgasms.
When I had frequent orgasms in the past, I would drain myself of sexual energy. My libido would almost vanish. I wouldn’t think about sex anymore and I wouldn’t get many random sexual thoughts. I wound’t anymore get random erections, and when I did get an erection, it would be difficult to maintain it for very long.
When I changed this and stopped having orgasm, I would instead of draining sexual energy, build up sexual energy. It would increase day by day. I would get hornier and more sexually charged. I would have more energy. I would get erections by thinking about sex, and my erections would last practically for as long as I wanted.
I now limit my orgasms to once every two-three weeks. By doing this, I am able to keep my libido high consistently. To learn more about my experience with orgasms on Truelibido, please go here.
The change I made that probably had the second largest impact on my ED, was to stop masturbating and stop watching pornography.
By frequently exposing myself to pornography and masturbating, I would expose myself to too much sexual stimulation. Sometimes, I would do this several times a week.
What happened to me, was that I overloaded my brain with dopamine. As a result, the reward system in my brain started to break down, and I got de-sensitized to sexual stimulation. When I got de-sensitized, I would need a larger doze of stimulation to get the same sensation. This was a slippery slope that in the end made me severely de-sensitized to sexual stimulation, and as a result it would make it almost impossible for me to get and maintain an erection hard enough for intercourse.
When I cut out porn and masturbation completely from my life, I started seeing significant improvements, and bit by bit, my reward system would normalize. However, this was not an overnight process, and I believe it took several weeks before things were relatively normalized.
Today, I maintain this principle of no porn and no masturbation. And I can say that combining principle one and two (no orgasms and no porn/masturbation) has had great effects. It makes sex substantially more special, much more intense, and much more enjoyable. For me, when sex is a more rare experience, it simply feels better, and problems of sexual exhaustion are gone. To learn more about my experience with pornography on Truelibido, please go here.
I also changed my diet to become super healthy. In the past, I had for the most part eaten a normal western diet. It wasn’t terribly bad, but it wasn’t optimal for my health either.
For many high performance athletes, diet is as important as the actual training. If athletes takes nutrition that seriously to perform at a peak level, why shouldn’t I also do this?
I had a definite discovery (a nutrition epiphany) when I once switched my diet from being awful (it was really bad at one point in my life) to becoming super healthy and full of nutrition. After this switch, my libido and my ability to perform sexually, would jump back to life and I would all of a sudden be full of sexual energy.
I have since this experience, experimented with several diets such as vegetarian, vegan, paleo, and others, and I have now settled on a diet that is somewhere in-between paleo and vegan.
It goes without saying, that if one doesn’t give the body the nutrients it needs to perform well, the body will run on sub-optimal fuel and maintain itself with sub-optimal building blocks. Sexual functions are very dependent on the right fuel and nutritions. To learn more about my experience with diet on Truelibido, please go here.
The next principle was probably the easiest for me to maintain: exercise. I have normally always exercised and I love being active, so it’s relatively easy to keep this one jup.
The reason exercise is so important for sexual functions, is because it improves bloodflow. In fact, there is probably nothing that is better for improving bloodflow than exercise. Exercise makes the body clean up waste from the arteries, expand blood vessels, stabilize the composition of the blood, stabilize blood pressure, and overall maintain the circulatory system. And to have good bloodflow is essential in order to get erections.
The blood vessels in and around the penis are very narrow, and as soon as there is stuff clogging up these arteries, or it for any reason is more difficult for blood to rush through these veins, erections can be more difficult to achieve and maintain. Keep in mind that in order to get an erection, the penis needs to be filled with blood, and the blood needs to remain in the penis in order to keep it erect.
There have been periods in my life where I did not exercise. This was either due to injuries or to working too much. When I didn’t exercise for long periods, my sex drive would also decrease. I recall not wanting or desiring sex much, and I also found it more difficult to maintain erections. For me, this was also partly psychological, as I would not be happy looking at my body in the mirror. Losing confidence regarding my body was not helpful. To learn more about my experience with exercise on Truelibido, please go here.
It is not always easy or practical to obtain all the nutrients one needs from foods or from a normal diet. In order to cover nutritional deficiencies, supplements can be of great help.
I always prefer to get my nutrients from foods instead of from synthetic means, but sometimes it’s simply not possible or practical. I therefore take a multivitamin to help ensure I get enough of the basic vitamins and minerals.
Although I try to get sunshine as often as I can, it is not always easy to get enough. Particularly when I work inside for most of the day, or live in areas of the world where there is limed sunshine. With too little sun, I am likely to be vitamin D3 deficient. I therefore take a vitamin D3 supplement.
I eat very little animal or dairy products, and I therefore get very limited amounts of vitamin B12. In order to help my body get more vitamin B12, I take a vitamin B12 supplement. Lastly, I also take fish oil to help ensure I get enough omega fatty acids, as it is easy to be be deficient in these. I normally take all these supplements every day.
In addition to these basic supplements, I also take supplements that are aimed directly at improving sexual function. These are supplements such as Tribulus Terristris, Maca, ZMA, etc. I normally only take these more direct supplements about an hour before having sex. The reason is that the effects normally start about an hour after taking them, and last for a few hours (at least this is my experience).
These supplements have had such amazing effects on me that I have dedicated an entire section on Truelibido to them. To learn more about them, please go here. Also, to learn more about my experience with supplements in general, please go here.
Stress can be a real sex killer. And one very important thing I have done to cure my erectile dysfunction, has been to stress less, and if possible – not stress at all. When we stress, our bodies re-direct energy and resources to those muscles and senses that are critical for a potentially dangerous situation. That means we often get a burst in energy, heart-rate goes up, bloodflow to certain muscles increases, vision and hearing may improve, etc.
But what also happens, is that functions that are not critical for this potentially dangerous situation, such as our immune and reproductive system, get little or no attention. When the reproductive system gets little attention, it will be almost impossible to get and maintain erections. Hence, when a man stresses, it is very difficult to perform sexually.
Stress is good if it is short-lived as it enables us to perform better, whether this is to escape a dangerous animal or whether it is to finish a report by tomorrow. Stress is bad if it is persistent, or is always present. I have gone through periods of persistent and constant stress (often related to work) and during these periods, I experienced both a substantial drop in sex drive, as well as severe erectile dysfunction. To learn more about my experience with stress on Truelibido, please go here.
I cannot emphasize how important sleep is. At least to me. Sleeping well has been critical for me to cure erectile dysfunction. When we sleep, our bodies and brains repair themselves after a day of intense use. It is also when we get a chance to clear waste and toxins from our brains.
But also, it is when our bodies produce testosterone. Almost all testosterone is produced when we sleep. If we don’t sleep enough, our bodies will normally produce less testosterone than it should, and we will be testosterone deficient.
Testosterone is essential for our sexual system to work properly, and testosterone is simply needed in order to support en environment that is conducive to sex. With low testosterone levels, sex becomes difficult, and erectile dysfunction and libido problems are likely to appear.
I have had jobs where I worked day and night, and I have as a result been sleep deficient almost constantly for several years. This happened mostly in my mid and late 20’s (when I should have been sexually at my peak). Yet I still struggled with severe erectile dysfunction in these periods, as well as a non-existent libido. To learn more about my experience with sleep on Truelibido, please go here.
I believe sunshine is underrated. All life on planet earth depends on the sun, either directly or indirectly.
We need sunshine in order for our bodies to synthesize vitamin D3. We can get some vitamin D3 from foods, but it is practically impossible to get our entire need of this vitamin from foods. Hence we need the sun. And it turns out, that in most countries, a large proportion of people are deficient of vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 is essential for production of testosterone. So if we are vitamin D3 deficient, we are also most likely testosterone deficient. And being testosterone deficient is highly correlated with erectile dysfunction.
I had my sun epiphany a few years ago. I went on a hiking vacation for a week in sunny mountains. After a few days, I could feel a bursting sex drive. I would get erection by just thinking about sex. I would have much more frequent random sexual thoughts. Why was this happening? Turns out the sun was playing a role.
I have been sun-deficient for years, as I have been working most days until after the sun went down. I have therefore also probably been testosterone deficient. One of the steps I have taken to cure my erectile dysfunction, has been to get more sun. To learn more about my experience with sun on Truelibido, please go here.
There are also other steps I have taken to cure my erectile dysfunction naturally, and you can read more about them in the section called My Experience. The principles I have outlined here have been key for me in overcoming my erectile dysfunction. And it has all been by natural means and being good to my own body and mind.
These are also the principles I live by on a daily basis. I maintain them every day. It’s not something I did once and that was it. This is for me a lifestyle. It is how I have chosen to live.
But it is not a burden – I like living this way. I enjoy this life. I have lots of energy, my sex-drive is super high and I am overall very happy with life.
I know I am not alone. I know there are other people out there who struggle with erectile dysfunction and libido problems, just like I did. It is my hope, that other men can learn from me, learn from my experiences, and learn from what I have done. And by doing so, can cure their own erectile dysfunction naturally and permanently.
Johnathan Pieters Cumberland