Erectile Dysfunction: Exercises rather than Viagra!
Known for preventing urinary incontinence in both women and men, Kegel exercises would provide an effective – and above all, sustainable! – alternative to Viagra and other pills of the kind, to treat erectile dysfunction.
In fact, an experiment in Great Britain allowed 50% of participants to solve their chronic erection problems, and one in three to improve their turgescent functions. For the purposes of the study, 55 men with erectile dysfunction for at least six months were randomly selected. Half of them had to do the Kegel exercises in addition to making lifestyle changes, such as quitting, reducing alcohol consumption, and losing weight. The other half formed the control group, which was advised to make the same changes in lifestyle, nothing more.
Kegel exercises consist of strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, specifically the ischio-cavernous and bulbo-cavernous muscles. This circumscribes a good part of the base of the penis. Its function is, among other things, to maintain the blood flow at the time of erection and to “pump” the semen at the time of ejaculation. It is also the same muscle that, by reflex, empties the urethra at the end of urination.
To ensure that training of the pelvic floor muscles was adequate, the men in the first group received the advice of a physiotherapist. They learned the fast form of Kegel exercises, which involves contracting these muscles intensely, as well as preventing the evacuation of flatulence (by retracting the penis and simultaneously lifting the scrotum). The participants had to perform the exercises twice a day, in order to improve the endurance of the ischio and bulbo-cavernous muscles.
After three months, there was significant improvement in erectile function in the first group, which was not the case in the control group. The men in the first group continued their exercises at home for another three months, while during the same period, those in the control group received training in their turn.
Results: Six months after the start of the study, 40% of participants had recovered their normal erectile abilities, and 35% had achieved a significant improvement. In addition, 65% of subjects who suffered parallel urinary flow following urination saw this problem to be reduced.
In light of these findings, the authors of the study suggest that these exercises are now part of the first treatments for men with erectile dysfunction.
How to practice Kegel exercises (slow form*)
- Contract the pelvic area 10 to 20 times while keeping the contraction for ten seconds. Do not contract the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks and thighs.
- Breathe calmly.
- Release the contraction for ten seconds and then start again.
- To practice 3 to 5 times a day.
*In the fast form, one must contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles as quickly as possible.