8 Ways to Boost Your Natural Testosterone

By David Thompson Jan 06, 2022 12:20 PM EST

This article is a repost which originally appeared on NATURE WORLD NEWS

Edited for content

A normal testosterone level for a man ranges from 264 and 964 nanograms per deciliter. Low testosterone can have a number of adverse health effects, including low libido, fatigue, hair loss and weight gain. There are medications that can increase your testosterone. However, many of these medications come with risks.

That is why it is best for you to try to boost your testosterone naturally. You can implement the following lifestyle changes to boost your testosterone.

Get Plenty of Sleep

A lack of sleep can cause a hormone imbalance. Testosterone is one of the hormones that can get out of whack if you do not get enough sleep. There have been studies done to confirm that your testosterone levels drop when you do not get enough sleep.

One study was done by the University of Chicago. It involved 10 men who were 24-years-old. They slept for eight hours for one week while at home. They then slept in the lab for the next 11 days. After that, they only slept for five hours for eight days.

The researchers found that the men’s testosterone levels dropped by 15 percent when they only got five hours of sleep. Keep in mind that a man’s testosterone only drops by one or two percent per year due to the natural aging process.

That is why it is important for you to prioritize getting the right amount of sleep. You need seven to eight hours per day. If you do not get enough sleep, then you should talk to your doctor.

Follow a Healthy Diet

A nutritious diet is important for maintaining a healthy testosterone level. You should avoid dieting because this can cause an imbalance in your hormone levels. You should eat plenty of whole foods so that you can get the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

In reproduction and bodily functions, free testosterone is just as effective as bound testosterone. To determine if they are within the recommended quota, it is important to test their levels. They are essential for the body to connect with its testosterone receptors. A fractional reduction in this hormone could cause reproductive problems and impairment of primary bodily functions, such as muscle development.

Lose Weight

Studies have shown that obese men are more likely to suffer from low T. In fact, a study published in “Clinical Endocrinology” that showed that obese males who are between the ages of 14 and 20 have 50 percent less testosterone.

Stay Active

Being active can naturally boost your testosterone levels. You should try to exercise every day. However, it is important for you to avoid overdoing a good thing. If you are too active, then it can actually decrease your testosterone levels. That is why it is common for athletes to suffer from low testosterone.

Stress

Stress is something that we all have. It is impossible to completely avoid stress because it comes with living. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels are higher. This can impair your metabolism and immune system response. If you have too much cortisol, then your testosterone levels will be lower.

Vitamins And Supplements

Vitamin D is one of the supplements that can help you increase your testosterone levels. There have been studies that have linked low testosterone levels to vitamin D deficiency. In addition to taking a supplement, you can increase your vitamin D levels by spending at least 15 minutes in the sun. You can also eat fortified cereal, milk and salmon.

DHEA is a hormone that your body needs in order to produce testosterone. Your DHEA levels tend to decrease as you get older. DHEA supplements may help your body produce more testosterone.

If you are deficient in magnesium, then taking a supplement can help your levels return to normal. A zinc deficiency can also cause your testosterone levels to drop. Additionally, there has been evidence to suggest that creatine can increase testosterone. It is also found in tuna, beef and salmon.

Review the Medications That You Take

It is important for you to look at the side effects of the medication. Low testosterone may be a side effect of the medication that you are taking. If you think that your medication is causing you to experience low testosterone, then it is a good idea for you to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can either adjust your medication or switch you to one that does not affect your testosterone levels. Do not stop taking your medication or adjust your dosage without talking to your doctor’s first.

Do Not Abuse Alcohol or Drugs

If you abuse drugs and alcohol, then your testosterone levels can drop. They can also cause serious damage to the cells in your body. That is why you should avoid drugs completely. If you drink alcohol, then you should avoid overdoing it. Do not have more than two alcoholic beverages per day.

I Put a Giant Red Light on My Balls to Triple My Testosterone Levels

I Put a Giant Red Light on My Balls to Triple My Testosterone Levels

I tried red light therapy, a radical (and expensive) alternative treatment, on my testicles— and honestly, I’ve never felt better

By Ben Greenfield
Oct 26, 2017

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Men’s Health

Edited for content.

I’m not really a nudist kind of guy. The last nudist beach I visited primarily featured lots of curly hair, very unattractive gonads, and a disturbing volleyball game spectacle, so ever since, I’ve tended to stay away from nudist beaches and bars. But three months ago, while on a camping trip, I decided to sunbathe nude in the forest. I lay out in my hammock with my drawers tossed to the forest floor, my crotch proudly displayed to the bright, blue sky, basking in the glorious feeling of warmth on my balls. I pondered whether this was some kind of little-known biohack I was tapping into. After all, enough people expose their crotch to the warm rays of the sun that there must be some benefit to it, right? I had to find out.

As a man on a constant quest to optimize my brain and body (including my own balls), I decided to actually look into the health effects of UV light on the genitals. To my surprise, some studies have actually demonstrated that exposing the torso or the testes to light can potentially increase testosterone. In fact, studies on the effects of light on the testes go way back to 1939, when researchers exposed various parts of men’s bodies to UV light. They found that men’s testosterone levels went up by 120% when the participants’ chests were exposed to UV light, and they went up by 200% with UV exposure to the genital area. (This was the same study former professional baseball player Gabe Kapler cited back in 2015, when he advocated for tanning your testicles in a blog post that later went viral.)

To be fair, the results of the 1939 study are nearly 80 years old, so it’s possible that the effects of sunlight on your nuts have been overstated. But assuming it is good for you, there’s one major problem with it: most dudes don’t have the time, desire, or year-round exposure to sunlight to step out into the backyard buck-naked. (Not to mention that most guys have something called “neighbors,” many of whom have access to phones and can call the police.) Ultimately, moseying through the neighborhood on a sunny day with your pants jacked down isn’t a practical way of getting your daily dose of testosterone.

So I delved back into the research, and messaged the one guy I consider to be an expert in all things testosterone and sperm-count related: my Finnish friend and physician Dr. Olli Sovijarvi, who studied at the University of Helsinki. I originally met Dr. Sovijarvi when speaking at a biohacking conference he hosts in Finland. Turns out that since those initial sunshine studies, many more studies have investigated the effects of direct sunlight exposure to the torso, which increases a human male’s testosterone levels by anywhere from 25% to 160%, depending on the individual.

Sunlight exposure directly to the testes reportedly has an even more profound effect, boosting production in Leydig cells (the cells that produce testosterone) by an average of 200%. Olli went on to inform me that some animal studies have linked light, particularly a special form of light called “red light”, to increased testicular function. (It’s important to note, however, that this is not exactly proven science: one red light study conducted on rams, for instance, was inconclusive.)

If you haven’t heard of red light, or if your only experience with red light is a streetlight or strip bar, you’re not alone. But basically the theory is this: while sunlight has many beneficial effects, such as vitamin D production and improved mood, it is not without its downsides. Too much exposure to sunlight, particularly to sensitive areas like the skin around your precious ball sac, can create sunburn, excess radiation, inflammation and damage. And let’s face it: you don’t want a shrunken, shriveled, dehydrated dick, no matter how impressive the tan.

Red light, however, is different than sunlight. Red light is comprised of light wavelengths in the range of 600-950 nanometers (nm). According to red light therapy proponents, red light works to stimulate ATP production, increase energy available to the cell and in particular, increase the activity of the Leydig cells in your testes, which are the cells responsible for testosterone production.

It’s important to note that there are currently no light therapy devices on the market cleared by FDA for the enhanced production of testosterone LED-based therapy. That said, the treatment is generally considered low-risk, so the products like the one I tried do not require FDA clearance. (A few treatments like LED red-light beds, however, have been approved by the FDA for very narrow indications, like wrinkle reduction, etc.) It also should be noted that most (but not all) of the existing clinical research related to testosterone production and sperm mobility stems from animal studies, not studies involving humans.

There is also another caveat to this — and this is the part where Olli just about scared my pants off (or more appropriately, back on). Many types of lamps and bulbs sold for red light therapy (such as incandescents, heat lamps, infrared lamps that generate red light at greater than 1000nm) give off a significant amount of heat and can actually fry your testicles. So apparently, you have to be careful when you use red light therapy, unless self-castration with a red heating lamp from Home Depot is on your wishlist.

The good Dr. Olli then went on to inform me that each night he lays down on his couch, pulls down his pants, and hugs a big long panel of red infrared light from an LED source at 600-950nm. It sounded just like hugging a giant, warm teddy bear (a very hard and uncomfortable teddy bear, plugged into a wall outlet and generating enough red light to turn the entire room into a video arcade).

I was convinced. The morning after my conversation with Olli, I ordered something called a “JOOVV” (pronounced “Joove”) light. This was the red light he personally recommended and used himself, and I didn’t want to play around with frying my balls to a crisp with a cheapo knockoff, so I spent the big bucks (a grand total of $995) for what the website described as a “full body LED red light therapy device”.

When my JOOVV arrived the next week, I hoisted it downstairs to my office, leaned it against my stand-up desk, pulled down my pants and flipped it on.

I jumped back as best I could with my underwear wrapped around my ankles. Holy hell. Not only was the red light panel itself as wide as my torso and nearly five feet high, but the light coming out of this thing was freaking blinding. I fumbled for the little sunglasses that were included with the light panel and slapped them on. There, much better.

No longer feeling like I was staring into the depths of a semi-truck’s red brake lights, I simply stood there, naked. I replied to a few emails, then checked my watch. Five minutes. That should be good. After all, according to good ol’ Dr. Olli, five to 20 minutes is the sweet spot for red light exposure to your gonads, and I didn’t want to overtrain or excessively fry my little fellas on their first foray into the wonderful world of red light.

The rest of the morning, my crotch felt warm. Alive. So I did it again. Glancing out my office window to make sure the lawnmower guy wasn’t tooling around in the grass, I pulled down my drawers and bathed myself in the heavenly, warm, tingly glow, this time for eight minutes.

That night, my wife and I made love. Admittedly, I felt – well – a unique heavenly, warm, tingly glow in my crotch. Nice.

Two days later, I waited until the evening, then wandered downstairs. I rubbed my hands together, took a deep breath, and flipped my JOOVV on. I called my mom to see how her day was going mom (she had no clue what was going on below the phone). Ten minutes. I read a blog post. Fifteen minutes. My crotch grew more and more warm, but in a pleasant, day-at-the-beach sort of way. I finished an email. Twenty minutes. Mission complete.

That night was date night, and I was a rock star.

I sat at dinner, horny, my penis pulsing, staring across the table at my wife and feeling as though I’d popped a couple Viagra. Later, I blew the biggest load I could recall in recent memory.

And from that point on, for nearly the past seven months, I’ve stuck with twenty minutes of red light exposure on my crotch each day. Actually, I’m afraid to do more. I suspect there must be a law of diminishing returns, and I don’t desire to wind up with my dick looking like a leather handbag. But in the meantime, it is now a daily habit to pull down my pants at my desk, flip on my JOOVV and get my red light on.

Can Specific Foods or Diets Boost Your Testosterone Levels?

Can Specific Foods or Diets Boost Your Testosterone Levels?

What you eat or drink may affect levels of the male sex hormone, but whether a diet can increase libido or energy depends on many things.

By Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D.

Published Nov. 2, 2021Updated Nov. 3, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on The New York Times

Edited for content.

Can I increase my testosterone levels through the foods I eat? And if so, which foods or diets work best?

Many men, particularly as they age, are concerned about their levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone touted to build muscle, sex drive and vigor. But individual foods are unlikely to have an impact on testosterone levels — though drinking excessive amounts of alcohol might. If you are overweight, altering your diet to lose weight may help, since carrying excess pounds is a common cause of low testosterone. But in terms of specific foods or diets, any uptick you achieve may not have a noticeable impact on libido, energy or muscle mass.

“If someone was not overweight, I wouldn’t put them on a specific diet to raise testosterone based on the data we have now,” said Alexander Pastuszak, an assistant professor of urology and surgery at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, who co-authored a review on alternatives to testosterone therapy.

In men, normal testosterone levels range from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Ups and downs within that normal range are unlikely to have any impact on sex drive or vitality. Only when levels consistently drop below 300 points — as confirmed in two blood tests by an accredited laboratory — are symptoms like low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, low mood or loss of muscle mass likely to appear, a medical condition known as hypogonadism.

Starting at around age 40, men’s testosterone levels start to decline by about 1 percent per year. But the drop can vary tremendously, with some older men maintaining levels similar to healthy young men. The trajectory of falling testosterone is steeper among men who gain a lot of weight, said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, professor of medicine at Harvard and the director of the Research Program in Men’s Health: Aging and Metabolism at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Studies on foods or diets and testosterone levels have generally been small and the findings far from conclusive. A recent British review that pooled data from 206 volunteers, for example, found that men on high-fat diets had testosterone levels that were about 60 points higher, on average, than men on low-fat diets. Men who followed a vegetarian diet tended to have the lowest levels of testosterone, about 150 points lower, on average, than those following a high-fat, meat-based diet. Still, Joseph Whittaker, the lead investigator and a nutritionist at the University of Worcester in Britain, said he would not recommend a man increase the fats in his diet unless he had low testosterone levels and symptoms of low T and was already restricting fats.

Another study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tested two styles of diets in 25 fit men between the ages of 18 and 30. Calories consumed were the same, but one group ate a high-fat, very-low-carb, ketogenic-style diet, consisting of 75 percent of calories from fats, 5 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. Men in the other group ate a more traditional Western style, low-fat diet, containing 25 percent of calories from fats, 55 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. After 10 weeks of eating the high-fat diet, testosterone increased by 118 points, on average, while after the low-fat diet, levels declined by about 36 points.

Similarly, a study of 3,000 men found that those who reported eating a low-fat diet had slightly lower testosterone levels — about 30 points lower — than men who ate higher-fat diets. But none of the men had low testosterone.

“The moral is that healthy men who are of normal weight with no significant comorbidities are unlikely to benefit from restrictive diets,” said Dr. Richard J. Fantus, one of the study’s authors and a urologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill.

Diet studies are complicated, because changing one component of the diet, such as fat intake, alters so many other things, such as the amount of carbohydrates, protein and micronutrients consumed. It’s unclear which component of the diet may have prompted the hormonal changes, Dr. Bhasin said. Furthermore, testosterone levels may also be shaped by how much a person sleeps, or whether they are jet-lagged, or if they are eating most of their calories at night or in small meals throughout the day.

Dr. Faysal Yafi, chief of the division of Men’s Health and Reconstructive Urology at the University of California, Irvine, says his patients who opt to follow specific diets tend to start exercising more and drinking less alcohol, all of which can raise testosterone levels. He suspects any links between diet and testosterone may be the result of an overall healthier lifestyle.

Some men worry that eating lots of soy foods may cause their testosterone levels to fall, because soy is rich in isoflavones, which mimic the structure of estrogen. But the evidence doesn’t support their concerns, even if men eat foods like miso, tofu or soy milk at every meal. (Doctors did report one anecdotal case in which a 19-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes who followed a vegan diet containing 360 milligrams of soy isoflavones daily — nine times higher than a typical Japanese diet, and 100 times higher than the typical American diet — developed low testosterone levels along with low libido and fatigue. His symptoms improved when he stopped eating the soy-heavy, vegan diet.)

Long-term alcohol abuse lowers testosterone by damaging cells in both the testes, which make testosterone, and the liver, which alters testosterone metabolism. But binge drinking every now and then does not appear to have much of an impact — it lowers testosterone for only about 30 minutes, according to one study, after which levels bounce back to baseline.

Obese men who have low levels of testosterone can increase levels by cutting calories and losing weight — the type of diet does not matter, studies suggest. On the opposite extreme, Dr. Bhasin said he is seeing an increasing number of men at his clinic who have body dysmorphic issues and are suffering from low libido and fatigue. Strict calorie restriction, exercising intensely and being chronically stressed can all cause testosterone levels to plummet and are likely to blame, he said.

The bottom line is that for otherwise healthy men who are following a reasonably healthy lifestyle, fiddling with specific foods or the composition of the diet is not likely to make much of a difference on the testosterone score card. As Dr. Fantus of NorthShore University put it: “I don’t think there is a way to game the system to get really large increases by changing the diet.”

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that men who ate low-fat diets tended to have higher testosterone levels. Men who ate high-fat diets tended to have the higher T levels.

The article also referred to a 19-year-old man with low testosterone levels who was eating a diet containing 360 milligrams of soy daily; his diet actually contained 360 milligrams of soy isoflavones.

 

How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction?

How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction?

By Katie Wilkinson, MPH, MCHES

Published on September 28, 2021
Medically reviewed by Matthew Wosnitzer, MD

This article is a repost which originally appeared on verywell health

Edited for content.

Erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection for sexual activity. While the occasional failure to get an erection is not uncommon, if it happens consistently, or more than 50% of the time, it may be ED. It can be a temporary experience, or develop into a long-term condition that requires treatment.

Prevalence

On a global scale, ED affects 3% to 76.5% of all men. The wide range is due to the different measures used in studies to evaluate ED.

In the United States, it’s estimated that 30 million men experience ED.2 Worldwide, there are about 150 million men living with ED, and by the year 2025, it’s predicted that over 300 million men will have ED.

Common Causes

ED can be caused by a number of factors relating to physical and mental health, including:

  • Physical and health conditions that involve different systems in the body, such as the vascular, neurological, or endocrine systems; can include issues with nerve signals or blood flow to the penis
  • Side effects from medication, which can include antidepressants, medication to manage blood pressure, tranquilizers, sedatives, ulcer medication, and prostate cancer therapy
  • Psychological or emotional causes such as depression, anxiety, fear associated with sexual performance, general stress, or low self-esteem
  • Lifestyle behaviors and health-related factors that are associated with ED include smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise, and substance (alcohol or drug) use

Risk Factors

Certain risk factors have been found to increase the likelihood of experiencing ED. They can include:

    • Age: The chances of developing ED increases with age, particularly in men over 60 years old.
    • Tobacco use: Research has found that smokers are 1.5 times more likely to experience ED than nonsmokers.
    • High blood pressure (hypertension): About 30% to 50% of people living with hypertension also experience ED.
    • Type 2 diabetes: Between 35% and 90% of diabetic men will develop ED.
    • High cholesterol: Statins used to treat high cholesterol showed improved erectile function.
    • Hypogonadism: This is a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough sex hormones, including testosterone. Since testosterone is necessary for the ability to maintain an erection, people with hypogonadism who are treated with testosterone replacement therapy can see improved erectile function.
    • Obesity: Several studies have indicated that men with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 begin to experience a 1.5 to three times greater risk of ED than those with lower BMIs.
    • Depression: Men living with depression are two times more likely to experience ED. Treating depression with selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can also increase risk of ED.

Stress and anxiety, particularly performance-related anxiety, can also cause issues with sexual activity and erectile function.

Associated Conditions

In addition to diabetes, hypertension, and hypogonadism, the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases also lists the following conditions and diseases as associated with ED:

  • Heart and blood vessel conditions, including atherosclerosis
  • Injuries of the spinal cord, penis, prostate gland, bladder, or pelvic area
  • Prostate or bladder surgery
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Peyronie’s disease, a condition where scar tissue develops and creates a bend in the penis

Treatment

Treatment for ED can take many forms and depends on the root cause of the individual’s ED. Because of ED’s impact on sexual relationships, it’s worth discussing treatment options with your sexual partner.

Lifestyle

Avoiding or stopping the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs may help with ED.

Increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can also be a way to improve erectile function.

Mental Health Counseling

Because emotional and psychological concerns can play a role in ED, speaking with a mental health professional can be beneficial. They can help identify ways to manage anxiety and work through stress that may be impacting sexual performance.

Medication

Oral (PDE5 inhibitors), injectable, or suppository medications can be prescribed to help achieve and maintain an erection. For those with low testosterone (hypogonadism), testosterone replacement therapy may be prescribed.

Treatment may also involve adjusting or changing current medications that hinder the ability to get an erection.

Devices and Procedures

The following devices and procedures can be used to treat ED:

  • Penis pump: This device uses vacuum action to pull blood into the penis to create an erection. It has a tube where the penis is placed and a pump that draws air out of the tube and creates suction. Once the blood is pulled into the penis, an elastic band is placed at the base of the penis to prevent the blood from going back into the body and to keep the erection for about 30 minutes.
  • Arterial repair surgery: Procedures to repair clogged blood vessels in the penis may increase blood flow to allow for erections. This treatment is usually reserved for patients under the age of 30.
  • Implantable devices: These include surgically placed devices that either inflate or include semi-rigid rods to help a person achieve an erection.

A Word From Verywell

While many men might feel embarrassed by their erectile dysfunction, it should be a comfort to know that it is a very common condition, affecting at least 150 million men worldwide. It is also a very treatable condition.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience issues achieving and maintaining an erection. Even though it may be uncomfortable to talk about, proper sexual functioning is a key part of your overall health and well-being.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cleveland Clinic. Erectile dysfunction. Updated October 14, 2019.
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Definition & facts for erectile dysfunction. Updated July 2017.
  3. Kessler A, Sollie S, Challacombe B, Briggs K, Van Hemelrijck M. The global prevalence of erectile dysfunction: a review. BJU International. 2019;124(4):587-599. doi:10.1111/bju.14813
  4. Kalsi J, Muneer A. Erectile dysfunction – an update of current practice and future strategies. J Clinic Urol. 2013;6(4):210-219. doi:10.1177/2051415813491862
  5. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & causes of erectile dysfunction. Updated July 2017.
  6. DeLay KJ, Haney N, Hellstrom WJ. Modifying risk factors in the management of erectile dysfunction: a review. World J Mens Health. 2016;34(2):89-100. doi:10.5534/wjmh.2016.34.2.89
  7. Mourikis I, Antoniou M, Matsouka E, et al. Anxiety and depression among Greek men with primary erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2015;14(1):34. doi:10.1186/s12991-015-0074-y
  8. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Treatment for erectile dysfunction. Updated July 2017.
  9. Urology Care Foundation. What is erectile dysfunction? Updated June 2018.
  10. Nguyen HM, Gabrielson AT, Hellstrom WJG. Erectile dysfunction in young men—a review of the prevalence and risk factors. Sexual Medicine Reviews. 2017;5(4):508-520. doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.05.004
  11. International Society for Sexual Medicine. Can a vasectomy cause erectile dysfunction (ED)?
  12. Ssentongo AE, Kwon EG, Zhou S, Ssentongo P, Soybel DI. Pain and dysfunction with sexual activity after inguinal hernia repair: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Coll Surg. 2020;230(2). doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2019.10.010

Aloe for Male Enhancement: Is It Safe and Does It Work?

Aloe for Male Enhancement: Is It Safe and Does It Work?

Medically reviewed by Joseph Brito III, MD — Written by Rachael Zimlich on June 7, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Healthline

Edited for content.

Aloe vera can be found in many products. It can help boost the moisture content of your skin and even help heal burns and other wounds.

While it may seem like something of a miracle product, it can’t help with everything. In fact, you may want to be cautious before applying it everywhere — including your genitalia.

Keep reading to find out how aloe vera can be used for sexual health and when to avoid it.

What is male enhancement?

Male enhancement is a general phrase used to describe any efforts to improve the appearance, size, or function of genitalia — specifically the penis.

Some common enhancement strategies include:

  • stretches and exercises
  • topical or oral medications and herbal remedies
  • pumps
  • clamps and rings
  • surgery
  • grooming techniques

The goal of these strategies is to increase the size or appearance of the penis, improve erection strength and duration, or resolve ejaculation issues.

In some cases, male enhancement aims to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). This term typically refers to the inability to have or maintain an erection, but there can be varying levels of ED. In many cases, there’s another root issue, like cardiovascular disease or a medication side effect.

Improvement of ED is commonly pursued either for sexual pleasure or fertility purposes. Treatments should be designed based on the goal in mind.

Talk with a doctor about your specific symptoms and goals before beginning any new therapies or medications.

Does research support the use of topical aloe vera for male enhancement?

The use of aloe vera for general health and skin care is fairly common. However, you may be wondering if it could be used for male enhancement.

Most herbal or plant remedies are based in cultural practices, but there’s not a lot of clinical research on some claims of aloe vera benefits, like male enhancement.

Some studies have been done with animals, but the results were generally inconclusive. If anything, some of these studies raised concern about the use of aloe vera for sexual health benefits.

Here’s a breakdown of some relevant research in this area:

  • In a 2011 animal study, topical aloe vera reduced sperm concentration and quality.
  • A 2014 study showed possible benefits to sperm health and hormone levels in mice that received injections of an aloe vera compound.
  • A 2015 study showed that that aloe vera may potentially harm fertility in male rats.
  • There have been reports of libido enhancement with aloe use, but results may vary based on the specific form of aloe.

If you’re concerned about ED or another sexual health issue, talk with a healthcare professional. They can help guide you toward the right treatment for your situation.

Other natural treatments for male enhancement

There are many natural remedies you can try if you’re interested in male enhancement. However, you should always discuss any supplements you’re considering with a doctor first.

Several herbal remedies that have shown promising effects on male sexual health and performance include:

  • L-arginine
  • panax ginseng
  • L-citrulline
  • L-carnitine
  • gingko biloba

Other ways to improve your sexual health and performance include focusing on an overall healthy lifestyle, including:

  • staying active and exercising
  • eating a healthy diet
  • reducing stress
  • avoiding alcohol and other drugs
  • spending time outdoors

While regular exercise and a healthy diet are always good choices, talk with your doctor before starting any new therapies or supplements for male enhancement.

How is aloe vera used?

Aloe vera has been used on the skin and in the body for thousands of years. It can be found in all kinds of products — from juices to lotions.

Oral use of aloe vera usually comes in a pill form or as liquid extract or juice that you can drink. It’s thought to help with the following conditions:

  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • hepatitis
  • inflammatory bowel disease

However, there isn’t enough data to determine if oral aloe is effective for improving these conditions.

Evidence on the benefits of topical use — such as a gel, ointment, or lotion — is clearer, demonstrating that aloe can be helpful in treating:

  • acne
  • lichen planus
  • oral submucous fibrosis
  • burning mouth syndrome
  • burns
  • scabies
  • skin toxicity due to radiation

While aloe vera is generally considered safe, be sure to check the ingredients of the specific product you’re using.

Some oral aloe products may contain additional compounds that could result in side effects or interact with other medications. Even topical products may be mixed with alcohol compounds or other ingredients that can cause irritation.

Are there any possible side effects?

Aloe vera is widely used as both a topical and oral supplement. However, there have been some side effects linked to aloe vera use — either orally or topically — including:

  • liver problems
  • skin irritation
  • stomach pain or cramps
  • diarrhea
  • electrolyte imbalances

To avoid side effects, read the label of the product you’re using to understand all the ingredients it contains. You should also check for safety statements on the label.

For topical uses, it’s also a good idea to do a patch test by applying a small amount of product to an area of skin to test for sensitivity or irritation before applying liberally. This is particularly important when it comes to applying topicals, like aloe vera, to sensitive skin areas, like your genitalia.

The bottom line

There isn’t much evidence showing that aloe vera helps improve the size of your penis or your sexual performance.

However, if you decide to try it as a topical or oral supplement for enhancement, be sure to check the product’s safety, like performing a skin patch test before widespread application.

Always talk with your doctor or another healthcare professional about any supplements you plan on taking and your reason for taking them. They may be able to help treat the source of any sexual health problems you’re facing.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

Take Control of Your Health During Men’s Health Month

Take Control of Your Health During Men’s Health Month

This article is a repost which originally appeared on U HEALTH

Edited for content.

Jun 07, 2021 8:30 AM

Author: Men’s Health Services

Schedule Preventive Health Care

June is Men’s Health Month, making it a great time for men to get schedule preventive health checkups. Only three out of five men get an annual physical and more than 40 percent of men only go to the doctor when they have a serious medical condition.

We’d like to see a change in those statistics. The majority of health issues men face are more treatable and more manageable in the early stages. Preventive care and checkups are important. I encourage men to take control of their overall health, including their sexual health, which is frequently linked to other, sometimes serious, health issues.

Checking every box on your health care list can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re entering the stage of life in which you need to start screening for different possible health issues.

Where to Start

Start with a couple of easy steps.

1. Find a primary health care provider if you don’t already have one. If you do, schedule an appointment.

2. Make small lifestyle changes.

A. Start exercising regularly, if you don’t already. Even a short walk once a day is a great start.

B. Eat a healthy diet. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask your provider for a referral to a registered dietitian, who can help you set realistic goals.

Do You Need a Men’s Health Provider?

If you’re experiencing any of the following conditions, schedule an appointment with one of our men’s health providers, while you’re at it.

  • Erectile Dysfunction. ED is a common condition that can affect quality of life. It’s common in men after prostate cancer treatment and those with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. ED is treatable with medication and with surgery.
  • Peyronie’s Disease. This condition usually happens to older men. If you’ve got a bent penis, and it is affecting your ability to have an erection or to have sex, you shouldn’t live with it. Several treatment options are available to straighten the penis.
  • Infertility. Men are the cause of infertility in a couple about 50 percent of the time.
  • Low Testosterone. Testosterone can decrease as men age, starting at age 30. If you’re feeling tired or like you’ve lost your edge, low T treatment could help you feel better.
  • Testicular Pain. Many men have testicular pain at some point in their lives, but it’s treatable. If you have aching or pain in your testicles, contact one of our men’s health providers.

Men’s health month is a great reason to think about what’s important to you. Taking care of health issues may seem inconvenient, but it’s more convenient now than it will be if you let them continue for longer! Don’t be afraid to talk to a men’s health provider.

We are here for you.

Does Garlic Increase Your Sex Drive?

Can Garlic Improve Your Sex Life?

Written by Rachael Link, MS, RD on May 25, 2021 — Medically reviewed by Kim Chin, RD

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Healthline

Edited for content.

Garlic is a popular ingredient that has been linked to a long list of health benefits.

According to some studies, garlic could help fight inflammation, reduce cholesterol levels, and protect against chronic disease.

Given its many medicinal properties, people may also wonder whether garlic can improve sexual function or increase libido.

This article looks at the evidence to determine whether garlic can increase your sex drive.

May improve blood flow

Some research suggests that garlic may help increase blood flow, which may be beneficial for treating issues like erectile dysfunction in men.

In fact, multiple human and animal studies have found that certain compounds found in garlic can increase blood flow and improve blood vessel function.

What’s more, one study among 49 older men found that a medication containing ingredients like aged garlic extract, ginseng, and velvet antler improved erectile function.

Garlic can also increase nitric oxide levels, a compound that helps blood vessels dilate to promote better blood flow. This could potentially help improve erectile function.

However, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of garlic on erectile dysfunction specifically.

Summary

Garlic may help improve blood flow, which could help prevent erectile dysfunction. However, more human research is needed.

May enhance male fertility

In addition to increasing blood flow, some studies have found that garlic may help promote male fertility.

One review of 18 studies concluded that garlic helped boost sperm production and increase levels of testosterone, which may be due to its antioxidant properties.

In a recent animal study, S-allyl cysteine, a compound found in garlic, increased testosterone production in mice.

Another animal study also showed that aged garlic extract could protect against changes in sperm production and testosterone levels caused by chemotherapy.

Still, further research is needed to determine how garlic may affect male fertility and testosterone levels in humans.

Summary

Although studies in humans are limited, some research shows that garlic and its components could improve male fertility, enhance testosterone levels, and increase sperm production.

Acts as an antioxidant

Antioxidants can not only help protect against chronic disease but also may play a key role in sexual health and fertility.

Fresh garlic and aged garlic extract are rich in antioxidants and can help neutralize harmful compounds known as free radicals.

According to one study among 100 men with infertility, taking an antioxidant supplement increased sperm count.

Interestingly, one study in rats with diabetes found that S-allyl cysteine from garlic improved erectile function by blocking the formation of free radicals.

However, additional studies are needed to understand how the antioxidants in garlic may affect sexual function and fertility in humans.

Summary

Garlic is a good source of antioxidants, which may improve sexual health and fertility.

The bottom line

Garlic is a powerful ingredient that has been linked to many potential health benefits.

According to some human and animal studies, it may improve sexual function by increasing blood flow and enhancing fertility, especially in men.

Still, limited research is available on garlic’s effects on sex drive specifically, and it remains unclear how it might affect sexual function in women.

However, it can easily be enjoyed as part of a nutritious, well-rounded diet to support overall health and protect against disease.

Just one thing

Try this today: When using garlic, be sure to crush or chop it, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before cooking. This increases its content of allicin, a compound responsible for many of the health benefits associated with this popular ingredient.

 

Erectile Dysfunction: Signs & Ways To Eliminate Its Risk

How To Detect The Early Signs Of Erectile Dysfunction & Eliminate The Risk Once And For All

Updated on May 04, 2021, 18:00 IST · 4 min read

By Snehal Sharma

This article is a repost which originally appeared on MENSXP

Edited for content.

It’s not easy to talk about sex, especially if you’re grappling with insecurities.

For the longest time, erectile dysfunction was ascribed to psychological origins. Most ancient cultures, including Ayurveda, believed that ED can be treated with the help of natural herbs such as Indian ginseng, sesame powder, Safed Musli and more.

Today, we know more about its causes and have treatments to address the issue. But before we talk about eliminating the condition, we need to dispel the stigma associated with ED.

Studies have clarified that ED is not just “in your head”. According to a 2017 study by the Department of Urology Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, 20% of men across all age groups battle ED in India and 30% of them are younger than 40.

Most of the times, it is experienced due to an underlying cause that can be treated.

But no cure is possible until men accept the problem and stop shying away from asking for help.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is a condition in which a man experiences difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection during sexual performance.

The symptoms may also include reduced sexual desire or libido. If the condition lasts for more than a few weeks or months, your doctor is likely to diagnose you with ED.

Signs Of Erectile Dysfunction

Every piece of the body—including your emotions, hormones, brain, nerves, muscles and blood vessels—plays an intricate role in male arousal. When any of these isn’t aligned, it results in some kind of dysfunction.

Your mental health impacts your sexual ability equally. Stress, anxiety and other mental health concerns can worsen erectile dysfunction.

Experiencing minor or occasional sexual problems don’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with erectile dysfunction. But lookout for the consistency of these symptoms.

● Reduced or no desire for sex.

● Inability to get an erection.

● Inability to maintain an erection.

Who Is At The Risk?

The risk of ED increases as you age, especially if you have lived a sedentary lifestyle. It can worsen if you:

● Have a psychological condition like anxiety, depression or stress.

● Have an injury that might damage the nerves and arteries that contribute to erections.

● Use tobacco, drugs or alcohol.

● Are overweight.

● Are undergoing radiation treatment for cancer.

● Are taking antidepressants or high blood pressure medications.

● Have heart disease or diabetes.

How To Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

The healthier you are, the easier it’ll be to fight erectile dysfunction. There’s no one-size-fits-all way to prevent ED but you can avoid persistent problems by taking care of its causes and yourself. The following measures may help:

● Reduce stress.

● Take care of your mental health.

● Exercise daily.

● Limit alcohol consumption.

● Quit smoking and stop using recreational drugs.

● Manage diabetes and heart disease.

How Can You Treat Erectile Dysfunction

The causes of ED vary and so does the treatment. Work with your doctor to create a plan that’s best for you.

1. Counselling

If you feel anxious, depressed or have any other mental health concern, seek therapy. Along with consulting a professional, indulge in relaxing activities such as music, painting, poetry or aromatherapy. Geranium oil helps those with low libido.

2. Ayurveda to the rescue

It’s not feasible for everyone to collect and consume the recommended herbs for sexual wellness. But you can always rely on natural supplements that provide men with the right nutrients optimised for better and stronger erections.

3. Lifestyle changes

Manage weight, exercise or do yoga consistently, stop smoking, avoid alcohol and illicit drugs and manage your health with the help of a doctor.

4. Prescribed medication

If the above treatments don’t work, your doctor may prescribe oral medications—like Viagra, Levitra, Aronix, Tadalafil, Stendra and Cialis, self-injection such as an Alprostadil or testosterone replacement.

5. Physical treatments

Penis pump or penile implants. However, these aren’t generally considered until every other treatment has failed.

Final Thoughts

Recognise the symptoms and consult a professional. If you’re diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, your doctor will help you figure out the cause of ED.

Work on the treatment options and before you know it, you’ll start seeing the results.

Vaseline in Place of Viagra: Is It Safe and Effective?

Can You Use Vaseline in Place of Viagra?

Medically reviewed by Matt Coward, MD, FACS — Written by James Roland on March 17, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Healthline

Edited for content.

If you experience erectile dysfunction (ED), you may be willing to try just about anything to restore healthy sexual function.

However, there are plenty of potentially dangerous options that people have tried, including the injection of Vaseline or other petroleum jelly products into the penis.

For many years and in many cultures, the practice of injecting or inserting something into the penis to make it larger or to improve sexual stamina has been done, often without the guidance of medical experts.

If you’re tempted to use Vaseline in place of Viagra or any other approved treatment for ED, don’t waste your time or take the risk. There are plenty of safer and more effective options available.

You may also have heard of topical gels or essential oils for ED, but there has yet to be any evidence to suggest that applying Vaseline as a topical treatment to your penis will have any effect on sexual function.

The science

Numerous studies have shown that injecting Vaseline into your penis is a danger, rather than a cure. The practice can lead to:

  • infections
  • serious skin and tissue injury
  • other medical complications

In a small 2008 study of 16 people who were treated for Vaseline injections, researchers found that “urgent surgery” was necessary to prevent further injury.

A 2012 case report concluded that Vaseline injections are usually done without medical supervision and can lead to severe complications if the petroleum jelly or other foreign objects aren’t removed promptly.

Clinical treatments

Instead of trying risky self-help solutions for ED, consider proven medications and other treatments that have a track record of success.

Oral medications

While Viagra, known clinically as sildenafil, may be the best known ED pills, there are other FDA-approved medications. They all vary somewhat in their:

  • potency
  • how quickly they take effect
  • duration of effectiveness
  • side effects

Other ED medications on the market include:

  • Tadalafil (Cialis). It’s available in a generic form and can be taken daily at low doses or as needed in higher doses.
  • Vardenafil (Levitra). It’s available in brand-name and generic versions. it tends to remain effective a little longer than sildenafil.
  • Avanafil (Stendra). It’s not yet available in generic form, Stendra is unique among ED medications in that it can become effective in about 15 minutes, while others take between 30 and 60 minutes to take effect.

Your lifestyle may help determine the best ED medication for you.

Vacuum pumps

This treatment involves the use of a tube that fits over your penis and attaches to a pump that withdraws air from the tube to create a vacuum.

The vacuum created around your penis helps draw blood to fill the blood vessels within and produce an erection. An elastic ring is also placed around the base of your penis to help maintain the erection.

A 2013 research review noted that the use of vacuum devices to treat ED is usually safe and effective, particularly when combined with ED drugs known as PDE-5 inhibitors, which include:

  • tadalafil
  • sildenafil
  • other standard medications

Penile injections

Certain medications can be injected into your penis to increase blood flow and create a firmer erection for intercourse. Those include:

  • papaverine
  • phentolamine
  • prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) or alprostadil (Caverject, Edex)

There are also combinations of the above medications available.

Penile implants

Some people choose to treat ED with surgically-implanted, flexible, or inflatable rods that you can activate on demand.

Penile implants are generally reserved for individuals who have not had success with other traditional ED treatments.

Alternative treatments

Many safer and more effective alternatives to Viagra are available, including several prescription medications and over-the-counter (OTC) supplements, as well as complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, according to a 2016 research review.

Some people have had success using herbal supplements to treat ED. Some OTC products that have been supported by research include:

  • Korean red ginseng. It’s a plant that grows in Asia and may help both ED and alertness with relatively few side effects.
  • L-arginine. It’s an amino acid that serves as a building block for certain proteins. A small 2019 research review of 10 studies found that L-arginine used in doses of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams significantly improved ED symptoms compared with placebo.
  • Yohimbe. It’s an herbal supplement commonly used in West African cultures, proved to be at least partially effective in treating ED in about one-third of people who participated in an old 1989 study.

Lifestyle changes

In addition, improving your health may improve ED symptoms and provide other benefits, including:

  • more energy
  • better sleep
  • greater cardiovascular fitness

The following lifestyle changes may pay dividends in terms of sexual health:

  • regular aerobic exercise, at least 150 minutes per week
  • maintaining a manageable weight
  • no smoking
  • consuming little or no alcohol
  • maintaining a healthy blood pressure
  • getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night
  • managing stress through meditation, yoga, or other strategies

When to talk with a doctor

The first step in finding the solution that’s right for you is to talk with your primary care physician or a urologist.

And while ED can be an embarrassing and frustrating topic to discuss with anyone, understand that ED is a common condition, affecting an estimated 1 in 3 adults with penises.

In other words, you won’t be the first person to ask your doctor for advice or treatment in this department.

Occasional concern

If ED occurs occasionally, then you may not need any treatment at all. In this case, it may usually be chalked up to:

  • stress
  • fatigue
  • relationship concerns
  • a side effect of misusing alcohol

Keep in mind that ED can be a symptom of many physical and emotional health conditions, including:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • obesity
  • hypertension
  • diabetes
  • depression
  • anxiety

Sometimes treating an underlying condition can lead to improved sexual function.

Persistent concern

If ED is a persistent concern, then a conversation with your doctor is recommended. Your concerns may be an inability to:

  • achieve an erection at all
  • achieve an erection that is firm enough for satisfactory intercourse for you and your partner
  • maintain an erection for the duration necessary for satisfactory intercourse
  • become erect at certain times or with certain partners

Regardless of the nature of your ED, there is a range of treatments that may be helpful. Psychotherapy and relationship counseling may be very helpful too, so you may want to talk with your doctor about referrals for therapy.

But because medications are generally tolerated, the first approach may be a prescription for Viagra or any of the other approved ED medications.

The bottom line

ED can affect several aspects of your life, including self-esteem and relationships, so it’s not something to ignore — especially when viable treatments are available.

And rather than rely on unproven and potentially very harmful treatments on your own — such as injecting Vaseline or any foreign substance into your penis — address this common medical condition with your healthcare professional.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

Sexercise: What is it? Benefits, exercises to try, and more

The benefits of sexercise and how to practice it

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST — Written by Zawn Villines on December 13, 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on MEDICALNEWSTODAY

Edited for content

Sexercise is exercise to improve sexual performance and function, which may make sex more satisfying for a person and their partner or partners.

Celebrity trainer Jason Rosell coined the term sexercise, using it for a specific set of practices to improve a person’s sexual experience.

Physical fitness can affect sexuality by making sex easier and more comfortable, reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) and arousal issues, and helping people feel more confident in their bodies.

Exercise may also reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, that can cause sexual issues.

A person may use the term sexercise to refer to a wide range of activities, while any exercise specifically to improve sex counts as sexercise.

Benefits of sexual activity for health

Healthful, consensual sexual activity of all varieties can improve health.

Some benefits of sex include:

  • Better heart health: Sex involves exercise, which can improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and decreasing the risk of heart disease. A 2020 study found that, following a heart attack, people who had sex more than once per week had a 27% reduction in their risk of dying.
  • A healthier immune system: Regular sex may boost immunity, reducing a person’s risk of acquiring infections and certain illnesses.
  • Better emotional health: Sex – and the exercise that sex involves – may reduce the risk of depression and anxiety.
  • Better self-esteem: People who have satisfying sex may feel good about themselves.
  • Healthy relationships: A strong, healthy sexual connection with a partner may improve the relationship.
  • Better sleep: Sex may help some people fall asleep faster.
  • Stress management: Sex can be a suitable self-care tool that helps relieve stress.

It is important to note that sex in itself does not necessarily improve health.

Non-consensual, painful, or unpleasant sex may cause severe emotional distress, physical injuries, and other health issues.

Benefits of fitness for sexual performance

Exercise can improve sexual performance in many ways:

  • Reducing ED: In people with penises, regular exercise – especially aerobic exercise such as running or walking – may reduce ED. A 2017 meta-analysis found moderate to high-intensity aerobic exercise provided optimal benefits.
  • Counteracting side effects of certain antidepressants on the libido: A 2013 study of females taking antidepressants found that exercising right before sex improved both arousal and global sexual function.
  • Exercise may reduce the risk of chronic medical conditions: These conditions can interfere with sexual performance. For example, diabetes has links with ED, arousal disorders, and some other sexual issues.
  • Improving sexual function: Certain exercises may strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which a person uses during sex. Kegel exercises can help a person orgasm more easily and help with urine leakage and incontinence.
  • Increasing endurance and strength: This may make certain positions and types of sex easier. More endurance may help a person be less tired during prolonged sex sessions.

Exercises to improve sexual performance

Three categories of exercise can help improve sexual performance:

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise increases the heart rate. It can help a person maintain a moderate weight, improve blood pressure, boost overall physical fitness, and may help with ED and general sexual performance. Some exercises to try include:

  • Swimming: Offers an intense but low-impact workout for people with joint or muscle pain.
  • Walking: An ideal starting exercise for people who struggle with more intense workouts.
  • Intense aerobic exercise: Includes running or jogging, jumping rope, skiing, and using a stair-climber machine.

Pelvic floor exercises

Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the pelvic floor – a group of muscles that support the bladder. These muscles also contract during an orgasm. Try the following to work them:

  • Performing Kegels:
    • Locate the right muscles when urinating.
    • Stop passing urine mid-flow for a few seconds, then start again.
    • Repeat a few times daily.
    • Next, try tensing and releasing the same muscles used to stop urinating several times per day.
    • Work up to tensing the muscles for longer: 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, or longer.
  • Exercising the multifidus of the pelvic floor:
    • Lie on the stomach, face down, with the forehead in the hands.
    • Lift the pelvis slightly back to point the tailbone toward the ceiling.
    • Hold for 5–10 seconds, working up to three sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Performing squats: Squats help strengthen the body, and in high repetitions, they can provide an intense cardio workout. They also help strengthen the abs and pelvic floor. Not everyone can do a squat at first. Try squatting down as much as possible without bending the back or taking the heels off the floor, then build up to deeper squats.

Strength and flexibility training

Improving general strength and flexibility may make certain sexual positions easier and more comfortable. Some options include:

  • Yoga and pilates: Both focus activities on improving flexibility and functional movement. People can even adapt some yoga positions into sex positions.
  • Lifting weights: Try lifting weights to improve the strength of various muscles and muscle groups. For example, a person who wants to lift their partner might try bench presses and other exercises that strengthen the upper body.
  • Bodyweight exercises: A person does not need weights to strengthen their muscles. Bodyweight exercises, such as leg raises, knee tucks, and squats strengthen the core, lower body, and pelvic floor. Pushups, pullups, and dips target the upper body, potentially making certain positions easier.

Sex positions that couples can use as exercise

Every sex position may present an opportunity for exercise if it meets one of two conditions:

  • The speed and intensity of the sexual activity are intense enough to elevate the heart rate.
  • The activity is physically challenging. For example, it requires stretching or involves a person lifting additional weight.

Some examples of specific positions that might help sexual partners get a workout include:

  • Positions that require a partner to fully or partially lift another: For example, a person who wraps their legs around a partner while the partner holds them in a standing position requires both partners to bear extra weight.
  • Positions that increase physical intensity and encourage partners to move more: For example, if a person is up against the wall with their legs wrapped around their partner, and the other partner is holding them, the couple is both supporting weights. They may also have to move more to increase stimulation and adjust the position.
  • Positions that encourage gentle stretching: It is important not to force the body into an uncomfortable position. However, extending the legs over a partner’s shoulders or getting into yoga-like positions may increase the challenge of sexual activity.

Summary

Exercise is great for overall health, including sexual health.

For most people, exercise is a safe way to improve well-being and sexual performance.

However, those who do not exercise should talk with a doctor before beginning a new fitness routine.

Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using tertiary references. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.