A soft erection, also known as erectile dysfunction, will prevent you from keeping your erection long enough to have sex. In some, more serious cases, you won't be able to get an erection strong enough to penetrate your partner.
If getting a hard on can seem catastrophic to you, and be very disabling in your sex life, don't panic. Indeed, it may be a temporary problem. You have to wait at least 3 months of recurring problems to go see a specialist.
To begin, you need to determine the cause of your soft erection.
What is a soft erection? What are the causes of soft erection? What if your problem is psychological? What are the treatments for soft erection? When to consult a doctor? How to prevent soft erection?
#1 What is a soft erection?
When you have a hard-on, your penis will become rigid because it will be engorged with blood. For this, it must be stimulated so that the muscles at its base can relax and accommodate the blood flow in the cavernous bodies of your penis. This is commonly called an erection.
However, several elements ( psychological, but also physical ) can stop the machine and cause a soft erection. That is to say that you will have difficulties, see being unable to obtain or maintain an erection sufficient to be able to penetrate your partner. However, this does not mean that you will not be able to feel pleasure. Or even enjoy and ejaculate.
Also be careful to make the difference between a temporary disorder (you are tired, have drunk too much or are momentarily stressed) and a lasting situation. As we saw above, we only speak of erectile dysfunction if they are repeated for each of your reports. And that it lasts for more than three months.
#2 What Causes Soft Erection?
To have an erection that could be considered "normal", you must be in good health. Both psychologically and physically. And in particular not to suffer from any nervous, hormonal, muscular or even circulatory disorders.
In 2013, The Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that 26% of men between the ages of 17 and 40 have difficulty getting an erection. These cases range from moderate to severe. (source)
Also pay attention to the aggravating factors represented by the consumption of tobacco and alcohol. But also weight issues.
The risk of smoking to erectile health is due to the effects of the chemicals in the cigarette on the blood vessels of the penis. An erection occurs when the arteries in the penis expand and fill with blood after receiving signals from the nerves in the penis. Nerves respond to sexual arousal signals from the brain. Even if the nervous system works well, an erection may not be physically possible if the blood vessels are in poor condition due to tobacco (source).
Heavy alcohol consumption is linked to a higher risk of sexual dysfunction. There is indeed a direct link between the number of glasses you drink and the frequency of your sexual performance problems (source).
According to a weight loss study, more than 30% of men who participated regained normal sexual function. These men lost an average of 14 kg over a 2-year period. In addition to weight loss, these men saw a drop in oxidative and inflammatory markers. In comparison, only 5% of men in the control group regained erectile function (source).
To understand the cause of a soft erection, it is also necessary to understand the various external parameters which will precede it. Your erection depends on:
– your sexual arousal : and therefore your libido and your hormonal health; – desire : which is transmitted from your brain to your sex thanks to your nervous system; – the arrival of blood to your sex : which depends on your blood circulation.
Your soft erection can also be caused by physical causes. Here are the main ones:
– A problem with your vascular system. Certain vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, or the accumulation of plaques in your arteries can prevent blood from flowing normally to your sex. – Diabetes : nearly half of people with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction. Indeed, the instability of your glycemic level can disrupt your hormonal system, but also your blood circulation. And therefore the sexual stimulation that will cause your erection.
Boston University Medical Center reports that about half of men diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will develop erectile difficulties within five to ten years of their diagnosis.
If these men also have heart disease, their chances of becoming impotent are even greater (source). However, results from a 2014 study suggest that if you have diabetes but live a healthier lifestyle, you can reduce your diabetes symptoms and improve your sexual health.
These lifestyle habits include a balanced diet and regular physical exercise (source).
– Hypertension : high blood pressure prevents the arteries carrying blood to the penis from dilating as they should. It also causes the penis muscle to lose its ability to relax. Consequently, the blood does not circulate sufficiently in the sex to make it rigid.
#3 What to do if your problem is psychological?
Start by de-dramatizing. Indeed, whatever your age, more than 40% of men admit to having already encountered this problem. If your soft erection is caused by a psychological disorder, solutions can be considered to remedy it. Start by communicating with your partner. You can do this alone or with the help of a sex therapist. This specialist can help you put your finger on what is stuck in your relationship.
If stress is the cause of your erectile dysfunction, avoid anxiolytics which may make the situation worse. Prefer natural solutions such as meditation or yoga.
Also take this erection problem as an opportunity to rediscover your sexuality. For example, you can extend the duration of your foreplay and vary the caresses. In any case, take your time and take advantage of this moment to be more complicit with your partner. And let your excitement build gradually.
Also, don't be ashamed to start penetrating her even if your erection isn't as strong as you'd like. The humidity and the pressure that her vagina will exert on your penis can help. The sensations she will feel will also be pleasant for your partner.
You can also learn to strengthen your perineum. And especially the muscles that you use to urinate. By keeping the blood at the level of your sex, this will serve as a reserve when you have sex. And will therefore significantly improve the quality of your erection.
#4 What are the treatments for soft erection?
If the problem is physiological, your first instinct should be to see a doctor. He alone can prescribe the treatments that will allow you to regain a stronger erection. Here are the main ones.
– Oral treatments. Among the most popular solutions for treating a soft erection are oral treatments, such as erection pills. – Local treatments. You may also be prescribed local treatment. Starting with inserting a suppository into your urethra to help your sex muscles relax. Or even substances that will allow you to have a better quality erection. Again, these solutions are only available by prescription. – Penile prostheses. As a last resort, your doctor may suggest fitting a prosthesis. This solution will only be advanced if all other processing has failed. Or are not suitable for your situation (especially if you have diabetes and oral treatments are ineffective). Be careful, however, to think carefully before making such a decision. In addition to being definitive, it does indeed represent certain risks. There are three types of prostheses: rigid, semi-rigid or inflatable: in this case, you will need to use a pump to fill the parts inside your cavernous bodies with a physiological liquid. And the satisfaction rate of men who have benefited from a penile prosthesis is between 90 and 99%.
#5 When to consult a doctor?
Before going to consult him, you must wait until your soft erection is persistent. Indeed, such treatments will be neither necessary nor useful if you are simply going through a phase of occasional sexual breakdowns.
It is generally advised to wait until these disorders persist for more than 3 months. And that they cause real psychological or physiological pain.
#6 How to prevent soft erection?
Even if you suffer from soft erection, know that this problem can be solved very easily. And that it is in no way reversible. You can also avoid it by taking certain precautions. And by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
– Adopt a healthier diet. In particular, avoid foods that are too fatty, sweet or too salty. – Do sports on a regular and sustained basis. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that exercising regularly and implementing a low-calorie diet can help treat erectile dysfunction in obese men. Regular exercise can also improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and overall well-being. This can help promote a healthy sex life. – Avoid alcohol consumption. Indeed, alcoholism can damage your nerves by causing a persistent soft erection. In any case, drinking alcohol is not recommended if you are taking oral treatment for your erectile dysfunction. – Quit smoking. Smoking will clog your arteries. – Go on a diet if you are overweight.
As for the preventive measures concerning the psychological causes of your soft erection, it is advisable to accentuate your efforts on communication with your partner. Or a sexologist who will allow you to adopt a point of view outside your situation.