Satisfactory sexual intercourse is quite impossible without gaining a penile erection, and plenty of factors contribute to why a man might have difficulty maintaining an erection. In few of the cases, the fix may be as simple as a some of the lifestyle changes, but in others, it may need prescription ED medications to solve it.
How long should erections last? When should you actually get worried? Before getting into how to improve the duration and strength of an erection, let’s get into what is erection and how erections actually take place.
What is an Erection?
An erection is a physical response to sexual stimulation or the arousal but it’s not all involved in the brain. To gain an erection, your nervous system, heart, lungs, hormones, arterial system, muscles, and all must work rightly.
The arousal process starts when you encounter mental or physical stimulation, which sends chemical signals to achieve things moving. Your heart rate boosts up and blood starts flowing to the penile area.
Located in the penile are two long tube-like tissues that run down either side of the penile shaft known as the corpus cavernosum. Another tube surrounds the urethra and that is called the corpus spongiosum. All of these are sponge-like in formation, and during stimulation, the blood vessels in the penile relax and blood flows into the tissues. The tissues then fill with blood, inflating them much just like a balloon filled with water, to the point of erection. As it fills with blood, the veins that usher blood out of the penile area are closed, helping to keep blood in the penile area. When the process is completed perfectly, the penile contains the amount of blood that it normally does when flaccid.
Three distinct types of erections can take place:
Reflexive: This erection happens when direct physical contact is made with the penile area itself or with some erotic areas present on the body. It can be involuntary and can occur without sexual or stimulating thoughts.
Psychogenic: As opposed to physical stimulus, the erection happens due to mental stimulation, fantasies, or viewing erotic materials.
Nocturnal: It’s quite common for men to experience as many as five erections during sleep. They are often the result of several areas of the brain being activated at the time of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, but can also be reflexive at times.
When arousal or stimulation has totally stopped, or post orgasm & ejaculation have happened, the blood drains away from the penile area and it reverts to its flaccid state.
The Stages of Achieving an Erection
- If everything goes as per the plan, there are three stages occur during the process of achieving an erection.
- The first stage is when the penile is in normal state: soft and flaccid. No sexual arousal is happening, and the blood that flows in and out of the penile is equal.
- When sexual stimulation happens and a guy becomes aroused, the second state starts. In this stage, the penile becomes swollen as the brain and the nerves alter the blood vessels and tissues of the penile and enhances the amount of blood flowing in. The penile swells up as blood is trapped.
- The last phase is when an erection is gained. By pinching veins shut & preventing blood from leaving the penile area, the increase in blood flow into the penile forms an erection firm enough to engage in best sexual intercourse.
How Long Should an Erection Last?
The duration of the penile erection will vary from one man to the other and there is no specific time for an erection to last. They typically last anywhere from some minutes to a half-hour but can last longer for few of the men. Erections will continue as long as good amount of stimulation continues and end when the stimulation has stopped or orgasm has been gained.
It can be possible to gain orgasm without any possible erection, so this may not always be the case. Excluding foreplay, the average time that vaginal intercourse lasts is over five minutes. Naturally occurring nocturnal erections commonly stays between 25 and 35 minutes, but these are without stimulation to begin or orgasm to finish.
Overall, the duration and the intensity vary for every man is based on the contributing factors. These factors involve:
- Activity (whether sex or masturbation)
- Alcohol or drug use
- Emotional state
- Level of energy
- Level of arousal
- Penile sensitivity
- Prescription or OTC medications
- Levels of Testosterone
While there is no perfect time frame to expect when gaining an erection, there is a limit. An erection that has persisted for more than four hours or so, naturally or post taking oral medication, could be an early sign of priapism. This is a serious condition and may need immediate medical help to resolve it safely and before the damage is done.
How To Increase the Duration of an Erection?
If you’re struggling with sustaining an erection, you may be experiencing ED for sure. Plenty of factors could be contributing to it, but only a few treatments are possible. The best treatments are prescription based oral medications like sildenafil (Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), or vardenafil (Levitra®). These kinds of drugs have been used by plenty of men and can boost up blood flow to the penile area to gain an erection that is suitable for satisfactory sexual sessions. The effects of these oral medications can vary in length, with the help of Viagra working for about 4 hours and the effects of this can stay for as long as 36 hours.
Lifestyle changes to keep erection for long:
There are some ways that you can naturally increase the quality and the time of your erections, with a few lifestyle changes:
Quit smoking: Not only can smoking reduce the strength & the ability of your heart and the lungs, but the nicotine present in tobacco is a known vasoconstrictor that will tighten arteries and blood vessels. This can lead to an enhance in blood pressure and cut down the overall blood circulation, both of which can impact your erections.
Eat a balanced diet: Foods that are high in sodium, processed foods, and red meat can all be a reason to plugging up the arteries and will have a negative effect on the flow of blood. Eating extra fruits, vegetables, whole grains can help to improve your flow of blood to gain erections.
Get more exercise: Walking for as little as 30 minutes daily can increase your cardiovascular strength and also help you to improve your blood flow.
Follow all the necessary habits and all of the doctor’s instructions and get your problem of ED treated with the help of natural process or with the help of prescribed oral medications.