An erection is induced when the blood vessels of the penile tissues known as corpora cavernosa relax and open up, blood rushes in through the vascular passages to fill them. The blood thus reached the penile chambers and gets trapped under high pressure, promoting an erection. The penile starts becoming stiffer with sensory and sexual stimulation and becomes fully erect after attaining a sexually aroused state.
Ideally, an average erection may last from a few minutes to roughly half an hour or even longer. But know that there is no universal set time for the length of sexual activities as well as the duration of an erection as it varies from individual to individual depending upon your level of sexual stimulation, how long it typically takes for you ejaculate and a long list of other factors.
Factors Disrupting The Erections
The quality of an erection, as well as its duration, varies among individuals as it is dependent upon various physiological and psychological factors. In general, erectile problems due to physiological factors are prevalent in older men whereas psychological factors are common among younger men.
Some psychological problems associated with it may include stress, anxiety, depression, guilt, fatigue, fear, trauma, and low self-esteem. It has been observed that performance anxiety plays a huge part in erection failure which is primarily caused due to negative thoughts. Performance anxiety is an indication of poor body image or your inability to please your partner. It can be very disruptive as it gives men a hard time getting or maintaining an erection.
Also, several physiological conditions like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, hormonal imbalances, high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney or liver dysfunction, and high blood pressure can be indicated through erectile malfunction. These conditions can lead to chronic erectile dysfunction.
Stages Of An Erection
The penile in the initial stage is soft or flaccid which is its normal state. It usually remains flaccid in the absence of sexual arousal or stimulation. For becoming stiffer it requires some stimulation via sight, touch, or visuals. During the flaccid stage, the blood flow throughout the penile is steady and even.
The next stage causes the penile to swell as the brain sends a signal of sexual stimuli to the nerves in the penile indicating sexual arousal. The nerves initiate the process of vascular expansion for supplying abundant blood to the penile chambers.
The final stage arrives when the penile becomes fully erect as some sort of stimulation continues. The brain and nerves persistently supply more blood and at one point restrict blood flow from it. Thus, it culminates into a harder erection.
Things You Should Do To Make Your Erection Last Longer
Try doing some aerobic exercises that can help boost the level of oxygen in your blood. It can include activities like walking, running, swimming, or cycling. Your breathing and heart rate will increase during these activities. It helps keep the heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy.
You can also consider anaerobic exercises which require you to do some weightlifting or sprinting and involve quick bursts of energy. Anaerobic exercises differ from aerobic exercises. Anaerobic activities are performed at maximum effort for a short time while aerobic exercises have to be performed for a sustained period.
In addition, anaerobic exercise can also help enhance the natural production of testosterone in the body which is a substantial factor in erectile strength and sex drive.
Regular exercise improves blood pressure and boosts the production of nitric oxide in blood vessels. The nitric oxide thus produced is needed for the muscles in the penile to relax. This relaxation allows the chambers inside the penile to swell and fill with blood causing the penile to become erect.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking gradually degrades your sexual function. The harmful chemicals present in cigarette smoke get absorbed in the bloodstream and over time it starts affecting the organs of the body.
Excessive smoking injures the linings of the penile blood vessels and it reduces the levels of nitric oxide which is the vital substance for causing an erection to take place. Smoking impairs blood circulation in the penile leading to erectile difficulties. It is also known to decrease sperm count.
- Limit Alcohol
There is nothing wrong with occasional drinking. However, its regular consumption can interrupt the normal function of the central nervous system. Since alcohol is a depressant and has psychoactive properties that can interfere with the messengers in the brain that send signals to the penile nerves for inducing an erection.
Alcohol affects the ability to sustain an erection. It is also known to reduce the production of testosterone and lower sexual desire.
- Increase Your Zinc Intake
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in many aspects of health including growth, immunity, and reproduction. It is necessary for the production and regulation of many hormones including testosterone which is the main sex hormone in men.
Zinc deficiency can lead to sexual dysfunction but too much of it is not good for you either. Rather than taking supplements, you can get sufficient amounts of zinc by consuming foods such as oysters, meat, and fortified bread cereals for maintaining appropriate levels.
- L-arginine and erectile function
L-arginine is an essential amino acid that is the biological precursor of nitric oxide. It serves as an important signal effector molecule. L-arginine after its conversion into nitric oxide, help relax the blood vessels of the penile and increase the flow of blood and promote erection. Healthy levels of nitric oxide improve the quality of erections. Some soy products and leafy green vegetables are great sources of L-arginine.
Seek Professional Help
Sometimes you might not even need to see a doctor to resolve your erectile troubles. Occasional failures results due to some bad habits and choices that you deliberately make. By inculcating some good habits and embracing some lifestyle changes, you can certainly manage your sexual health.
However, you should talk to your doctor if your erection span bothers you. The doctor may be able to help you identify a root cause, such as medication or emotional issues, and can also suggest an appropriate treatment.
There is no set-in-stone rule about how long an erection should last. Scientific research shows that the erections you get usually lasts for 25 to 35 minutes each, while for most people, sexual activity lasts for anywhere from under a minute to 40 minutes.