5 Risk Factors for Men’s Sexual Health

Men’s ability to arouse sexually and maintain an erection during sex depends on various factors. Some members of the stronger sex manage to keep sexual health until old age, while others face first problems at in their 40’s. What does this depend on, and what negatively affects sexual activity?

Learn more about risk factors for men’s sexual health in the following article!

Excess weight and potency problems

This isn’t just about physical difficulties, although extra weight may create certain obstacles to normal sexual activity, and this greatly affects the quality of sexual intercourse. The main problem is that the body of an overweight man produces extra estrogens, while the concentration of testosterone (which is responsible for physical strength and endurance and determines the degree of sexual desire) declines. This explains why belly and breasts grow faster, and shoulders become smaller than buttocks.

Even if a man doesn’t have complexes about his appearance, he cannot ignore the internal hormonal processes in his body. Add dyspnea, increased sweating, heart rhythm disturbance with a risk of heart attack and stroke – and you get a very sad outcome. Therefore, those, who have potency problems due to excess weight, should think about healthier diet and lifestyle.

Carbonated Drinks and Soy: How They Affect Male Potency

You would think that we already know all about the potential dangers of consuming sweet carbonated drinks. Such products negatively affect the tooth enamel and provoke weight gain, but few people know that they lead to the accumulation of bromide in the body, causing a decrease in potency1 2 3. Therefore, it is better to reduce the consumption of carbonated beverages, or completely give them up in favor of natural fruits and vegetable juices.

Soya directly affects spermatogenesis by inhibiting sperm production. Soya contains isoflavones, which are structurally close to female sex hormones. Excess weight can only increase the negative effect of consuming products based on soy.

Lack of zinc also negatively affects men’s sexual health. If you don’t like seafood, do not eat nuts, never drink cocoa, or do not like sesame or pumpkin seeds in your cupcakes… then it is time to reconsider your diet 🙂 Zinc is one of the key microelements of sperm, regulating the work of the endocrine and reproductive systems. It stimulates the prostate gland to produce testosterone and increases erectile function, but also the ability to ejaculate and conceive.

Bad Habits:  The Main Culprits of Potency Problems

Many smokers and alcohol lovers will only smile and say that a glass or two of whiskey simply stimulate the desire and passion, and a cigarette after sex is like a breath of fresh air after a summer heat. However, this doesn’t mean that it will always be so. Poisonous substances contained in tobacco smoke accumulate in the body, disrupting the work of all organs and systems, and the main active ingredient, that is, nicotine, narrows the blood vessels and worsens blood circulation, which negatively affects the quality of erection and potency.

Regarding drinks, ethyl-alcohol has a negative effect on the motility of spermatozoa. They are still there, but not all of them are ready for fertilization. If we talk about drugs, then the situation is even worse because personal degradation combined with physical exhaustion all lead to a devastating effect on the body.

Bad Sleep as One of The Causes of Sexual Impotence

The rapid pace of today’s life leaves its mark on men’s daily schedule. They strive for success, spending less time sleeping. As a result, the risk of developing heart failure, neurosis, diabetes, etc., increases. Simple fatigue does nothing good to men’s potency; besides, regular lack of sleep provokes an increase of cortisol concentrations, and a decrease of sex hormones production. Cortisol is an antagonist hormone, and a simple way of measuring testosterone levels is to compare them to the cortisol levels. Short nights increase cortisol production and decrease testosterone production.

Moreover, it has been clinically proven that men who have apnea also have problems with erectile dysfunction, to a greater degree than those who sleep well.

Stress and Low Self-Esteem

Whatever the causes of potency problems, they invariably give rise to insecurity and fear of sex, which further exacerbates a poor sexual health. Instead of enjoying sex, a man might be self-conscious, concerned about his performance. This greatly affects the quality of sexual life. If a man doesn’t receive support from the partner or a counselor, he might be able to overcome his problem.

Add on top of that chronic stress, troubles at work, conflicts within the family environment, this becomes the less-than-optimal environment. Men struggling with such situations might find themselves alone, with no easy way out.

How to Boost Male Potency

For a diet to improve erectile function, the most important element are fats. Testosterone is derived from cholesterol; if possible, include a variety of hormone-free meats in your diet to improve your sex life (in a study published in 2014, processed meat intake was associated with lower total sperm count amongst young men!4). Beef, chicken, and pork contain carnitine, L-arginine, and zinc. Carnitine and L-arginine are amino acids that improve blood flow, which is crucial to sexual response in both men and women.

Fish contains essential omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids which prevent cholesterol formation. We advise consumption of salmon, trout, halibut, chum, pink salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and so on. Other types of seafood can help, such as shrimp, mussels, squid, crayfish, lobsters, crabs, oysters, and sea kale, all well known for improving blood composition.

In conclusion, by maintaining the right lifestyle, any man should be able to  maintain his sexual health for a long time. The rewards for careful and attentive attitude to sexual health are rich and include improved quality of intimate life, as well as an increase of self-esteem, which is invaluable.


  1. Pavelka S. Metabolism of bromide and its interference with the metabolism of iodine. Physiol Res. 2004;53 Suppl 1:S81-90.
  2. Allain P, Berre S, Krari N, Laine P, Barbot N, Rohmer V, Bigorgne JC. Bromine and thyroid hormone activity. J Clin Pathol. 1993 May;46(5):456-8.
  3. Velický J, Titlbach M, Lojda Z, Dusková J, Vobecký M, Strbák V, Raska I. Long-term action of potassium bromide on the rat thyroid gland. Acta Histochem. 1998 Feb;100(1):11-23.
  4. Afeiche MC et al., Meat intake and reproductive parameters among young men. Epidemiology. 2014 May;25(3):323-30.
  5. Vegetarian Bobybuilding, Nutrition and Sexual Performance, (n.d.)
  6. Aravindakshan J. et al., Consumption of xenoestrogen-contaminated fish during lactation alters adult male reproductive function. Toxicol Sci. 2004 Sep;81(1):179-89. Epub 2004 May 24.
  7. Buvat J, Maggi M, Guay A, Torres LO. Testosterone deficiency in men: systematic review and standard operating procedures for diagnosis and treatment. J Sex Med. 2013 Jan;10(1):245-84.
  8. Jorge Ten et al. Occupational and Lifestyle Exposures on Male Infertility: A Mini Review. The Open Reproductive Science Journal, 2008, 1, 16-21

About the Author

Thanks Aleksander Pichkur, from Ukraine, for writing this great article.

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