When a man has difficulty getting erect or achieving orgasm, there is reason to be concerned. An underlying medical condition, whether physical or psychological, could be to blame. But one overlooked cause of erectile dysfunction is medication; a wide variety of pharmaceuticals can negatively impact sexual performance and penis health. Men should consult a doctor to rule out other causes of performance problems and inform their doctors of any medications they are taking.

Medications that impact erectile function

The following types of medication can inhibit erections and/or orgasms:

- Diuretics

- Blood pressure medication

- Antidepressants

- Antiepileptics

- Anti-anxiety medication

- Antihistamines

- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

- Parkinson’s medication

- Antiarrythmics

- Muscle relaxants

- Chemotherapy medication

- Prostate cancer medication

- H2-blockers (used to treat duodenal or gastric ulcers)

What men can do

First off, a man should never stop taking a medication without consulting with a doctor. In some instances, this could be dangerous, and it may turn out that the medication is not even the real culprit behind erectile issues. The first step is to receive a diagnosis, then implement a plan with one’s doctor.

If medication is the source of difficulties in the bedroom, a man has some choices to make. In certain cases, stopping a medication may not be worth it - for example, if a man takes a medication for his heart or as part of cancer or Parkinson’s treatment. In these instances, it may be better to pursue other methods of restoring erectile function, such as penis pumps or medications designed for this purpose.

In other cases, though, a man may - with doctor input - choose to wean off medication and pursue a more natural route for treating whatever condition the stuff was prescribed for. Here are some possibilities:

- Men who take diuretics can try getting the same effect from their diets. Citrus fruits and juices, pineapple, blueberries, grapes, asparagus, beets and leafy greens are all options. And, of course, plenty of water intake doesn’t hurt.

- If blood pressure levels are not dangerously high, men may take natural measures such as weight loss, sodium reduction, healthy diet, exercise, smoking cessation, limited alcohol intake and stress reduction to lower their levels. Men who need medication to manage blood pressure can still take these natural steps with the hopes of one day no longer needing pharmaceutical assistance.

- Men may try natural approaches for dealing with anxiety and/or depression, such as psychotherapy, relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes.

- Instead of using antihistamines to combat allergies, men can try nettles, bromelain, olive leaf extract and/or vitamin C. A naturopath can help guide a man through natural allergy treatments.

- There are several food sources that fight inflammation, serving as potential alternatives to NSAIDs. These include ginger, turmeric, salmon, walnuts, blueberries and garlic.

- If men are taking muscle relaxants for pain and spasms, they may be better off relying on massage therapy to promote muscle relaxation. Men may also benefit from physical therapy, ergonomic training or relaxation techniques, depending on the cause of their tension.

- There are several different medications used to manage ulcers; men may consult with their doctor about trying something other than H2-blockers if these are believed to be impacting penis health.

If medication is truly the culprit of performance dysfunction, functionality should return shortly after use is ceased. If the natural measures a man takes to manage his health conditions do not work, he should renew communications with his doctor and change approaches.

Men who want to go the extra mile in terms of penis care while staying on the natural path may want to consider adding a penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) into the mix. Such a product will not restore erectile function, but it will provide the member with vitamins, antioxidants and moisturizers that support circulation, nerve function and smooth, supple skin. Look for vitamins C, A and B5 on the ingredient list.