Does nitric oxide help sexually? Discover how NO can help improve your sexual function including improving erectile dysfunction and PE.
Does nitric oxide help sexually? Given how sexual function issues are incredibly anxiety-inducing, this is an important question to answer.
People who deal with things like premature ejaculation (PE) and erectile dysfunction (ED) often spend a lot of time researching what's causing the problem. Inevitably, nitric oxide comes up as an option.
Nitric oxide can boost sexual performance by supporting stronger erections, increasing lubrication in women, and preventing premature ejaculation.
While both can help with having stronger erections, they are not the same. Viagra is a prescription medication, and nitric oxide is a molecule produced by the body.
A few symptoms that may be a sign of low nitric oxide include vision changes, high blood pressure, and fatigue.
Nitric oxide (NO) is vital to encourage blood flow and support many biological functions. But can nitric oxide help erectile dysfunction or other sexual issues when taken in supplement form?
Nitric oxide can help people sexually through supporting stronger erections, preventing premature ejaculation, and increasing lubrication in women. Scientifically, nitric oxide is a type of gas the human body produces when dietary nitrates are metabolized.
NO is often referred to as a "signaling molecule" because it mediates different physiological processes by signaling certain cells. This one molecule influences the nervous system, immune response, blood circulation, and more.
NO is so important, in fact, that it has some role or influence on almost all organ and cellular functions. Therefore, nitric oxide does play an important role in human sexual function, but in different ways.
Here’s more information how nitric oxide and sex go hand in hand.
One of the most noteworthy roles of nitric oxide in sexual function is supporting strong erections. The smooth muscle tone in the penis governs whether the penis is erect or flaccid (soft).
In order for an erection to occur, the smooth muscles of the penis must relax, which allows blood to fill the blood vessels and cause an erection.
Nitric oxide is the primary agent that encourages the penile muscles to relax to allow blood flow to the area. Therefore, lacking NO or low NO could mean the smooth muscles don't relax enough to allow proper blood flow to infiltrate and create a strong erection.
It is common knowledge that men who have heart disease are often at risk of ED. Not surprisingly, men who have issues with heart disease also have a defect in terms of nitric oxide activity.
Premature ejaculation is the most common type of sexual dysfunction in men, but even this common problem may be influenced by nitric oxide.
PE is a diverse issue that can have many underlying causes, including performance anxiety, stress, hormones, and genetics.
While there are variances as far as what constitutes PE, PE is diagnosable when ejaculation happens within 1 to 4 minutes of starting sexual activity.
Despite the research into nitric oxide and PE being relatively limited, at least one study has pointed out that low NO is associated with ejaculating too quickly during sex.
Researchers suggested that nitric oxide may affect both peripheral and central mechanisms that control ejaculatory times.
Even though nitric oxide and sex are assumed to be topics associated only with male sexual function, NO also supports female sexual function.
NO happens to be critical for vaginal lubrication, and vaginal lubrication is critical to enjoyable sex. Lubrication is a physiological process that relies on ample blood flow to the vagina and clitoris. The signaling molecule NO regulates both clitoral and vaginal blood flow.
Estrogen plays a role in influencing the physiological process that takes place during female arousal. However, without endothelial NO production, proper blood flow to the female genitalia and resulting lubrication can be interrupted.
Viagra and nitric oxide are not the same things, even though both can encourage stronger erections.
Viagra (sildenafil) is a prescription medication used to treat erectile dysfunction. This medication is classified as a PDE-5 (phosphodiesterase 5) inhibitor, which means Viagra works by blocking the enzyme (PDE-5) that plays a part in regulating blood flow to the penis.
However, by inhibiting PDE-5, Viagra also enhances the vasodilation that occurs due to the presence of NO.
Nitric oxide is produced by the body on its own. It’s necessary to relax smooth muscles in the penis to encourage blood flow and cause an erection.
Both Viagra and nitric oxide may help with ED but in different ways.
Signs of low nitric oxide are not always straightforward, and symptoms can vary depending on the individual.
Because lacking NO can impact many bodily processes and functions, it can be difficult to pinpoint that nitric oxide deficiency is the root cause of certain symptoms. Nevertheless, NO deficiency may lead to certain signs, such as:
Naturally, due to the many ways that nitric oxide influences sexual function, issues with sexual function may potentially be an indicator of low NO.
Adjusting your nutritional intake can be one of the best ways to support NO levels in the body. Foods that enhance nitric oxide levels are rich in what are referred to as dietary nitrates.
A few foods to include in your everyday intake include:
With these foods in mind, you may be able to boost nitric oxide before sex by eating certain foods. It might result in positive outcomes with sexual function.
However, a simpler way to keep nitric oxide levels in a good place is to look for supplements that contain nitrates known to boost NO levels automatically.
For example, VitaFLUX daily supplements from Promescent contain ingredients like L-arginine and L-citrulline to naturally enhance the production of nitric oxide in the body.
These supplements support sexual function through NO production, as well as hormone support, which is just as important to satisfying sex.
Nitric oxide is a gaseous molecule naturally produced by the human body. It is hugely important to proper sexual function for both men and women.
Proper NO levels may help with everything from PE and ED to vaginal lubrication. A number of foods can possibly support nitric oxide and sex, such as watermelon, beets, and dark chocolate.
If you suspect low NO levels are interfering with your sexual performance, taking a NO-boosting supplement like VitaFLUX may be the simplest route to better sex.
Our team has over a decade of experience in the sexual wellness field and are experts in sexual dysfunctions, like premature ejaculation. We help couples and individuals better understand treatment options available for different types of sexual needs and educate the public on all things related to intimacy. All of our authored content is medically reviewed for accuracy and reliability.
Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
Tuteja N, Chandra M, Tuteja R, Misra MK. Nitric Oxide as a Unique Bioactive Signaling Messenger in Physiology and Pathophysiology. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2004;2004(4):227-237. doi: 10.1155/S1110724304402034. PMID: 15467163; PMCID: PMC555773. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Luiking YC, Engelen MP, Deutz NE. Regulation of nitric oxide production in health and disease. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Jan;13(1):97-104. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328332f99d. PMID: 19841582; PMCID: PMC2953417. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Cartledge J, Minhas S, Eardley I. The role of nitric oxide in penile erection. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2001 Jan;2(1):95-107. doi: 10.1517/14656518.104.22.168. PMID: 11336572. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Mark E. Sullivan, Cecil S. Thompson, Michael R. Dashwood, Masood A. Khan, Jamie Y. Jeremy, Robert J. Morgan, Dimitri P. Mikhailidis, Nitric oxide and penile erection: Is erectile dysfunction another manifestation of vascular disease?, Cardiovascular Research, Volume 43, Issue 3, August 1999, Pages 658–665, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0008-6363(99)00135-2. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Tsai WK, Chiang PK, Lu CC, Jiann BP. The Comorbidity Between Premature Ejaculation and Erectile Dysfunction-A Cross-Sectional Internet Survey. Sex Med. 2019 Dec;7(4):451-458. doi: 10.1016/j.esxm.2019.06.014. Epub 2019 Sep 17. PMID: 31540883; PMCID: PMC6963126. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
El-Hamd MA, Saleh R, Majzoub A. Premature ejaculation: an update on definition and pathophysiology. Asian J Androl. 2019 Sep-Oct;21(5):425-432. doi: 10.4103/aja.aja_122_18. PMID: 30860082; PMCID: PMC6732885. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Otunctemur A, Ozbek E, Kirecci SL, Ozcan L, Dursun M, Cekmen M, Ozdogan HK. Relevance of serum nitric oxide levels and the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors treatment on premature ejaculation: decreased nitric oxide is associated with premature ejaculation. Andrologia. 2014;46(9):951-5. doi: 10.1111/and.12179. Epub 2013 Oct 11. PMID: 24118023. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Musicki B, Liu T, Lagoda GA, Bivalacqua TJ, Strong TD, Burnett AL. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase regulation in female genital tract structures. J Sex Med. 2009 Mar;6 Suppl 3(S3PROCEEDINGS):247-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01122.x. Epub 2008 Dec 5. PMID: 19138376; PMCID: PMC2656393. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
"Sildenafil - MedlinePlus." Medlineplus.gov, 2018, Medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a699015.html. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Dishy V, Sofowora G, Harris PA, Kandcer M, Zhan F, Wood AJ, Stein CM. The effect of sildenafil on nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation in healthy men. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2001 Sep;70(3):270-9. doi: 10.1067/mcp.2001.117995. PMID: 11557915. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Becquet F, Courtois Y, Goureau O. Nitric oxide in the eye: multifaceted roles and diverse outcomes. Surv Ophthalmol. 1997 Jul-Aug;42(1):71-82. doi: 10.1016/s0039-6257(97)84043-x. PMID: 9265703. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Hermann M, Flammer A, Lüscher TF. Nitric oxide in hypertension. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2006 Dec;8(12 Suppl 4):17-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-6175.2006.06032.x. PMID: 17170603; PMCID: PMC8109558. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Meeus M, VAN Eupen I, Hondequin J, DE Hauwere L, Kos D, Nijs J. Nitric oxide concentrations are normal and unrelated to activity level in chronic fatigue syndrome: a case-control study. In Vivo. 2010 Nov-Dec;24(6):865-9. PMID: 21164046. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Hosseini M, Dastghaib SS, Rafatpanah H, Hadjzadeh MA, Nahrevanian H, Farrokhi I. Nitric oxide contributes to learning and memory deficits observed in hypothyroid rats during neonatal and juvenile growth. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2010;65(11):1175-81. doi: 10.1590/s1807-59322010001100021. PMID: 21243293; PMCID: PMC2999716. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Dhir A, Kulkarni SK. Nitric oxide and major depression. Nitric Oxide. 2011 Apr 30;24(3):125-31. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2011.02.002. Epub 2011 Feb 16. PMID: 21335097. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Hamza M, Wang XM, Wu T, Brahim JS, Rowan JS, Dionne RA. Nitric oxide is negatively correlated to pain during acute inflammation. Mol Pain. 2010 Sep 15;6:55. doi: 10.1186/1744-8069-6-55. PMID: 20843331; PMCID: PMC2949722. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Morihara N, Sumioka I, Moriguchi T, Uda N, Kyo E. Aged garlic extract enhances production of nitric oxide. Life Sci. 2002 Jun 21;71(5):509-17. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(02)01706-x. PMID: 12052435. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Fraga CG, Litterio MC, Prince PD, Calabró V, Piotrkowski B, Galleano M. Cocoa flavanols: effects on vascular nitric oxide and blood pressure. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2011 Jan;48(1):63-7. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.11-010FR. Epub 2010 Dec 28. PMID: 21297914; PMCID: PMC3022066. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Kroll JL, Werchan CA, Rosenfield D, Ritz T. Acute ingestion of beetroot juice increases exhaled nitric oxide in healthy individuals. PLoS One. 2018 Jan 25;13(1):e0191030. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191030. PMID: 29370244; PMCID: PMC5784918. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Milkowski A, Garg HK, Coughlin JR, Bryan NS. Nutritional epidemiology in the context of nitric oxide biology: a risk-benefit evaluation for dietary nitrite and nitrate. Nitric Oxide. 2010 Feb 15;22(2):110-9. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2009.08.004. Epub 2009 Sep 11. PMID: 19748594. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Mortensen A, Lykkesfeldt J. Does vitamin C enhance nitric oxide bioavailability in a tetrahydrobiopterin-dependent manner? In vitro, in vivo and clinical studies. Nitric Oxide. 2014 Jan 30;36:51-7. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2013.12.001. Epub 2013 Dec 9. PMID: 24333161. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Kim IY, Schutzler SE, Schrader A, Spencer HJ, Azhar G, Deutz NE, Wolfe RR. Acute ingestion of citrulline stimulates nitric oxide synthesis but does not increase blood flow in healthy young and older adults with heart failure. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Dec 1;309(11):E915-24. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00339.2015. Epub 2015 Oct 6. PMID: 26442881; PMCID: PMC4669336. Accessed on Dec, 13, 2022.
Your Cart Is Empty