Erectile Dysfunction Vs. Performance Anxiety - What’s The Difference?

No, “Erectile Dysfunction” and “Performance Anxiety” are not the same. However, many people out there often get perplexed between the two terms. If you’re also one of them, you should definitely read this blog till the end. Here, you’ll come across the differences in terms of definition, symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Without further ado, let's dive deep into the concept.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a common sexual problem in which men regularly find it challenging to attain or keep their erections. As a result, they are unable to have sexual intercourse or if it obstructs other sexual activities.

Most men experience erection problems once in a while. However, ED is only considered a concern if satisfying intercourse has been impossible on a number of occasions for a couple of months.

What Is Performance Anxiety?

Performance anxiety also called sexual performance anxiety, isn’t an officially recognized physical or psychiatric condition. However, it is one of the most common sex-related complaints. in men.

In general, performance anxiety is the state of being anxious before, during or after sex.This covers a wide range of concerns from whether you’ll be able to perform well in bed to whether you’ll be able to please your partner. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Erectile Dysfunction?

Erection is an intricate process that involves your emotions, brain, hormones, blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. When any of them doesn’t work appropriately, it may lead to some sort of dysfunction. You can identify if you have erectile dysfunction from the following symptoms:

  • Inability to get an erection
  • Inability to maintain an erection
  • Reduced desire for sex

What Are The Symptoms Of Performance Anxiety?

Studies suggest that performance anxiety affects men in different ways. Erectile dysfunction is a symptom of performance anxiety. Other common symptoms include:

  • Premature ejaculation
  • Delayed or blocked ejaculation
  • Loss of sexual interest

Alos Read: Answering All Your Questions About Erectile Dysfunction

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Some of the following factors may cause erectile dysfunction:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Diabetes (high blood sugar)
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Brain or spinal cord injuries
  • Fatigue
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Some types of bladder or prostate surgery
  • Radiation therapy to testicles
  • Hypogonadism (a condition that causes low levels of the male hormone, testosterone)
  • Certain prescription medications including high blood pressure medicines, pain relievers, and antidepressants

What Causes Performance Anxiety?

Performance anxiety is triggered mainly due to negative thoughts. These thoughts can be regarding sex or issues in your everyday lives. Men could feel pressured to satisfy their partners or feel unsure about their ability to perform sexually. Anxiety and fear about body image and penis size may also play a role in sexual performance anxiety. Other likely causes of performance anxiety may include worries about:

  • Relationships
  • Kids or other family members
  • Work
  • Finances

How Is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?

Erectile dysfunction can be treated in several ways, including:

Drug treatments

Men can take oral medications called PDE-5 (phosphodiesterase-5) inhibitors. Take the medication which your doctor recommends for you because each medicine may not be appropriate for everyone. Most of such medications are taken about 30-60 minutes before having intercourse. Viagra is a famous brand of ED medication that’s FDA-approved. Other FDA-approved medicines that are cost-effective include Cenforce, Fildena, and Vidalista.

Vacuum devices

Vacuum erection devices are a mechanical method of producing an erection for men who don't prefer to use medications or can't use one, or find they are not working. The penis is made firm by means of a vacuum pump sealed around it that draws up blood. It is prevented from then leaving the penis by an accompanying band. The lack of naturalness with the use of vacuum devices makes men consider other effective ED treatments.

Surgical treatments 

Following are the two common surgical treatments for erectile dysfunction:

  • Penile implants: This is the ultimate treatment alternative reserved for men who have not had any success with drug treatments and other non-invasive treatments.
  • Vascular surgery: Another surgical treatment for some men is vascular surgery, which tries to fix some blood vessel causes of erectile dysfunction.

How Is Performance Anxiety Treated?

There are numerous ways you can consider to manage your performance anxiety. If performance anxiety is responsible for your ED, treating performance anxiety can also help reduce erectile dysfunction. Some of the best alternatives for managing performance anxiety are listed below:

  • Meditation
  • Talk therapy to reduce stress, depression, and other life concerns
  • Couples counseling to help with relationship problems
  • Education about sex and sexual behaviors
  • Sex therapy to resolve intimacy and performance issues
  • Being open about all your worries and anxieties with your partner
  • Removing stress-causing factors from your life
  • Change in lifestyle, like exercising more and eating better
  • Making your mind free from negative thoughts
  • Focusing on what you can do, not what you think you should do
  • Not rushing sex


So, you have come across the causes, symptoms, and treatment of both erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety. We hope there will be no confusion or misunderstanding between these two terms in the future. Remember, there’s no need to feel embarrassed about discussing these sexual problems with a doctor. These conditions are treatable, and your doctor would be the best source to decide on suitable treatment for you.