Stress, anxiety, and erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a well-known condition that concerns about 18 million American men above the age of 20. Some advice the actual number is nearer to 30 million, which may be due to under-reporting.

As you age, your chance for Erectile Dysfunction increases. But having difficulty sustaining an erection isn’t always linked to age. Many men will encounter Erectile Dysfunction at some point. The good news is that the reason for your ED can normally be recognized, and Erectile Dysfunction will often go away with treatment. 

The causes of Erectile Dysfunction can be both mental and physical. The progress of treatment for physical causes depends on your situation. Studies reveal that psychical factors are the most common reason for Erectile Dysfunction. Psychological causes, like emotional and environmental factors, are normally treatable. This includes stress and anxiety. The modern world is accelerating at such a dizzying pace that it’s almost impossible not to feel anxious. Whether your anxiety is caused by modern-day job hunting, social media, existential anxiety or society’s diverse pressures, it can have a significant effect on your sex life. Anxiety can make it difficult to get and maintain an erection. If anxiety is interfering with your erections, there are a number of things you can do. Heightened stress can also boost your risk for other infirmities that may cause Erectile Dysfunction, such as:

  • heart disease
  • high cholesterol levels
  • high blood pressure
  • obesity
  • extreme alcohol consumption

Read on to discover how stress can cause Erectile Dysfunction, how to handle your stress and anxiety levels, and how to prevent Erectile Dysfunction.

How does stress cause erectile dysfunction?

You can encounter three types of erections: reflexive (due to bodily stimulation), psychogenic (due to visual or mental connections), and nocturnal (during nap). These types of erections require important bodily systems and processes. A disturbance in any of these processes can cause Erectile Dysfunction. 

These include:

  • nervous system
  • muscles
  • blood vessels
  • hormones
  • sentiments

Mental health states like stress and anxiety can also influence how your brain motions your body’s physical response. In the case of an erection, stress and tension can disrupt how your brain forwards messages to the penis to allow additional blood flow.

Stress and anxiety about Erectile Dysfunction can also add to a cycle of ongoing Erectile Dysfunction. Undergoing Erectile Dysfunction can point to behavioral variations that contribute to anxiety and incidences of ED. The causes for Erectile Dysfunction differ per age group, but usually follow:

  • Psychological Erectile Dysfunction (essentially nervousness and anxiety) concerns about 90% of adolescents and young men. These issues are somewhat short-lived.
  • Personal and professional stress, such as relationship stress, is the main reason for Erectile Dysfunction in middle-aged men.
  • Physical impotence is the most usual cause for older men, but the loss of a companion and isolation can also generate psychological stress.

The following life situations can also produce sufficient stress and anxiety to lead to Erectile Dysfunction:

  • job issues, loss, or stress
  • relationship issues and conflicts
  • sickness or loss of a close one
  • worry of aging
  • variations in health
  • financial troubles

One research on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) observed that PTSD raised the risk of sexual dysfunction by more than 3 times. Long-term stress and tension can enhance certain hormone levels in your body and meddle with your body’s processes. This can also result in other health conditions that may cause Erectile Dysfunction.

The Dangers of Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is distinct from an immediate blowup of adrenaline due to direct danger like a fire or car wreck. A regular stream of adrenaline carries on your body. But adrenaline is especially hard on your arteries.

Your arteries are like a fire hose. They can manage huge amounts of pressure during stressful moments when your heart pumps strong and fast, particularly when you need added oxygenated blood throughout an emergency. But there’s a cause your heart doesn’t beat 250 times a minute all day long. You can’t manage that consistent pressure.

Chronic stress is like using a fire tube to water your backyard. For ten hours in a row. That burst of high-pressure water will not only wreck your garden, but it’ll also ruin the fire hose if left on too long. Within your body, your blood vessels are that fire hose. They can control the pressure long enough to put out the unusual fire, but can’t manage that kind of pressure all day every day.

Remember, erections are mostly about sufficient blood flow. A chronic high-stress atmosphere will ultimately ruin the way your blood vessels function, critically restricting your ability to get and sustain an erection.

Health circumstances that can cause ED, stress, and anxiety

Stress and anxiety can also worsen or advance into various health conditions. A 2013 study implies that Erectile Dysfunction may also be a risk label for prospective cardiovascular diseases. 

Other health conditions linked with EDinclude:

  • vascular disease
  • high cholesterol
  • nerve impairment
  • high blood pressure
  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
  • low testosterone
  • specific prescription medications
  • prostate cancer or enlarged prostate

Stress and anxiety may result in some lifestyle factors that contribute to Erectile Dysfunction, including:

  • illegal drugs use
  • extreme alcohol consumption
  • tobacco use
  • an inactive lifestyle

Psychological Erectile Dysfunction tends to go away with age. For ED that doesn’t go away, consult your doctor to understand what treatment alternatives are available for you. Treatment depends on what’s prompting your stress and anxiety.

Relieving stress and anxiety to cure erectile dysfunction


Treatment for psychological causes of Erectile Dysfunction typically involves therapy. Therapy can support you break out of the stress or anxiety and ED cycle. There is:

Counseling: You’ll work with a therapist to recognize and approach main stress or anxiety factors so you can control them. 

Psychodynamic therapy: This ordinarily includes addressing a suppressed dispute to help find the original cause of your Erectile Dysfunction. 

Sex therapy: This therapy concentrates on stimulating pleasure rather than arousal and sexual activity. It intends to decrease the stress factor by creating a more secure and stable sex life.

Sexual anxiety therapy: Your specialist will explain ED to you in full detail. This can help lessen problems and problems caused by a lack of awareness. Then your doctor will approach the emotional issues and help you find an answer. Solutions may differ from trying to attain relaxation to reactivating thought.

Alternative therapies

Alternative therapies may also aid with stress and anxiety. Modern treatments comprise:

  • relaxation techniques
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • acupuncture

These treatments may aid you to handle your stress and anxiety levels. Study shows that meditation can improve brain chemistry and lessen stress. 

Also Read: 7 Easy Exercises To Avoid Erectile Dysfunction

But there is not much evidence establishing the effectiveness of these alternative treatments compared to conventional therapies and medications for stress and anxiety. Though, they may give added benefits to the treatments your doctor appoints.

Herbs and supplements for stress, anxiety, and Erectile Dysfunction

Some supplements and herbs are marketed for Erectile Dysfunction as well as anxiety and stress. These supplements comprise:

  • Panax ginseng, a Chinese and Korean herb that comes in the sort of tablets or a cream
  • black maca, a root vegetable helps relieve stress and enhance sexual performance
  • kava, a plant that can help manage anxiety and enhance mood 
  • chamomile, a plant that helps overcome symptoms of anxiety

Constantly talk to your doctor before seeking herbs and supplements for any health matter. Some can generate severe side effects. For instance, kava is acknowledged to cause grave liver damage and is forbidden in many European countries. Other potential side effects of these herbs and supplements involve allergic reactions, nausea, and more. It’s essential to know that herbal medicine is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and not subjected to the severe trials and safety reviews that are needed before the approval of the prescription medication.

Other treatments for erectile dysfunction

ED is often a symptom of an underlying ailment. In some cases, stress and anxiety may boost your risk for Erectile Dysfunction but not cause it. Discuss with your doctor if you have any other symptoms supplementing Erectile Dysfunction. They’ll be able to help diagnose the cause and likely treat it.

The most common treatments for ED include:

  • prescription medicine
  • penis suppository
  • injections
  • a penis pump (vacuum erection device)
  • testosterone replacement
  • blood vessel surgery
  • penile implant

Lifestyle treatments include:

  • psychological counseling
  • sexual anxiety counseling
  • reaching and maintaining a healthy weight
  • reducing alcohol use
  • stopping tobacco use

Your doctor can help

Treatments are usually very successful. The earlier you discuss to your doctor about your symptoms, the earlier they’ll be able to assist you to find a treatment. Erectile dysfunction can be an early warning of several chronic diseases, including heart disease. This is one main reason why it’s essential to discuss Erectile Dysfunction symptoms with your doctor.

Finding a reason for your Erectile Dysfunction can help your doctor recognize and control other health complications that you may be encountering. The conversation about your Erectile Dysfunction problems can be a chance to talk about your overall health.


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