Stress is inevitable in everyday life. It can arise from a variety of sources, from the demands of a corporate job to a strain in a personal relationship.
But it can also be the cause of several medical conditions, erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence, being one of them.
But hold on for a minute. Can stress cause erectile dysfunction?
Let’s take a look at the facts first. Affecting over 18 million men in the United States alone, erectile dysfunction is a disease with a noteworthy prevalence among older men.
It’s even been said that 50% of the entire male population worldwide will experience erectile dysfunction in their lifetime.
While many of these cases are just short-term or situational erectile dysfunction, there are also many cases wherein ED persists and doesn’t go away on its own.
The source of said ED is multifactorial, meaning that it can come from a range of different factors. While some cases of ED can be caused by a clinical condition, others occur from psychological problems such as stress and anxiety.
But whether it’s a one-time issue or a long-term battle with impotence, the connection between stress and erectile dysfunction is clear: Stress can cause ED.
How Does Stress Affect Erectile Dysfunction?
To fully understand the impact that stress has on ED, we need to take a look at how exactly your body reacts when you’re stressed out.
When you’re feeling stressed and anxious, your brain signals the release of two chemicals in your body. These are:
Adrenaline is a neurotransmitter produced by the adrenal glands that signal the body to enter its “fight-or-flight” mode. This helps you recognize and deal with incoming dangers in your immediate surroundings. It’s also responsible for elevating your blood pressure and bolstering blood vessel contractions.
Once the dust settles, the hormone cortisol gets released over time as a response to the feeling of chronic stress. If the body’s cortisol levels are lacking, it may lead to diseases like Addison’s disease where patients suffer from weight loss and fatigue.
The fact of the matter is that cortisol and adrenaline can affect your blood flow by restricting it.
Your penis happens to be one of the most sensitive organs of the male body; hence, any changes in blood flow can unequivocally cause ED.
In addition to that, stress has been linked to medical issues like high blood pressure and heart disease. These issues are common erectile dysfunction symptoms and are major contributors to the development of erectile dysfunction.
What is Psychological Erectile Dysfunction?
Psychologically induced erectile dysfunction is when your erection problems happen as a result of psychological factors.
Stress may be part of the problem, but it’s also just one possible factor in psychologically induced ED.
What Causes Psychological ED?
The most common causes of psychological ED include the following:
- Stress: Financial, marital, and psychological states can affect your ability to maintain and achieve an erection.
- Anxiety: Anxiety disorders contribute to feelings of extreme uneasiness and tension. Everyone has felt anxiety at some point in their life, but if it finds its way into your sexual life, unmanaged anxiety can manifest itself as psychological ED, impacting your sexual performance.
- Depression: Depression impairs sexual function through physiological, psychological, and relationship factors. Sexual dysfunction in depressed men was also exacerbated when they took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like anti-depressants.
- Low self-esteem: It’s very hard to maintain an erection when you don’t feel good about yourself. Low self-esteem is a player in psychological ED and performance anxiety, and may even manifest itself as a physical symptom of erectile dysfunction.
- Relationship problems: Marital or relationship issues are a common source of psychological ED. If the two of you aren’t connecting sexually, it may be hard to think about being sexual with your partner. Relationship problems can contribute to an affair that is sometimes the result of unresolved sexual issues.
If you’re worried about the impact psychological ED has on you and your partner’s wellbeing, consult with a medical professional today to go over a possible treatment plan.
Treatment for Psychological Erectile Dysfunction
Psychological ED has many causes, so there isn’t a one size fits all approach to treating it.
There are many options to treat erectile dysfunction, but the first step is to consult with your doctor or general practitioner. Your doctor will need to examine you and compile a health history before making any recommendations.
The following tips are some recommendations that can help you improve your bouts of psychologically induced erectile dysfunction.
Undergo a Stress Management Program
Stress management programs tend to involve diaphragmatic breathing exercises, supportive group sessions, and muscle relaxation techniques.
Ask a clinic near you if they offer customized living programs to incorporate positive lifestyle changes into your daily life to reduce stress.
Talk to Your Partner
You and your partner should be on the same page when it comes to your needs and wants. It’s important to open up about anything that may interfere with your relationship so that you can move forward together.
Determine the Impact of Medication
People with mental health problems and ED find themselves in a finicky spot; the medicine they need to treat depression and mental health conditions may also worsen symptoms of sexual dysfunction.
Anti-depressants are said to contribute to low libido and decreased sexual interest. Some psychiatrists believe these effects can be reduced by using an SSRI antidepressant in low doses, so talk to a doctor about the benefits and drawbacks of this option.
If you find that the physical symptoms of ED are causing problems in your relationship, consider visiting a licensed mental health professional.
Therapy, particularly sexual anxiety therapy, can help improve your frame of mind and tackle deeply-rooted issues that may cause sexual performance anxiety.
If therapy is effective, you will not only improve your quality of life, but you may also get the most pleasure from physical intimacy.
Consult Jacksonville’s Top ED Clinic for Men for a Medical Approach to Fight Erectile Dysfunction
Wondering how to treat erectile dysfunction due to stress?
Although it is possible to experience ED because of stress, anxiety, depression, or another emotional problem, there are many treatment options available to reignite your sexual desire.
Contact the team at Prime Men’s Medical Center in Jacksonville now to schedule an appointment to have a consultation with their experienced and specially trained medical staff. We are a leading men’s clinic providing ED therapy, PE therapy, Acoustic Wave therapy, hormone therapy, and much more.