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 youre stressed out.
When youre 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. Its 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 bodys cortisol levels are lacking, it may lead to diseases like Addisons 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.
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 Are Some Of The Health Conditions That Can Worsen Stress/anxiety Leading To Erectile Dysfunction
There is an indirect link between other ailments and ED.
All those conditions that can elevate stress or anxiety, in fact, contribute to ED as well.
There are studies which suggest that patients with ED had a higher chance of getting cardiovascular diseases.
Obese people, in general, suffer from erectile dysfunction, and they are also found to have accompanied symptoms like stress, panic attack, shortness of breath, etc.
When the cholesterol levels are high in the blood for a longer period, it will critically affect ones ability to sustain an erection.
Nerve damages caused by diseases like Parkinsons or Multiple Sclerosis might sometimes lead to ED as well.
High blood pressure is a standard hallmark of stress/anxiety, and over time, these patients struggle to maintain a healthy sex life.
In a 2009 study, it was found that people with chronic anxiety had a 37% higher chance of getting ED, and 42% chance of irritable bowel syndrome .
Certain lifestyle problems like disturbed sleep pattern or insomnia, lack of exercise, or living in a highly polluted area causes stress and also lead to ED or worsen the already existing impotence.
Smoking, alcohol use, tobacco use, and sedentary lifestyle have proven to be factors that contribute towards stress/anxiety and ED.
How Are Depression And Erectile Dysfunction Related
For some men, depression can accompany the condition of erectile dysfunction . It is common for men with ED to feel angry, frustrated, sad, unsure of themselves, or even less âmanly.â Such feelings may lead to a lack of self-esteem and, in severe cases, to depression.
Depression that accompanies ED is treatable. The first step in addressing your concerns about ED-related depression is to be honest with yourself, your partner, and your doctor. After depression has been brought out into the open, coping with it will be easier and less stressful.
Can Cheating Cause Erectile Dysfunction And Their Treatment
If this happens, sexual treatment for anxiety and restlessness can reduce patterns that can create thoughts that surprise your mind. These are actions that do not work. The nerve pathways in your brain can be rewritten as deer tracks in the forest. You can learn to change your fears and reduce your worries.
Pathogenetic Components Of Ed In Young Patients
Association between severity of erectile dysfunction and SIEDY Scale 1, Scale 2 and Scale 3 . Data are derived from a population of 1,873 men aged 1844 years, representing the first tertile of age in a population of patients consulting the Sexual Medicine and Andrology Unit of the University of Florence for erectile dysfunction. Data are adjusted for age, smoking habits, alcohol intake and education. Erectile dysfunction is defined according to a previously validated definition using the sum of the scores obtained from question 1A and question 2 of SIEDY, which reproduce the definition of erectile dysfunction as The persistent inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection adequate for satisfactory sexual activity . SIEDY, Structured Interview on Erectile Dysfunction.
Don’t Miss: Why Am I Stressing Over Nothing
When To See A Doctor
If you arent sure whats causing your ED, and if it keeps happening, its a good idea to see your GP. It may be that the cause is stress, however erectile dysfunction is often caused by a physical health condition that requires treatment.
Visiting your GP to get some tests will help you rule out serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease. As a bonus, youll be able to get some advice from your doctor about coping with your stress.
When Should I Call My Primary Provider
- Have an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours
- Experience a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Experience a sudden decrease in or loss of hearing
- Experience chest pain, dizziness, or nausea during sex
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or seek immediate medical attention.
Also Check: Can Stress Make You Break Out In Hives
Information Sources And Search
We conducted a systematic search of the literature including all papers published before 28th November 2019 utilising the PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO electronic databases. The search terms devised were a mixture of key subject words and MeSH terms with the full strategy presented in Appendix 1. Grey literature was searched for unpublished studies using the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials Number registry for any relevant ongoing studies, with authors of any applicable studies contacted for any preliminary data. If trials were identified which already had a publication, this was taken for inclusion to avoid duplication.
Health Conditions That Can Cause Ed Stress And Anxiety
Understanding erectile dysfunction is complex because there are multiple factors emotional, mental and psychological. In addition to all those factors there are also health conditions that cause erectile dysfunction including:
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes and associated nerve damage
- Prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
- Parkinsons Disease
- Peyronies disease
One of the first things a urologist will do to come to a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction is to take a sexual and medical history. This is key to determining what conditions lead to ED in a patient.
Also Check: How To Fix Stress Headaches
Addressing Underlying Health Conditions And Minimizing Stress Can Also Reduce Symptoms Of Ed
“ED isn’t always caused by increasing age, and it rarely occurs alone. In fact, it’s often linked to and even caused by one or more underlying health conditions that a man may not even know he has,” says Dr. Starke. “In particular, high blood pressure, heart disease and anxiety or depression can contribute to the symptoms of ED.”
Aside from the various treatment options for ED, Dr. Starke points out that simply taking steps to better your heart health and mental health may help alleviate your symptoms.
- Learn about Houston Methodist’s Men’s Health Center, which offers comprehensive, confidential care for men experiencing erectile dysfuntion and other common health issues.
Can Stress Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Reviewed by our clinical team
Erectile dysfunction , or impotence, is the medical term for the inability to get or maintain an erection. Though its not often spoken of, ED is actually really common, particularly in later life. In fact, doctors think it affects most men at some point in their lives.
Part of the reason ED is so common is because there are lots of different things that can cause it. If you only struggle to get an erection every so often, the cause is probably something temporary like feeling very tired after a long day, or drinking too much alcohol.
If you frequently struggle to get an erection, or if you cant maintain one during sex, the cause is more likely to be an underlying physical condition, or an ongoing emotional health issue.
Read Also: How You Manage Stress At Work
Stress And Anxiety Frequently Occur Together
Its not unusual for someone to face stress and anxiety simultaneously. You get anxious about the things that stress you out, and stressed about the things that make you anxious. It creates a constant negative feedback loop that desperately requires relief.
Dont take erectile dysfunction medication just to put a bandage on the problem. The entirety of the issue needs to be addressed for your overall health and wellbeing. You deserve to feel better in all areas of your life, and while sex is undoubtedly a great mood booster, it wont change the circumstances that give you stress or anxiety symptoms.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction: 5 Options Beyond Ed Pills
What happens in the bedroom typically stays in the bedroom, with one major exception being when things aren’t going well in there.
“In terms of sexual health, erectile dysfunction is the most common problem men report to their doctor,” says Dr. Nathan Starke, urologist specializing in men’s health at Houston Methodist. “Most often, men are prescribed an oral medication such as ‘the blue pill’ or one of its closely related alternatives.”
But treating ED doesn’t have to begin and end with oral medications which can come with unwanted side effects. In addition, it’s unsafe for some men to take these medications, including those who have severe heart disease/heart failure or low blood pressure, as well as those who take nitrate drugs to treat chest pain. And, finally, these medications often fail to work in some men altogether.
“Fortunately, there are several other ways to treat ED,” adds Dr. Starke.
Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Stress Hormones In Body
Abuse Sexual Trauma Or Ptsd
Men who have experienced a history of abuse, trauma, or post-traumatic stress disorder are at a higher risk of experiencing ED. This can make for a greater challenge, because men who have experienced abuse may feel a stigma or shame about disclosing a history of abuse and/or trauma.
While this makes seeking necessary help difficult, it’s important to find a trusted healthcare provider or mental health professional to assist in overcoming the abuse.
Why Does Stress Lead To Erectile Dysfunction
The first thing to understand about stress is that its effects are just as physical as they are psychological. Experiencing ongoing stress can cause a long list of symptoms that can combine to cause problems in and out of the bedroom, including:
- Constipation or diarrhoea
Another thing to understand is that you need to be sexually aroused to get an erection. If youre feeling very stressed, you might find that you lose your sex drive, and therefore find it harder than usual get excited enough for sex. Even if you do manage to get an erection, you might struggle to maintain it.
Stress can also create a negative spiral of worsening symptoms. Experiencing ED due to stress can actually lead to more stress, as you worry about failing to perform. This performance anxiety may end up worsening your symptoms, and making it hard for you to break out of the cycle.
You May Like: Can Stress Cause Chest And Back Pain
The Dangers Of Chronic Stress
Chronic stress is different from a sudden burst of adrenaline due to immediate danger like a fire or a car crash. A steady stream of adrenaline wears on your body and stress on the arteries.
Your arteries are like a firehose. They can handle enormous amounts of pressure during stressful times when your heart pumps hard and fast, especially when you need more oxygenated blood during an emergency, but cant handle constant pressure.
Chronic stress is like using a fire hose to water your garden for 12 hours in a row. That blast of high-pressure water will not only ruin your garden, but also destroy the fire hose. The day to day constant stress you encounter such as your job, family, traffic is the worst kind of stress in your body.
Your blood vessels are the fire hose, they can handle the pressure long enough to put out the occasional fire but cant handle the kind of pressure all day every day. And guess what part of the male body needs those precious blood vessels to sustain an erection?
Erections are about adequate blood flow. Chronic stress environment will eventually damage the way your blood vessels function, making it one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction .
Severity Of Erectile Dysfunction In Anxiety Disorders
All seven prospective studies used IIEF-5 to evaluate erectile function, the IIEF-5 is a self-report instrument to evaluate sexual functioning in males . Depending on the score of the IIEF-5 the patients erectile impairment can be put into ED severity categories: no ED, mild, mild to moderate, moderate and severe . Five of these studies reported the mean IIEF-5 scores for the erectile function domain .
Read Also: Is Genexa Stress Relief Safe
Prevalence Of Erectile Dysfunction In Anxiety Disorders
Ten studies provided data regarding the prevalence of ED in anxiety disorders . The estimated prevalence of ED between the studies varied considerably, from 0.0 to 85.0% and the median prevalence was 20.0 %. Within the five studies that reported the prevalence of ED in PTSD participants, the range was 3.085.0% and the median was 46.2 % . In four studies, the prevalence of ED in panic disorder was between 2.0 and 36.2% . SAD and OCD both had one study each, which reported a prevalence of ED of 0.0% and 20.0%, respectively .
Sleep Deprivation And Erectile Dysfunction
by Sleep Center of Middle Tennessee | Last updated Mar 1, 2022
We only recommend products in our blog that we recommend in our office. We may receive a small commission on some products but it does not change the price you pay .
Mens Health Month calls for self care, which requires reflection, honesty, and greater awareness. Did you know 44% of men suffering from erectile dysfunction can trace it to another health concern? For example, theres a direct link between sleep deprivation and erectile dysfunction.
Both topics necessitate great attention because you deserve to be your best self, to be as healthy as possible. Some men assume theyre dealing as best they can, unknowing they jeopardize their health and intimate relationships.
Sleep deprivation and erectile dysfunction may be symptoms of one common sleep disorder. That means there may be one health solution for poor sleep and erectile dysfunction- in an unlikely place. No pills required.
Also Check: How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure At Work
Easing Stress And Anxiety To Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Since stress not only is a factor in erectile dysfunction it is the cause of many other health issues. There are options to help ease the stress and anxiety that causes ED. One of the options is therapy which can help you break out of the stress and anxiety and erectile dysfunction cycle. Therapy options:
Counseling: Youll work with a therapist to identify and address major stress or anxiety factors so you can manage them.
Psychodynamic therapy: This usually involves addressing a subconscious conflict to help find the root cause of your erectile dysfunction.
Sex therapy: This therapy focuses on sensational pleasure rather than arousal and sexual activity. It aims to reduce the stress factor by building more a secure and reliable sex life.
Sexual anxiety therapy: Your doctor will explain erectile dysfunction to you in full detail. This can help reduce problems and worries caused by a lack of knowledge. Then your doctor will address the emotional issues and help you find a solution. Solutions may vary from trying to achieve relaxation to reactivating imagination.
How To Ease The Stress And Reverse Erectile Dysfunction
There are many techniques to keep calm and prevent stress. Not always the medicines are a good thing, but the good news is that there are many other techniques to keep stress at bay.
- Meditation: First and foremost, the best technique for relaxing and calming yourselves down is by meditation. Studies have shown that meditating just 30 minutes a day can reduce stress and anxiety to a far greater extent. Also, there are certain meditation techniques that can help the people with ED to attain a full erection.
- Counseling: It is a great way to identify the root cause of stress, which is often handled by a professional. Through counseling, one can face the stress rather than running away from it. This helps the body to fight it, rather than suppressing it by evoking secondary symptoms like ED, weight gain, lack of confidence, etc.
- Psychodynamic therapy: It is a new avenue, where people are treated subconsciously to fight the reason for stress, and this can greatly help in controlling the ED, thus helping the patient to resume a normal sex life.
- Acupuncture, yoga, sex therapy: These are some of other commonly practiced treatment modalities, which are opted based on the severity of stress and accompanied ED.
You May Like: How Can Stress Affect Your Health