Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

An erection occurs when the blood flow to the vessels in the penis increases. An erection occurs when a man becomes sexually excited. Erectile dysfunction is the condition when the man cannot get an erection or fails to maintain the erection long enough during intercourse. It is recorded that about 20 to 30 million of people in America suffer from erectile dysfunction. ED or erectile dysfunction can occur to any man at any point of time. Even though ED is not related to age, the chances of it occurring increases as you age.

Can Stress Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Yes, stress can cause Erectile dysfunction. ED or Erectile dysfunction can be treated if the cause that is causing it can be found. There are several causes for erectile dysfunction. The causes can be separated into two broad categories, physiological and psychological. The physical or physiological causes include any kind of injury, illness, surgery, high blood pressure and cancer. Even if the cause is psychological, erectile dysfunction can be treated. The main psychological cause for erectile dysfunction is stress.

A man experiences any of the three kinds of erection, the reflexive triggered by the physical touch or stimulation, the nocturnal which occurs while the man is asleep and the psychogenic which the stimulation is caused by some visual or mental image. The process of erection due to any of these involves a lot of bodily processes. The parts usually included are the blood vessels, nervous system, hormones, muscles and emotions. Any disruption to the process at any point of time leads to erectile dysfunction.

How Stress Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

How Stress Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

The psychological reasons for erectile dysfunction like stress and anxiety disrupt the signal sent by the brain to create the response within the body when any stimulant is functioning. Stress and anxiety interrupt the brain signal which should reach to the blood vessels to pump excess blood to the penis. This leads to erectile dysfunction. Stress or any psychological reason for stress may also affect the on-going erection. It also participates and enhances the on-going phase of erectile dysfunction. Though erectile dysfunction has no direct relation with age but the reasons for erectile dysfunction differ with age. Erectile dysfunction caused due to severe stress may lead to adverse change in the behaviour and increase the incidences of erectile dysfunction. When stress is the main cause for erectile dysfunction, the reasons usually are:

  • Psychological erectile dysfunction caused due to anxiety and nervousness. This is mostly the case for teenagers and youngsters. 90% of them suffer from this but it is short-lived.
  • For middle aged men, the stress factors usually are stress in relationship or at work (personal or professional stress factors).
  • For men with older age, the potency level may go down. Physical impotency, loneliness and loss of partner are often the reason for physical and psychological stress.

Stress that often leads to erectile dysfunction may also lead to other kinds of diseases. In the same way several disease or the treatment for those disease may lead to stress which will then cause erectile dysfunction. With reference to stress, the physical conditions that are related to erectile dysfunction are:

  • Nerve damage
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Low levels of testosterone
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer treatments and certain kinds of medications
  • Metabolic syndrome.

In the same way, there are various unhealthy lifestyle choices that we make to get relieve of stress which may lead to erectile dysfunction. Some of these lifestyle habits are:

Treatment for Stress Induced Erectile Dysfunction

It is to be kept in mind that erectile dysfunction caused due to psychological reasons (like stress mainly) can be treated and therefore can go away any time. In case you see that erectile dysfunction is disrupting your life then consult your doctor for the treatment procedures. The reason why you are stressed needs to be known in order to treat erectile dysfunction.

The best way to treat the psychological cause for erectile dysfunction is by therapy. There are several ways with which the cycle of stress and suffering the person is going through can be broken and hence erectile dysfunction can go away. The usual procedures are:

  • Counselling in which the therapist will work with you to find out the major reason for your stress and bring you out of it.
  • Psychodynamic therapy where any subconscious trigger causing the stress and anxiety will be identified and solved.
  • Sex therapy and sex anxiety therapy are also helpful
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Acupuncture.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 27, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest