Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
How anxiety and stress can make you impotent

Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Stress or anxiety has an unforeseen impact on your sexual life, which can even cause erectile dysfunction. Learn more about it here.

Stress, anxiety, and depression are all psychological manifestations of disturbed inner peace.

‘Good soul exists only is a healthy body,’ and at times we must keep a check on the health status of the mind.

Erectile dysfunction (ED)1 is the result of chronic stress and anxiety, affecting over 30 million Americans a year over the age of 20.

Though there are no age bars for ED to occur, studies have found a pattern correlating age and chances of ED.

The prevalence rate is more as one ages old, and in western countries upon hitting 40’s a person is 40% susceptible getting erectile dysfunction and by 50’s the percentage rate increase to 50%, so on and so forth.

Though the general understanding is that ED is age-related, it is always not the case though.

Majority of the men experience ED at some point in their lifetime, and in most of the cases it is easy to self-diagnose and treat.

Erectile dysfunction caused by pure physiological reasons can be treated depending on the health condition using drugs, supplements, surgeries, and physiotherapy.

While the ED caused by psychological reasons, the treatment need more understanding about the cause of stress or anxiety.

But the good news is that stress and anxiety can be cured easily, thanks to modern meditations techniques and age-related revitalizing supplements.

In this article you will learn more about stress and anxiety-induced ED, it’s causes, effects, some tips & tricks to reduce it and treatment choices.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

What happens to your erectile dysfunction when you’re stressed?

Erectile Dysfunction

Before knowing what stress could do, one must know more about erection and its dysfunction.

Basically, there are three types of erections:

  • Reflexive: happens when the person is stimulated physically.
  • Psychogenic: happens due to a visual or mental stimulus.
  • Nocturnal: happens during sleep.

Any interruption to certain bodily processes can lead to erectile dysfunction.

Some of these crucial functions are taken care of by the nervous system, muscles, emotions, hormones, circulatory system, and blood vessels.

When a person is under stress or anxiety, the brain signaling controlling above functions are interrupted and thus leads to failure in erection or sustaining an erection.

Mainly the blood circulation into the penis is interrupted; thus, the penis sacs will experience a loss of tension and fail to dilate to its fullest.

In a sense, ED and stress are inter-related, because a person with erectile dysfunction will have stress about impotence, and having stress will worsen the condition.

In some males, failed marriage or relationship can cause depression, which in fact is the chronic case of stress or anxiety, and this situation eventually leads to ED2.

In a study, it was found that PTSD or ‘posttraumatic stress disorder’ in war veterans were linked to ED; however, medications or meditation was found to reverse the erectile dysfunction in patients.

What are some of the health conditions that can worsen stress/anxiety leading to erectile dysfunction?

Stressed Male with 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 diseases3.

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 one’s ability to sustain an erection.

Nerve damages caused by diseases like Parkinson’s 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 (IBS).

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 to ease the stress and reverse erectile dysfunction?

Meditation for 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 counseling4, 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.

Herbal way to deal it!

The best part about treating stress, anxiety, depression, sexual problems, etc. are the variety of treatment choices available.

Traditional medicine is full of herbs and oils, that treats a person as a whole rather than in parts.

When it comes to erectile dysfunction, the treatment is first given to the mind and later to the symptoms it creates.

This way, the results are achieved are permanent, and the quality of life is improved upon treatment instead of side effects.

Some of the commonly used herbal products that can reduce the stress and anxiety, at the same time repair ED are:

  • Panax Ginseng: One of the most important herbal product which is often an inevitable ingredient in many of the supplements and wellness product. It can help restore the erection by improving blood circulation at the same time, calm the nerves to induce inner peace5.
  • Ginkgo: One of the oldest herbal roots used in many of the therapeutic preparations. They are clinically proven to be effective against reducing stress and boosting sexual outburst6 .
  • Black Maca: A major additive in sexual performance enhancer, this plant extracts are used in medications like tablets, oils, & pills which are used for treating ED, premature ejaculation and treating pain during erection7.
  • Asparagus Racemosus: A general herb used for treating many diseases, and they are also used for reducing stress and anxiety8 .

Conclusion

Erectile Dysfunction

Stress or anxiety cannot be avoided, and they make an uninvited entry in our lives at some point.

The best strategy to cope with stress/anxiety induced after-effects is to handle it better instead of running to a doctor to treat it.

The best person to treat anxiety/stress is you because nobody does know you better than you, yourself.

ED is very prevalent in people with chronic stress/anxiety, which overtime carves and eat your sexual life.

Practicing yoga/ meditation is an excellent way to prevent the ill-effects created by anxiety/stress because one would learn to handle it better before treating it.

It is very difficult for ED to sustain in a body with a clear mind, and it is always suggested to treat the cause instead of symptoms.

In a study, it was understood that 20% cases of ED are caused due to stress/anxiety and in some people, it might be a secondary symptom due to ‘posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Even if the cause is not a mental issue, keeping a healthy mind would double the success rate when using medicines or getting therapy.

References

  1. Lue, Tom F. “Erectile dysfunction.” New England journal of medicine 342.24 (2000): 1802-1813. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM200006153422407
  2. Seidman, Stuart N., and Steven P. Roose. “The relationship between depression and erectile dysfunction.” Current psychiatry reports 2.3 (2000): 201-205. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11920-996-0008-0
  3. Cai, Hua, and David G. Harrison. “Endothelial dysfunction in cardiovascular diseases: the role of oxidant stress.” Circulation research 87.10 (2000): 840-844. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.res.87.10.840
  4. Abdo, Carmita HN, et al. “Sexual satisfaction among patients with erectile dysfunction treated with counseling, sildenafil, or both.” The journal of sexual medicine 5.7 (2008): 1720-1726. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1743609515321044
  5. Jang, Dai‐Ja, et al. “Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review.” British journal of clinical pharmacology 66.4 (2008): 444-450. https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2008.03236.x
  6. Cohen, Alan J., and Barbara Bartlik. “Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.” Journal of sex & marital therapy 24.2 (1998): 139-143. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00926239808404927
  7. Gonzales, Gustavo F., et al. “Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men.” andrologia 34.6 (2002): 367-372. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1439-0272.2002.00519.x
  8. Wani, Javeed Ahmed, Rajeshwara N. Achur, and R. K. Nema. “Phytochemical screening and aphrodisiac activity of Asparagus racemosus.” International journal of Pharmaceutical sciences and Drug research 3.2 (2011): 112-115. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e59f/01c3abf6cd157834b00e1c187d2f1a9a32a9.pdf
Tom Knight
Written by Tom Knight

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