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question

Does the brain play a role in having an erection?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
answer
The brain is your most powerful sex organ. It is your brain that sends out the signals that radiate through your central nervous system, triggering changes in blood flow in your penis that cause an erection. That said, most cases of erectile dysfunction (ED) are caused by physical problems, not mental ones. Your mind may be willing, but if your cardiovascular system isn’t quite as healthy as it could be, the blood just doesn’t get to where it needs to be and stay there. Of course, if that happens, it affects how you feel about yourself and your relationship, and every man knows that worrying about performance can affect...performance. So can work or financial anxiety, depression, and other problems that live in your brain. If you are having problems with erections more than half of the time, talk to your doctor, who can check you for physical problems. If your problem with erectile dysfunction affects your relationship, you may also want to talk with a psychologist, too. Learning to talk more intimately with your partner now may be tough, but it could be a key part of your healing process.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.