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Can stress lead to erectile dysfunction?

The male has to perform to have an erection. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all interfere with this function.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

It has almost become a cliche to say that the brain is the largest sex organ. But that's true, to a great extent. This is true, too: When a man's brain is burdened with stress, he's at risk for problems with his other sex organ.

Some stress in your life is good for you. It can keep you focused when you need to meet a deadline, for instance. However, chronic psychological stress is very bad for you. Maybe you spend too much time worrying about your job, your marriage, or the kid your daughter is dating--the one with all the tattoos and pierced flesh. Whatever the cause, too much stress  can lower your libido, or desire to have sex. Low libido, no erection.

If stress is putting a serious damper on your once-steamy love life, find ways to dial it down. Try meditation, yoga, or simply taking a long walk by yourself. You might be surprised by how giving your brain a little quiet time can liven up things in the bedroom.  

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Stress can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). When a man feels stress, his body goes on alert, changing the production of hormones and other body chemistry. Over time, this condition can damage systems in the body.

Eventually the stress of not being able to have an erection can create a kind of vicious cycle. A man in this situation should try to avoid stressful situations, and take time to relax, exercise, eat properly, rest, and adopt a positive attitude.

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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.