Does depression cause erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
It makes sense: A guy who feels down, and that there's no way of making it better, isn't about to rise to the occasion in the bedroom, or even want to. Depression can indeed cause erectile dysfunction (ED), or the inability to get and maintain an erection during sex. Erections start with the brain, which sends signals to the body to fill the penis with blood. When you're depressed, the flood of chemicals that communicate with regions down south are out of balance. As a result, the message from your brain struggles to get through to your penis, and your desire for sex (or libido) decreases.
Harris H. McIlwain, MD
Rheumatology
Depression is another cause of erectile dysfunction. Up to 90 percent of depressed men suffer from some type of erection problem. In the past, many doctors failed to recognize depression in male patients, and often treated them with anxiety medications or told them to reduce their stress. Because of our tumultuous corporate world, the rate of depression today is rising faster among men than women, with more successful professional men in their 30s and 40s reporting having this problem.
Unofficial Guide to Impotence

More About this Book

Unofficial Guide to Impotence

The Unofficial Guide to Conquering Impotence delivers the inside scoop on impotence: the truth about Viagra, what treatments really work, and how lifestyle changes can aid in conquering...

Continue Learning about Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can have several causes. Erectile function involves a complex relationship between neurologic, vascular, hormonal and psychological components. Speak with your doctor to determine whether your ED may be c...

aused by poor circulation, diabetes, obesity, smoking, medication side effect or stress and anxiety.
More

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.