How can stress cause erectile dysfunction (ED)?

The ongoing stress and anxiety from marital, financial or other external problems can psychologically affect your sexual performance. Because stress contributes to increased blood pressure and cholesterol, it is not surprising that it is associated with a greater risk of impotence.

For example, you may have had no problem performing sexually until you lose your job or have a pay cut from company downsizing. In this regard, it is possible for your high level of worry, anxiety, and stress to interfere with nerve impulses in your brain when you attempt sexual intercourse. The reason for this is that stress pumps you up causing an adrenaline release, which sets up a whole cascade of reactions including increased heart rate and blood pressure. Here is where the brain-penis connection gets messed up as the brain is getting all sorts of mixed or negative signals from the body.

Yet consider this: What man doesn’t have a “fear” of erectile dysfunction if this has happened before? It’s only normal to feel higher anxiety about your ability to perform if you have experienced erectile dysfunction. Yet just having “performance anxiety” is enough to actually cause the impotence to occur again--and again and again.

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.

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.