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Stress Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction! Know The Association

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 20 January 2023, Updated on - 03 February 2023

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Not being able to perform well in bed could be one of the biggest nightmares for men. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one such health issue, often experienced by young men. Erectile dysfunction in men is the inability to achieve or maintain the erection of the penis during sex. While several physical conditions such as heart disease, and diabetes can increase the risk of developing ED, mental issues like stress are also believed to be a major cause of this condition. Let us know more about ED and how it's related to stress.

What are the signs of erectile dysfunction?

Lack of achieving and maintaining an erection for long enough during sexual activity is the major symptom of ED. The presence of occasional ED does not necessarily indicate the condition. However, if this issue is recurring, you might be having ED and would require medical attention.

How are stress and erectile dysfunction linked?

Both stress and anxiety can reduce your sex drive or make your body less responsive during an intimate encounter. You might notice that stress or anxiety causes you to be overly sensitive or impatient.

Your nervous system, hormones, and mental health play a bigger role in achieving and maintaining a good and long erection than your blood flow and muscle contractions. Stress or anxiety can obstruct how the penis receives signals from the brain. This prevents additional circulation to the genital area, thereby affecting the ability to maintain an erection.

Some stress-related causes of erectile dysfunction are:

  • Depression
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Loss of kin or family member
  • Performance anxiety

In addition, stress can also increase your risk of developing other medical conditions that can hamper your erection. Some of these diseases include:

  • High cholesterol levels in the body
  • Elevated blood pressure or hypertension
  • Heart condition
  • Obesity

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

The course of treatment for ED is based on its underlying cause. If stress is the major cause of ED, the treatment plan would include:

  • Taking any relaxation activity like breathing exercises and yoga to de-stress your body.
  • Communicating with your partner about worries or stress, so that your partner helps you in resolving it better.
  • Seeking psychotherapy in case of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.
  • Using medications like sildenafil (commonly known as Viagra), avanafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil to increase blood flow around the genital area.
  • The best medicine for erectile dysfunction without side effects is Kegel exercise. It involves repeated contractions and relaxations of genital muscles. It not only works on ED but also helps in treating premature ejaculation.


1. How can stress cause erectile dysfunction?

Stress releases cortisol (stress hormone) in the body which has a direct effect on your libido or sexual desire.

2. Can younger healthy men have erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is often seen in younger and physically healthy men. It is frequently brought on by increased stress or anxiety.

3. What is sexual performance anxiety?

Sexual performance anxiety, also known as performance anxiety, is the sexual worry or fear of not being able to satisfy a partner or get and keep an erection.

4. Is stress-induced erectile dysfunction permanent?

If you address the stress and triggers that could be causing your erectile dysfunction, the symptoms would go away.

5. Can erectile dysfunction due to stress be cured?

If the cause of your ED is stress rather than a physical condition, you can treat it by going to a professional, engaging in relaxing exercises, or practising meditation.

Anxiety and stress can both cause ED and also be a symptom of it. However, with better habits, stress-reduction techniques, and medical intervention, ED associated with stress and anxiety can be fixed effectively. If you need expert consultation,

Consult An Apollo Urologist


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.


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