General

Can Performance Anxiety Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Most men experience some type of sexual problem in their life. The most encountered problems by men include performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction (ED). Men with erectile dysfunction have a hard time getting and maintaining an erection.

Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction

A recent 2015 study done on depression and performance anxiety, found that there may be a link between performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. However, the study recommended doing more research. 

How do Stress and Anxiety Cause Erectile Dysfunction? 

Men can experience three types of erections:

  • Reflexive which is due to physical stimulation, 
  • Psychogenic which is due to visual or mental associations, and 
  • Nocturnal which occurs while sleeping. 

These types of erections involve important body systems and processes. A disruption in any of these mental and physical processes can cause ED. These include: 

  • Nervous system
  • Blood vessels
  • Muscles
  • Hormones
  • Emotions

Mental illnesses like stress and anxiety can also affect the way your brain signals your body’s physical response. At the time of an erection, stress and anxiety can hinder the way your brain sends signals to the penis to allow adequate blood flow. 

Stress and fear of erectile dysfunction can also contribute to a prolonged erectile dysfunction cycle. Experiencing erectile dysfunction can lead to behavior changes that contribute to anxiety and the extreme occurrence of erectile dysfunction. The reasons for erectile dysfunction vary by age group, but generally as follows: 

  • Psychological ED affects 90 percent of teenagers and young men. These events are pretty short-lived. 
  • Personal and professional stress, such as relationship problems, is the main cause of erectile dysfunction in middle-aged men. 
  • Physical impotence is the most common cause in older men, but a loss of a partner and loneliness can also lead to psychological distress.

Causes

Performance anxiety is caused primarily by negative thoughts. These negative thoughts can be of sex or issues in daily life. Men can feel insecure about their ability to perform well in bed or feel pressurized to please their partners. Fear and anxiety about body image and penis size could also play a role in performance anxiety. Stress or problems in work and relationships, kids and family members, and finances can also cause performance anxiety. 

Erectile dysfunction can be initiated by many physical and psychological factors, including performance anxiety. Other causes of ED can include:

  • Blood vessel disorders
  • Neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke or nerve damage from diabetes
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Traumatic injury
  • Low testosterone levels
  • Chronic illness 
  • Prostate, bladder, and colon cancer surgeries
  • Smoking
  • Kidney problems
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Some drugs and medications can also cause erectile dysfunction due to their effect on hormones, nerves, or blood circulation. 

ED is a common side effect of:

  • Diuretics
  • High blood pressure medication
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Drugs for irregular heart action
  • Parkinson’s disease drugs
  • Tranquilizers
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Hormones
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Prostate cancer drugs
  • Antiseizure pills
  • Anti-inflammatories

Symptoms

Performance anxiety affects the sexual health of men in different ways. Along with causing ED, performance anxiety can also lead to delayed or blocked ejaculation, premature ejaculation, and loss of sexual interest.

Erectile dysfunction has its own set of symptoms, including:

  • Problems becoming erect
  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Loss of sexual desire

Seeking Help 

Visit a doctor or therapist if your performance anxiety persists or occurs frequently. It is best to see a doctor at the early stages of performance anxiety as you can learn techniques for dealing with negative thoughts, fears, and stress and rule out other conditions as well. 

Diagnosis 

It is important to see your doctor if you have erectile dysfunction or sexual dysfunction. Your doctor will ask your questions to determine if the problem is physical, psychological, or both. Physical exam, including an exam of your penis and testicles. Your doctor may also want to do blood tests and other tests.

Treatment 

There are many ways to manage performance anxiety. If your performance anxiety is causing your erectile dysfunction, treating your performance anxiety can also help reduce erectile dysfunction.

Some options for coping with performance anxiety include: 

  • Medication such as Cenforce 200, Tadalista or Vidalista 60
  • Education about sex and sexual behaviors
  • Couple counseling to help with relationship problems 
  • Sex therapy to resolve intimacy and performance problems 
  • Lifestyle changes such as avoiding abusive substances
  • Therapy to manage depression, and stress 
  • Being direct about your anxiety and problems with your partner
  • Clearing your head of negative thoughts
  • Removing stressful factors from your life
  • Not rushing sex

Guided Imagery 

Guided Imagery is another therapy technique that can help you overcome performance anxiety. With guided imagery, you enter a light trance state by listening to a script that describes a living environment. The technique is intended to help your body overcome mental or physical problems. Problems you face by tapping into your subconscious. Research conducted in 1984 by psychiatrist K. Kuruvilla found that men who underwent guided introduction and sexual re-education were able to overcome erectile dysfunction caused by stress and anxiety.

You don’t need to see a therapist to go through guided imagery. You can do it at home, by writing and recording a script that will allow you to visualize a satisfying sexual session with your partner. As you listen to the recording, focus on getting an erection and having an enjoyable sexual experience. The more you go through the process, the more your awareness can overcome any performance issues. 

Outlook

Performance anxiety is a completely normal and treatable form of sexual dysfunction. If you are suffering from ED, your performance anxiety may be the cause. You must see your doctor if you have sexual dysfunction so that he can rule out the underlying causes and help you manage your symptoms.

Your doctor can help you.

Erectile dysfunction treatments are often very successful. The sooner you talk to your doctor, the sooner he or she can help you find treatment. Erectile dysfunction can be an early sign of certain chronic diseases, including illness. This is one of the main reasons it’s important to discuss ED symptoms with your doctor. 

Finding a cause for your erectile dysfunction can help your doctor identify and treat other health problems you may have. In case, your ED is directly related to your nervous system, the doctor may prescribe medicines such as Fildena 100 or Vidalista. Discussing your ED problems can be an opportunity to talk about your overall health.

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