Can Stress and Anxiety Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is commonly associated with middle-aged to senior men, but what many may not be aware of is that ED can also be a short-term problem at any age of adulthood. In other words, ED can be brought on by the situation, which is therefore sometimes called situational ED.
Situational ED is caused by the inability to achieve or maintain an erection in situations where the underlying issue is psychological, such as anxiety and stress. The good news is that this type of erectile dysfunction is temporary – unlike chronic ED, which is usually caused by circulation problems or other health issues.
What Causes Situational ED?
Situational ED often has a psychological cause and sometimes a physical cause, such as exhaustion. Drinking too much alcohol is another very common cause of situational ED. If you can have sex normally sometimes but not always, then it may be psychological in nature.
The most common psychological or situational causes of ED include:
- Stress. Stress can cause a release of chemicals that can interfere with an erection. Major stressors include relationship troubles, money issues, problems at work, or grieving the loss of a loved one. When you are stressed, your body will respond to it with mental, physical, and emotional changes.
- Anxiety. Another common cause of situational ED is anxiety. Anxiety is defined as having deep feelings of unease and restlessness about an outcome, and it is more than feeling nervous or having butterflies in your tummy. A lot of men can have performance-anxiety issues during sex, which results in ED.
- When you are fatigued, you are tired, exhausted, and “spent,” and therefore lack energy. You would like nothing more than to just get some sleep, as your body wants to recover from the exhaustion. At this point, achieving or maintaining an erection can be very difficult. Fatigue is also associated with higher stress levels.
Every single day there are things beyond our control that may cause our bodies to respond to stress. Anxiety and fatigue are also common in everyday life. However, once it starts to affect your ability to achieve and maintain an erection, it should be addressed by a urologist who has experience in successfully treating men who have ED.
Men’s Health in Concord and Charlotte
ED affects a man’s sexual health, and sexual health is part of your overall health. If you are concerned about your ED symptoms, make an appointment with a skilled urologist who specializes in men’s health. It may be due to an underlying health condition that should be addressed, in which case the ED will be resolved naturally.
Dr. Richard Natale is a board-certified urologist specializing in men’s health issues here in Charlotte and Concord. He treats patients with erectile dysfunction, low testosterone (low-T), enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH), urinary incontinence, and beyond. Dr. Natale has advanced training in specialized treatments for a broad range of urological conditions, and he knows how to make his patients feel comfortable even when discussing uncomfortable subjects.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Natale, call our urology clinic today at (704) 786-5131 or complete our easy-to-use appointment request form. We look forward to being your healthcare partner.