HomeHealthHow are stress and erectile dysfunction related?
How are stress and erectile dysfunction related?
January 30, 2021
Stress and erectile dysfunction are significantly related. Unemployment or work pressure, family tensions, relationship problems or even the shadow of an undetected or treated depression directly affect sexual life.
We cannot forget that the psychological aspect is an indisputable part of the sexuality of the couple and this is something that we do not always take into account. There is also another added factor. The dysfunction itself, understood as the difficulty in having and maintaining an erection during the relationship, ends up distorting the vision that one has of oneself. This affects self-esteem and self-confidence; this further intensifies the underlying stress.
The most decisive thing in all cases is to request expert help. On the other hand, it is advisable to know a little more about the reality of these situations and understand what may be happening. We analyze it below.
How can stress affect a man's sexuality?
Being able to enjoy a satisfying sexuality depends on organic and psychological factors. However, we often neglect the great impact that the last dimension can have on this area of our life.
Studies, such as those carried out at the University of Athens, for example, indicate that stress is, without a doubt, one of the causes behind erectile dysfunction.
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Now, it is important to note that stress disorders such as anxiety are only the symptom of an underlying problem. Stress appears when certain situations overwhelm us and we do not have enough psychological tools to deal with it. Unemployment, work problems, family disagreements and even personal crises are strong triggers.
Also, these psychological conditions cause important physiological changes. Every stress response involves the release of catecholamines from the nervous system and the hypophyso-adrenal axis. Thus, both adrenaline and norepinephrine produce tachycardia, muscle vasodilation, and skin vasoconstriction.
Recent studies, such as the one carried out at the University of Kansas, highlight the relationship between stress and erectile dysfunction. Thus, something that we must understand first about this last condition is that it is not a disease. We are facing a symptom of some problem that hides behind.
Factors such as diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular problems can alter the vessels and nerves responsible for erection. Therefore, erectile dysfunction, understood as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection, can be due to vascular, hormonal, neurological and even pharmacological causes.
Now, it is necessary to pay attention to psychological factors. Stress drastically reduces androgen levels. This causes loss of appetite, low concentration, weaker erections and, with it, unsatisfactory sexual relations.
On the other hand, we cannot ignore another hormonal factor. Increasing cortisol and prolactin lowers testosterone. As a result, adrenaline rises and arteries, including those in the penis, contract. That is, the vessels of the muscle fibers reduce their diameter.
Premature ejaculation is defined as the inability to control the ejaculatory reflex under a level of sexual arousal. This is undoubtedly a problem that a part of men suffers at some point in their lives. The problem appears when it becomes a constant in the couple's relationship.
It is important to bear in mind that stress is often behind this reality. However, the complicated thing is that, when it is experienced more than once, the ideas of anticipation to failure appear. That is to say, at the moment in which the sexual relation begins the man already fears that it could happen again. That fear causes, once again, problems to enjoy.
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Can it also affect women?
We know that stress and erectile dysfunction are related. Now, how do anxiety and stress disorders affect women? Do they also experience any kind of problem or dysfunction? The answer is yes. Daily stress and, specifically, depression, bring with it a lower sexual response.
The increase in cortisol as a consequence of stressful states produces multiple changes, both physical and psychological. Libido is reduced, arousal levels drop, there is less lubrication and it becomes more difficult to reach orgasm.
Some common sources of stress
Stress by itself is not a problem. After all, it is still a natural response that allows us to adapt to challenging situations. Now, if that natural mechanism becomes a constant, it is pathological. Going from acute stress to chronic stress completely alters the quality of life.
Therefore, if we ask ourselves about those sources of stress that affect sexual relations, these would be some examples:
Job problems or unemployment.
Discussions of couple or family.
Having financial difficulties.
Lack of free time, moments to enjoy one's own hobbies or a good rest.
Suffering from emotional problems, low self-esteem or feeding a negative internal dialogue.
Concern for the future.
Tips so that stress does not affect our sexual life
We know that stress and erectile dysfunction are related. We are also clear that this is not an exclusive problem for men and that the moment the sexual aspect of the couple fails, the relationship is put in check. Enjoying a satisfying and fulfilling sexuality is essential.
So what should we do in these cases? These would be some keys:
It is important not to self-medicate. The main strategy is to speak with the doctor and rule out diseases and organic problems.
Once these aspects are ruled out, it is time to manage stress. For this, it is essential to detect and clarify the triggers that cause this state.
Partner support is essential in this situations.
We must work on aspects such as irrational and negative ideas to gradually feed a more rational and positive approach.
It is always interesting to improve habits and routines. Introducing some change, such as joining the gym or doing some kind of sport is highly recommended.
We will introduce relaxation techniques and deep breathing into our day to day.
It is important not to drink alcohol or tobacco, as well as no sleeping pills.
It is positive to start new erotic games in the relationship to enjoy other stimuli.
Stress and erectile dysfunction can be addressed
When it comes to managing erectile dysfunction or lack of libido in men and women, mutual support in the couple is a decisive pillar. Facing the situation together with understanding makes it much easier to go through these experiences which are actually very common.
Having the support of specialists will also guarantee us to recover the quality of our sexual relations as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to consult.
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