Do Stress and Anxiety Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

    Erectile dysfunction is a disease characterized by the failure of erection in men.

    It is a common condition and most men with old age and co-morbid conditions suffer from erection problems once in life. The incidence of erectile dysfunction has increased in the last few years in the young population due to an increase in mental and socioeconomic stress.

    Now here arise the question that how can stress cause erection problem. To make this first we need to understand the mechanism behind a normal erection.

    Normal erection:

    Erection is regulated by the autonomous nervous system which consists of two parts, the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). Later is responsible for obtaining and sustaining an erection.

    In response to a sexual stimulus, hormones are released that cause smooth muscle relaxation and vasodilation in the genitals, as a result, blood flow to the penis is increased and erection happens. 

    If the blood flow to the genitals is interrupted the result is a failed erection or an erection that is not maintained for a prolonged time indicating erectile dysfunction.

    Erectile dysfunction is a problem in the arousal phase.

    How can stress cause a failed erection?

    In a stressed state, our body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated.

    The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for smooth muscle relaxation, it tends to help in erection, but with the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic pathway is inhibited.

    All of these signals are controlled by a part of the brain called the amygdala. In situations of stress, the amygdala signals the adrenal medulla to release stress hormones. 

    A cascade of physiological reactions starts when stress hormones are released and the sympathetic nervous system is activated.

    Stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine are deteriorating for health. 

    Cortisol narrows the arteries and hence increases the blood pressure, while epinephrine increases the heart rate. The effect of these two hormones together alters the histological and physiological outlook of our circulatory system.

    Chronic stress is therefore known to cause serious systemic diseases and hypertension.

    So an increased level of stress causes erectile dysfunction firstly because of the following three reasons.

    1. Stress causes a reduction in blood flow to the penis.

    2. Psychological stress act as a distractor against arousal.

    3. Stress increases the incidence of risk factors that later can contribute to erectile dysfunction. 

    How to cope up with stress-related erectile dysfunction?

    Dealing with stress-induced erectile dysfunction depends on dealing with stress first and then treating the erection problem. Several approaches are used that can help cure the disease.

    1. Identify the cause: The first step in treatment is to understand what causes the problem. Stress-related erectile dysfunction could be psychogenic and it can be a real circumstance of mental, psychological, socioeconomic, or another form of stress. Identifying your cause of ED can be done by monitoring your behavior and the stress type being encountered. 

    2. Treat the cause: Once you have identified the cause of your erection problem it becomes easy to treat the issue. Sort it out, make clear explanations for events, and avoid situations that give you extra anxiety and depression.

    3. Counseling can help: You may talk to someone trustworthy or hire a therapist that can help you manage your stress in easy ways. Sometimes talking things out also relieve the burden off your mind and you feel a sense of general relaxations in your body and bones.

    4. Take medications: medicines used specifically for erectile dysfunction are called PDE-5 inhibitors and one of the most potent drugs in this category is Sildenafil oral jelly. These medications help get and keep an erection at times of stress or anxiety.

    You can buy Sildenafil oral jelly from shops and online at the best price.

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