The Link Between Stress and Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a delicate problem that not many men are eager to discuss but it is not such a rare condition as one might think. Men at any age and at any time of their life can face this disorder. In fact, millions of men are suffering from erectile dysfunction just right now. But the good news is that this condition can be treated through finding the cause that provokes it and eliminating or controlling it. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies took care of the most severe cases of erectile dysfunction that are difficult to manage – they created various erectile dysfunction medications that can help achieve natural erection. provides more information about such preparations.

Actually, the causes of erectile dysfunction are pretty diverse - from organic ones like diabetes or cardiovascular disease that damage blood vessels and prevent the flow of blood to the penis and to various psychogenic causes like trauma resulting from abuse, relationship problems, anxiety, and, of course, stress. Indeed, stress can be the reason why man fails in bed, especially if it is a severe or chronic stress. 

Excessive and prolonged stress affects both psychological and physical health as well as sexual wellbeing. For many men erectile dysfunction can be a response to stress that starts a mind-body phenomenon. Sexual activity is controlled by involuntary nervous system, which means it cannot be consciously controlled. The mechanism works as follows:

·         When a man becomes aroused, the nervous system sends signals to the vessels in the penis ordering them to dilate. This process allows the spongy tissue in the penis (corpora cavernosa) to get steady flow of blood.
·         Simultaneously special muscles compress the veins of this tissue and prevent the blood from flowing back from the penis.  
·         After ejaculation, nervous system sends impulses to the muscles in the penis to contract, which stops the inflow of blood and opens the outflow channels, so erection subsides.

But during stress, the body releases stress hormones that narrow blood vessels and do not let them dilate fully and thus impede enough blood from getting into penis. Moreover, the muscles that prevent the outflow of blood during erection fail to constrict as well. Both of these mechanisms contribute to erectile dysfunction. 

As with any response to stress, a number of hormones are disrupted as well. Endorphins aimed at blocking pain during stress also inhibit the release of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH). A drop in LHRH causes a decrease in luteinizing hormone (LH), the one that is important for the production of testosterone. The main stress hormone cortisol makes the testes less responsive to luteinizing hormone. It appears that chronic stress alters the concentration of all sex hormones - the body synthesizes stress hormones at the expense of sex hormones. To fight stress, the body shuts down mechanisms related to sex so that a man can be able to cope with more immediate needs. 

Stress-induced erectile dysfunction should be treated by eliminating of the causing factor (which is stress) and working on decreasing its negative effects on the body.
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