Stress, Erectile Dysfunction (ED), and Premature Ejaculation (PE)

Written by Brendan Levy, MD

Could stress be what is causing penile problems?

ED usually has multiple underlying causes

In most cases, erectile dysfunction (ED) is caused by a mixture of physiologic (body) factors and psychological (mental) factors. Physiologic causes can include problems with blood flow to the penis from conditions like smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The psychological factors can include general anxiety, performance anxiety, depression, and general stress.

Our fast-paced society puts demands on both the brain and the body that can lead to an overload of stress, which can have a big impact on sexual health. Work-related stress is a common contributor to ED and premature ejactulation (PE). Unfortunately, the stress of not being able to perform in the bedroom can then make things even worse.

Simple lifestyle changes may help with ED and PE

The good news is that simple things like getting good sleep (7 to 8 hours a night) and exercising (even just walking for 30 minutes most days of the week) can help lower stress levels. Try starting there. If several weeks of these healthy changes don’t improve things, we’d suggest taking it a step further. Try a simple mindfulness meditation app like Calm or Headspace. Even just a few minutes of easy meditation for beginners can lighten stress, which may help your ED and PE.

Talk to a professional if simple changes don’t help

If those changes don’t make an impact, the experts in sexual health — the American Urological Association (AUA) — recommend getting some help from a mental health professional like a counselor or a therapist. These professionals will have many tools for stress reduction, which can help with ED and PE, even if you’re already taking medicines for these issues.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of HeyDoctor, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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