Yes! A number of agent and factors has been associated with erectile dysfunction and stress is one of them. In this article, we will explore how stress causes erectile dysfunction.

What is stress?

Stress can be defined as the body’s response to an occurring event which affects the body in a way that is above the threshold of what the body can normally withstand leading to body adjustments so as to prevent untoward outcomes.

Various types of stress that can cause erectile dysfunction have been identified. This includes

  • Physical stress
  • Emotional (also named psychological, psychogenic) stress
  • Metabolic stress

The ways Stress causes erectile dysfunction

For each type of stress, some ways have been identified, how each one cause erectile dysfunction:

1. Physical stress: The various forms of physical stress has been identified that contributes to the occurrence and persistence of erectile dysfunction. The common ones include; external injuries, internal injuries, deformities. The mechanisms by which these physical stressors cause erectile dysfunction includes:

  • Pain: Various pain origins has been implicated as causes of erectile dysfunction. One common example is low back pain. Low back pain can represent a sign of nerve compression. Some of these nerves like the pudendal nerve are responsible for penile erection. 

When the pudendal nerve is compress the male experiences low back pain and loses the ability for a penile erection.

Again, the pain serves as an unwanted distraction, making the man lose any focus needed to achieve penile erection. The hip flexor can become hypertonic leading to groin compression. This further compresses the groin vessels and prevent them from filling-up; a process needed for the mechanism of penile erection

In a journal, a study conducted in over 10000 men came with finding that close to twenty percent of men with low back pain who took heavy pain medications also had to depend on drugs in order to achieve a good penile erection for sexual activities

  • Injuries: Injuries whether internal or external causes pain which as explained above cause erectile dysfunction. Now, penile injury from whatever cause will definitely make it almost impossible to achieve a penile erection due to a number of factors including pain, deformity, the poor cosmesis, and the psychological impact.

2. Emotional or psychological stress: This is one of the forms of stress causing erectile dysfunctions that are very resistant to treatment. Two types of psychological stress exist; the simple and the complex. Examples of the simple type include; anxiety, heartbreak, being bereaved, financial loss, exam failures, etc.

The complex types include various psychiatric disorders that have negative effects on penile erection. The commoner examples include; depression, psychosis, schizophrenia, addictions, etc.

Male individuals suffering from this form of stress may benefit for psychological counseling or even psychiatric interventions but generally, recovery tends to be better in those whose psychological stressors are the simple type, but the key to treatment lies in first identifying the cause for the emotional stress and treatment should be individualized.

3. Metabolic stress: This form of stress includes disease conditions that cause metabolic derangement severe enough to make penile erection almost impossible. Common metabolic stressors are sourced from diseases like diabetes mellitus, renal diseases, hormonal disorders, arterial diseases, venous insufficiency, long-standing hypertension, atherosclerosis, obesity, etc.

One mechanism common to these origins of metabolic stress is a failure in the vascular events that take place in of penile erection and this eventually culminates in erectile dysfunction. Dealing with this form of erectile dysfunction will begin by addressing the cause for the metabolic derangements and the cause of the metabolic derangement.

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Conclusion: The understanding of the reasons behind why stress cause erectile dysfunction is vital in planning treatment strategies especially for the types that are resistant to conventional treatment. In order to adopt a more natural therapeutic measure, there’s need to understand the origin of the individual’s erectile dysfunction