What Happens if a Woman Takes Viagra?
Written by Andy Boysan
Anxiety and erectile dysfunction are often linked. Men’s bedroom problems may be caused by feelings of constant anxiety or being pressured. In cases of mental health problems such as high stress or anxiety, blood flow to the penis is diminished in ways that are antagonistic to powerful erections.
In situations where we become too anxious, hormones and chemicals produced internally can cause constriction of blood vessels. This makes it difficult to get a firm erection or maintain it during sexual intercourse.
However, there is reason to remain optimistic. Compassionate medical and mental health care can help to address anxiety-related erection problems. When men work under an understanding doctor or counsellor, options are available at their disposal for relieving anxiety, improving symptoms and restoring intimacy. Stress management by making some lifestyle adjustments along with medical intervention improves the flow of blood to restore confidence again.
In this guide, we’ll help you understand how your mental health impacts erectile dysfunction.
Anxiety can definitely lead to problems like trouble getting erections. When you feel really stressed out, worried, or scared, your body releases hormones and chemicals that make it hard for your penis to work right.
Erectile dysfunction can happen because of both physical and emotional reasons. For some men, their penis and blood vessels don’t work properly due to health issues like heart disease or diabetes. For others, emotions and mental health issues like anxiety disorders are the root cause of erectile dysfunction.
Feelings of stress and nervousness trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. This reaction was useful for our ancestors to either stay and fight threats or run away to avoid danger. But nowadays, this reaction can cause your blood vessels to narrow and restrict blood flow to the penis. When this occurs, you may struggle with getting and keeping a firm erection.
Anxiety and fear also affect the brain’s ability to send and receive the proper signals for an erection to occur. If the brain cannot communicate correctly with nerves and blood vessels in the penis due to high anxiety levels, achieving an erection becomes extremely difficult.
If anxiety or stress is causing erectile dysfunction, you might notice these signs:
You may also have physical symptoms like:
If you think anxiety is leading to erectile issues, it’s important to talk openly with your doctor. They will ask questions about your symptoms, medical history, diseases you have, and medications you take.
Your doctor may also:
Being honest about your feelings of anxiety and stress can help the doctors figure out if these are causing your erection issues. This allows them to come up with the best treatment plan for you.
Many men find their erection strength and sexual functioning improve through medications that enhance blood flow to the penis. Common medical treatment options include:
These medical treatments work by increasing blood flow so you can get and keep a firmer erection. They can be effective when anxiety is a factor behind ED.
Learning to control anxious thoughts and high stress levels through counselling and lifestyle changes is important for improving sexual issues like erectile dysfunction. Steps you can take include:
Learning to manage stress and control anxiety can benefit your overall well-being, including your sexual health. This can reduce instances of erectile dysfunction.
Combining medical treatments with anxiety management tools is often the most effective way to stop ED caused by stress, depression or worry.
Dealing with erectile dysfunction can understandably impact your self-esteem and emotions. It’s completely normal to feel a range of emotions, including embarrassment or inadequacy, but remember that this medical condition is both common and treatable, and it doesn’t define your worth or masculinity.
These feelings can worsen if anxiety is causing your ED. You may beat yourself up mentally or feel additional stress over your inability to control the anxiety interfering with sexual functioning.
However, it’s important to realise ED is very common, affecting tens of millions of men. It is also highly treatable in most people, especially when anxiety plays a role. Avoid blaming yourself or feeling alone in dealing with it.
Some strategies that can help you cope mentally and emotionally when experiencing anxiety-related ED include:
The key is addressing the anxiety problems contributing to ED through counselling and healthy lifestyle changes. This can help restore emotional well-being and confidence in sexual satisfaction.
Making positive lifestyle changes can help prevent or reduce instances of erectile dysfunction related to anxiety and stress.
Seeing a mental health professional for counselling before symptoms of erectile dysfunction arise is recommended to:
Having an outlet for expressing anxieties allows coping before they significantly impact sexual health.
Managing anxiety-induced erectile dysfunction requires taking action to seek effective solutions. Help is available from qualified professionals like the online medical team at The Independent Pharmacy.
The Independent Pharmacy offers private, convenient access from home. You can fill out a confidential self-assessment to describe your situation and symptoms.
Our dedicated healthcare team will then provide personalised recommendations on appropriate treatments to address your erectile difficulties.
Our medical experts can answer questions and provide ongoing support to find the ideal remedies, allowing you to regain sexual health and confidence.
Don’t wait to get help - start by filling out the quick erectile dysfunction assessment today, or get in touch with our team if you have any questions.
It can be difficult to tell if you are truly experiencing erectile dysfunction or short-term issues related to sexual performance anxiety. However, frequent and ongoing issues achieving or maintaining an erection during sexual activity could signify an actual ED problem versus only temporary nervousness. Discuss your symptoms in depth with a medical provider for proper evaluation.
Staying erect with high anxiety is very difficult. Effective coping involves counselling for stress management, relaxation training, avoiding self-monitoring during sex, and focusing on pleasure feelings rather than performance worries. Medications can also optimise blood flow.
There is no instant or guaranteed cure-all for erectile dysfunction. However, treating the underlying cause - whether through lifestyle changes for health conditions contributing to ED, managing anxiety, counselling, medications to improve blood flow, penile devices or interventions based on your diagnosis, can effectively restore satisfying erectile functioning.
Yes, medications, including sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis), that enhance nitric oxide effects to relax blood vessels can assist with temporary erectile difficulties caused by performance anxiety. Increasing blood flow makes achieving erections easier at the moment when nervousness manifests during sexual encounters. Combining medications with anxiety management provides optimal results.
Andy is a co-founder and the Superintendent Pharmacist and Director at The Independent Pharmacy.
Dan is an experienced pharmacist having spent time working in both primary and secondary care. He currently supports our clinical team by providing robust clinical governance review of our internal processes and information.