Causes and how to deal with them


Anxiety about sexual performance and erectile dysfunction are common sexual problems. Concerns about a partner’s expectations and personal worries are among the contributing factors.

Stress related to sex can lead to performance anxiety. This, in turn, can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED), which is when a person has difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.

There are some simple coping methods that can help people cope with erectile dysfunction when it stems from performance anxiety.

Performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction can be linked in several ways. Stress and anxiety about having sex or pleasing a partner can cause sexual dysfunction in anyone, regardless of gender.

When a person feels unable to meet a partner’s sexual expectations, they may begin to feel unworthy or incapable.

These feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem can lead to physical symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction.

Researchers list psychological factors as one of the many causes of erectile dysfunction. In other words, a person’s state of mind can affect their ability to have sex.

Performance anxiety usually results from a person’s negative thoughts about their ability to perform well during sexual activity. A person may worry about sexual insufficiency or the inability to please a partner.

Factors that can influence these feelings include:

Dealing with financial problems, family issues, or stress at work can also affect a person’s mental state and contribute to performance anxiety.

Erectile dysfunction can occur when various contributing factors interact, including:

  • hormonal balance
  • neurological factors
  • blood flow
  • mental health and psychological factors

Other things that can contribute to ED include:

  • depression
  • disinterestedness
  • loss of attraction
  • stress
  • low testosterone
  • smoking
  • alcohol or drug abuse
  • Chronic diseases
  • kidney problems
  • nerve damage from diabetes
  • stroke
  • injury
  • pelvic irradiation
  • recent surgery

Certain drugs can also cause erectile dysfunction, especially those that disrupt or change hormones, nerves or arterial pressure.

They include:

A doctor or pharmacist can help identify potential side effects before a person starts a new medicine.

ED is not just a physical problem. It can affect a person’s mental health, relationships, and social life.

The experts have links found between ED and:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • stress
  • low self-confidence
  • low self esteem
  • relationship difficulties
  • sleep problems

These can trigger performance anxiety, and they can result as well.

If a person has an erection when they wake up in the morning but not during sexual activity, they Maybe an emotional or psychological cause.

Psychological treatment and counseling, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can help overcome concerns about sexual performance and erectile dysfunction.

Performance anxiety affects everyone differently because not everyone responds to stress and anxiety the same way.

In addition to erectile dysfunction, performance anxiety could lead to:

To research also suggests that heterosexual people who suffer from performance anxiety may be more likely to seek out sexual experiences outside of a stable relationship.

Physical symptoms of erectile dysfunction include difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. It can also lead to loss of sexual desire.

Various tips can help people cope with performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction and allow them to have positive sexual experiences.

Avoid cycle

Most people have a disappointing sexual experience from time to time. Occasional erectile dysfunction is usually not a cause for concern.

However, if disappointment leads to fear and anxiety, and these feelings persist, they can hinder future sexual activity.

It is essential to recognize that an inability to perform from time to time does not mean that a person is unable to have sex.

It could mean that they were stressed or anxious at the time. At another time, when the stress is not present, they will be able to enjoy sex as before.

Focusing on the cause rather than the symptoms can help a person reduce the pressure on them to perform well every time, especially during times of heightened stress.

Focus on the senses

A person with performance anxiety may mentally relive their perceived sexual failures and continually worry about what their sexual partner is thinking or how another partner may perceive them.

It can help to fully focus the mind on the senses during sexual activity, rather than overthinking or analyzing the event.

Focusing on what the hands are feeling or what the eyes are seeing can help block anxious thoughts about performance.

Scented candles or music can also add to the sensory experience and help reduce anxiety.


Research noted a link between doing little or no physical exercise and experiencing symptoms of ED. Performing a simple 20 to 30 minute exercise routine several times a week can improve overall well-being and reduce stress levels, which can be helpful.

Other techniques

There are many other techniques that can help treat performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. These include:

  • guided meditations, such as guided imagery therapy
  • couple consultation
  • sex therapy
  • sex education
  • anti-stress practices, such as mindfulness and yoga

It can also be helpful for a person to be open with any sexual partner about their feelings of performance anxiety. Doing this can reduce stress, and the partner can help the person find solutions to relieve their anxiety.

If symptoms do not improve with lifestyle and relaxation techniques, or if they get worse over time, medical treatment may help.

A doctor can:

  • ask about symptoms
  • perform a physical examination
  • perform blood tests to help identify physical causes
  • ask questions about mental health and stress levels

A healthcare professional can help a person find therapy or treatment that relieves their symptoms and encourages positive sexual experiences.

There are different ways to treat anxiety related to sexual performance and erectile dysfunction. A doctor will prescribe a treatment plan after you identify the cause of the problem.

The American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines recommend an integrated approach to OF and ejaculation disorders which will take into account the mental health, social situation and physical well-being of the person.

This approach can include:

  • relationship advice
  • psychotherapy
  • medication for erectile dysfunction
  • treatment of specific diseases, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • lifestyle measures, such as a diet and exercise plan

The AUA recommends that partners, too, discuss treatment options and their risks and benefits with the doctor, as this may increase the chances of a positive result.

There are many possible causes of anxiety related to sexual performance, including relationship problems and poor body image. If it becomes persistent, this anxiety can lead to physical symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction.

There are certain techniques that people can try at home to manage erectile dysfunction. Being open with any sexual partner about performance anxiety can also help reduce associated stress.

If these techniques are ineffective, a doctor may offer advice on treatment options, which may include a combination of psychotherapy and medication.


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