Erectile dysfunction (ED) – difficulty getting or keeping an erection firm enough for intercourse – is a common problem. It’s often linked to physical health issues, like diabetes, low testosterone, and heart disease.
But sometimes, ED has emotional or psychological causes. In this case, it is called psychogenic ED. It may happen when a man is feeling depressed or anxious, having problems with his relationship, or dealing with stress. Men who feel conflicted about sex because of religious or cultural beliefs may also experience psychogenic ED.
For many men, the situation leads to performance anxiety. A man may become so anxious about getting an erection and pleasing his partner that when he’s in a sexual encounter, he has erection difficulties.
Fortunately, performance anxiety and psychogenic ED can be managed.
Start by seeing your doctor. Sometimes, ED has both psychological and physical causes, so it’s a good idea to have a full medical exam first. If physical issues are found, those can be addressed.
Here are some other ideas to consider:
What are sex therapists? What do they do? How does one choose a sex therapist?
What happens during sex therapy?