Stress-Induced Erectile Dysfunction: Can Stress Cause ED?


Chronic stress can damage blood vessels

Next Question

Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Stress-Induced Erectile Dysfunction

Stress is your body’s natural response to changes in your environment. And it’s a good thing—in limited doses. But constant stress can damage blood vessels, and cause serious conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even stress-induced erectile dysfunction.

How Stress Affects Your Body

When you get “stressed out” your body makes adrenaline increases your heart rate to move more oxygenated blood to your muscles, lungs, and brains to make you faster, stronger, and even able to think more clearly. In a very real way, stress can turn you into a part-time superhero. At least for a few minutes.

Most people call this shakey, reaction to stress the “fight-or-flight” response because it keys you up to either flee or defend yourself. But your body isn’t built to handle this heightened state for very long. And problems happen when your body has to process constant stress.

The Dangers of Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is different than a sudden burst of adrenaline due to immediate danger like a fire or car crash. A steady stream of adrenaline wears on your body. But adrenaline is particularly tough on your arteries.

Your arteries are like a fire hose. They can handle enormous amounts of pressure during stressful times when your heart pumps hard and fast, especially when you need more oxygenated blood during an emergency. But there’s a reason your heart doesn’t beat 250 times a minute all day long. You can’t handle that constant pressure.

Chronic stress is like using a fire hose to water your garden. For 10 hours in a row. That blast of high-pressure water will not only ruin your garden, it’ll destroy the fire hose if left on too long. In your body, your blood vessels are that fire hose. They can handle the pressure long enough to put out the occasional fire, but can’t handle that kind of pressure all day every day.

Remember, erections are largely about adequate blood flow. A chronic high-stress environment will eventually damage the way your blood vessels function, severely limiting your ability to get and maintain an erection.

Stress-induced erectile dysfunction can be caused by any number of factors including:

  • Anxiety
  • Workplace stress
  • The loss of a loved one
  • Changes in your health
  • and financial problems

Life is stressful. But it’s important for your overall health (and your sexual health) to learn how to manage your stress. If you’re experiencing stress-induced erectile dysfunction, don’t be ashamed to talk to a doctor. They can help you treat and possibly even reverse the damage that stress is doing to your body and your erections.

Was this answer helpful?