Could Stress Be Causing Your Erectile Dysfunction?

September 30, 2023

Does Stress Cause ED? 

In our fast-paced world, stress has become a constant in many people’s lives. From work pressures to personal responsibilities, stressors are many and the solutions can seem few and far between.

This can affect not only our mental health but also our physical health, including performance in the bedroom! Many men may find themselves wondering “Does stress cause ED?” The answer to this question may feel surprising, but yes — stress can absolutely be the cause (or one of the causes) of erectile dysfunction!

What Is The Link Between ED and Stress?

Erectile dysfunction simply means a man is currently unable to achieve or maintain an erection during intercourse. While factors like blood flow, nerve function, and hormones play an important role, stress can also be a major contributor!

When the body experiences stress, it activates the fight-or-flight response, leading to the release of our “stress hormones” like cortisol and adrenaline. When we are under large amounts of stress, these hormones redirect blood flow away from non-essential functions, including those related to sexual arousal.

Stress Can Also Affect Your Testosterone

When stress is too much of a constant in our lives, these stress hormones stay in the body for too long. High levels of cortisol for a long time can actually slow down the production of testosterone. When testosterone levels drop, we notice a decrease in our energy levels, a reduced interest in physical activities, and even difficulties with romantic moments.

What You Can Do:

Men often face societal pressures related to masculinity and virility. These expectations can add an additional layer of stress, increasing issues with erectile dysfunction. The fear of not meeting these perceived standards can create performance anxiety, making it even harder to achieve and maintain an erection. It’s important to recognize that seeking help for ED is a sign of strength, as addressing the issue promptly can lead to a healthier and more satisfying sex life.

  1. Stress Management Techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and regular exercise can help lower cortisol levels and improve overall well-being.
  2. Open Communication: Discussing concerns with a partner can help alleviate performance anxiety. Remember, they are likely to be understanding and supportive, which will help the emotional connection between you and your partner.
  3. Professional Help: Consulting with a urologist or a mental health professional experienced in sexual health can provide personalized guidance and solutions for managing stress-related ED.

The connection between stress hormones, testosterone levels, and psychological factors highlights the importance of addressing stress as part of ED treatment. By acknowledging the impact of stress on masculinity, virility, and mental health, we can start to take steps to manage that stress, which will lead to improved overall well-being and a more satisfying sexual life. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and with the right approach, stress-induced ED can be effectively managed and overcome.


At Austin Urology Institute, we offer a multitude of options for those suffering from ED, as well as consultations with our in-house Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner who can coach you to manage stress in sustainable ways. If you find yourself googling “best urologist in Austin”, you can stop your search, because you have found us!

Make an appointment at or give us a call at 512-694-8888