How Stress Can Be An Obstacle In Your Sexual Life

A sexual relationship between two people is very personal and when a man suffers from the sexual dysfunction, it causes difficulties and changes in their happy world. It has a direct impact on the lives of both the partners and it can also throw an impact on their marriage or relationship. Man often feel embarrassed and guilty about the disorder in their erectile function and they also find it difficult to talk about it with their partners or with the doctors. It can also lead to an increased distance between the couple as due to the fear of failure, a man might withdraw himself emotionally and physically. There are many factors that are associated with the occurrence of sexual dysfunction such as diabetes, obesity and many lifestyle factors such as drinking and smoking. Stress is one of the key cause of sexual dysfunction. Numerous studies have clinically proven that stress can be the cause of the disorder in the sexual function.

Stress is a psychological and physiological response to the pressure people face due to adverse or demanding challenges. The pressure that we face during stress is not only about what is going through around but it can also be the challenging demands that are placed on us. Stress is a part of everyone’s life but when it starts interfering in leading a normal life for a long period of time it can be dangerous. When stress lasts for a longer duration, it can worsen the health of mind and body. Many studies have shown that stress triggers the symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction is the most common sexual problem that is faced by many people around the world and problems with the erectile function if common among most of them. Erectile function is a complex phenomenon which implies a coordination between the vascular system, neurological system and the tissues of the body. When a person experiences an inability to maintain or get enough erection for the satisfactory sexual intercourse, it is known as erectile dysfunction. In common terms, erectile dysfunction is also known as impotence. Some of the ways through which stress can cause erectile dysfunction are

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  • Many researchers have shown that an increased cortisol hormone in the body results in the reduced testosterone level in the blood. Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to the stress. Also, there is a very close relationship between the testosterone level and the functioning of the erectile system. Testosterone in the main sex hormone in men that plays a key role in maintaining the level of nitric oxide in the penis. The functioning of nitric oxide plays an important role in maintaining and getting proper erections during sexual activity. The erectile function requires smooth muscle relaxation and an adequate blood flow in the penis region. Availability of nitric oxide is essential for both the mechanisms that are required for proper functioning of the erectile system.
  • Chronic stress can also cause sexual dysfunction because of the changes in the daily lifestyle. People who suffer from chronic stress are more likely to adopt unhealthy lifestyles such as overeating, drinking, smoking and other bad habits that people adapt to cope with stress. These unhealthy habits directly or indirectly lead to the development of the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. For example, overeating is one of the main cause of obesity and on the other hand, obesity is one of the causes of erectile dysfunction.
  • Numerous studies have reported that sexual dysfunction is highly associated with depression. When chronic stress lasts for a longer duration it can convert into depression. Emotional symptoms that are related to depression, such as sadness, lack of pleasure, disillusion strongly relates to sexual dysfunction. Researchers have shown that a large number of men who suffer from moderate or severe depression, often experiences low sexual activity.
  • Mental stress is an important factor that contributes to endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial cells line the interior surface of the blood vessels and the lymphatic vessels. Endothelial dysfunction results in an inability to smooth muscle relaxation and the functioning of the erectile system depends on the smooth muscle relaxation and blood flow in the penis region. Endothelial dysfunction leads to a reduced dilation response of blood vessels.

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Jim Carson

Jim Carson is the writer for the mental health section of He is certified in clinical mental health counselling and has conducted cognitive behaviour therapy for war veterans struggling with PTSD. Professionally and personally, Jim is an astute observer of human behaviour that reflects well in his work.