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Loss of Desire/ Libido.Psychological causes for Erectile Dysfunction
Many men experience sexual problems as they age. Changes in sexual function are often a normal part of aging. However, some men experience more serious sexual problems that can cause distress. These sexual problems can affect any stage of the sexual response cycle, preventing an individual from experiencing sexual desire, arousal or orgasm. When sexual problems persist, they can reduce sexual desire and disrupt intimate relationships.
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the most common sexual problem men experience. It is defined as the inability to attain or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.1 Although ED can affect men at any age, it is more common in older men.2
For many men, ED is caused by physical problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or prostate cancer.1,3
In some cases, however, ED is caused by psychological problems. These can include:
- Anxiety – Men with anxiety may be so focused on performance that they cannot relax and enjoy sexual activity. This can lead to ED.
- Depression – Depression can lead to a loss of interest in sex. It can also affect a man’s ability to get or maintain an erection.
- Stress – Stress can interfere with sexual arousal and sexual desire. It can also lead to anxiety about sexual performance.
- Relationship problems – Problems with a sexual partner can cause or worsen ED. These can include communication problems, lack of sexual knowledge or sexual dysfunction in the partner.
ED can also be caused by certain medications, such as antidepressants, antihistamines and blood pressure medications.4 If you think a medication may be causing ED, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
Treatment for ED will depend on the underlying cause. In many cases, ED can be treated successfully.1,5
If the cause is physical, treatment may involve medications, hormone therapy, surgery or devices.1,3
If the cause is psychological, treatment may involve psychotherapy, counseling or sex therapy.1,6
Couples therapy can also be helpful in treating ED. This type of therapy can help couples identify and resolve relationship problems that may be contributing to ED.1
If you are experiencing sexual problems, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you identify the cause of the problem and choose the best treatment.