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How Does the Nervous System Control Erectile Dysfunction?

Updated: May 30, 2023

Nervous System Control Erectile Dysfunction

It’s a fact of life that we all experience stress to a certain degree. But, did you know that your stress levels could be having an impact on your ability to rise to the occasion? An influx of stress hormones can send your nervous system into battle mode leaving your penis limp and lifeless.

Stress, over a prolonged period of time, can lead to long-term problems achieving and maintaining erections. But what can we do to overcome this type of stress-related erectile dysfunction? Also, what happens when our inability to get hard is the main cause of stress?

Let’s take a look at how stress and the nervous system affect erectile dysfunction and talk about the ways you should address the problem.

How Does the Nervous System Affect Erections?

The neural pathways that run from our brains down the spinal cord help us to control all manner of voluntary actions. But, there is a part of our nervous system that can work independently of our thoughts.

man hiking to help reduce his stress

Each of us has both a parasympathetic and a sympathetic element to our autonomic nervous system (ANS).

The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for regulating things like blushing and bringing about orgasms. It’s also the part of the nervous system that calms us down.

You’ve probably heard of the term “fight-or-flight” before. Well, this happens when the sympathetic nervous system kicks this into gear and the chemicals epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine are released.

When this occurs, it overrides the parasympathetic nervous system by raising our heart rate and diverting blood flow and oxygen to the muscles. This gets them ready to face whatever oncoming perceived danger you’re facing. One of the areas where blood flow is diverted from is the penis.

As some of you that paid attention in biology class may remember, erections occur when the muscles in the corpora cavernosa start to relax allowing blood to flow to the spongy tissues of the penis. Getting erections is therefore related to the juggling act played out by the two sides of the ANS.

mans body under stress

This diversion of blood flow by the sympathetic nervous system occurs in a manner that we seemingly have no control over. It’s a natural reaction to potentially dangerous situations designed to help us to stay alive. Our bodies naturally, and quite rightly, place greater importance on survival over sex.

On the face of it, none of this is a problem. In a genuine crisis, we don’t need to use our dicks to help us deal with stressful situations. Once the danger has passed, the parasympathetic nervous system comes back online, our heart rates drop, and our breathing helps us to find a natural sense of calm again. And, normal service resumes in terms of getting an erection.

What Happens if You’re Continually Under Stress?

You may not be living through life-or-death situations. It could be that you work in a high-stress work environment where you’re constantly having to deal with new challenges, or, it might be that you’re in a volatile relationship where there’s always a source of tension. Whatever the cause of your stress, your sympathetic nervous system could be in control of your body causing an overproduction of stress hormones.

When you’re continuously stressed and on edge, your cortisol levels remain high at all times. Your body is perpetually on high alert, and, as such, you can have trouble getting an erection.

ED from continuous stress

What Happens When the Cause of Our Stress Is That We Just Can’t Get It Up?

When we start having sex, the parasympathetic nervous system is very much in play. We generally start to feel relaxed and aroused.

However, if you’ve ever failed to achieve an erection, you’ll know the feeling of worry and doubt that spreads in your mind. These feelings help release the dreaded mood-killing stress hormones bringing the sympathetic nervous system into play, making it even harder to get the blood flowing to the penis. Worry and doubt make it harder to get it up.

Unfortunately, the feelings of stress associated with erectile dysfunction and sexual performance issues serve as a vicious circle, making it harder to ever break out of it.

How Can You Fight Stress and Anxiety?

According to the Anxiety and Depression Society of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the U.S. That’s 18.1% of the population. And, 39% of those people don’t get treatment for it.

tips for fighting stress and anxiety

If stress and anxiety are playing a big part in your life, seeking treatment from your doctor or a therapist will help you immensely. But there are lots of things you can do to help just by changing your lifestyle slightly.

Get More Exercise

One of the most important things you can do is to exercise plenty. Exercise helps your body release the feel-good hormone; endorphin while lowering the stress-inducing hormone cortisol. In addition to this, exercise helps you get a better quality of sleep and makes you feel more confident.

Running and walking, along with any form of exercise that mobilizes large muscle groups will help reduce stress.

In addition to fighting stress, getting plenty of exercise is also good for your erectile health as it helps reduce the build-up of cholesterol in the blood, which can block blood flow in the penis too.

Laugh More

It may sound silly, but laughing is often the best medicine when it comes to reducing stress. It helps your muscles to relax and relieves your natural stress response.

If you’re feeling stressed, watch your favorite comedy show or hang out with friends and family who make you laugh.

Use Supplements

There are several supplements that have been found helpful in reducing stress and anxiety levels. For example, lemon balm, kava kava, valerian root, green tea, and omega 3 fatty acids are all known for their anti-anxiety benefits.

Cut Back on Caffeine

If you’re hitting the double espressos several times a day, or you’re fueled by cola, overuse of the stimulant, caffeine, can bring about anxiety in high doses. Cutting back to a moderate intake will help restore the balance.

Practice Mindfulness

If you’ve never come across mindfulness, it’s a practice that’s designed to help anchor you to the present and combat any anxiety you’re feeling.

Through practices such as meditation and yoga, it’s possible to turn your attention to the here and now and reduce the worry and doubt that may be creeping in. It is a practice that does take time and effort, so don’t expect to get it right the first time!

Identify the Causes of Stress In Your Life

Lastly, wherever possible, identify the thing that causes you the most stress in your life and take action. If you’ve got work issues, try and find a solution. Relationship problems? Talk to a couples therapist. If you have money worries, speak to a debt charity. Talk about your problems with someone you’re close to. This can help reduce the burden they cause.

Don’t let your stress affect your health and your sex life.

How Can You Use The Phoenix to Improve Your Sexual Performance

The first thing you can do to move on from your stress-related sexual performance issues is to tackle the problem with your head-on. Using The Phoenix, an acoustic wave therapy device designed to improve bedroom performance and make it easier for you to get it up, you can start to restore your sex to its former glory.

The Phoenix, an acoustic wave therapy device

The process does take some time. You’ll need to use the device a couple of times a week over 30 days followed by a month off. 12 treatments should be enough for you to see meaningful results, but their protocol suggests 120 days to really see the results kick in.

However, it's well worth it as it's proven to be effective!

The best part is that you can do this from the comfort of your own home without the need to see a urologist or doctor. That’s less stressful as some doctors you visit might not know what the heck you’re talking about and will assume that you just have ‘performance anxiety’.

It’s hard to find a good doctor or talk to a doctor when most still use primitive treatment options like the little blue pill, which is only a band-aid fix and can lead to a psychological dependency issue for you in the long run.

Getting over the hump of not being able to get it up with The Phoenix may not help you overcome much of the anxiety associated with sexual performance issues, BUT it’s a start as you’ll notice how much easier it is to "get it up" and perform.

In addition to this, it’s always best to approach the causes of the stress and anxiety too, while putting together these strategies to help reduce their impact.

It's Time To "Get It Up" With The Phoenix

If you’re experiencing stress-related sexual performance issues, it’s time to take action. Pick up The Phoenix and you could see amazing results with at least 12 treatments. By promoting your sexual health with devices such as this one, you can achieve better and enhanced sex.

Remember, restoring your performance means making some changes in your life. By following the lifestyle tips in this article, you can lower your stress levels and improve your chances of getting it up once again.

For more helpful articles about sexual health and sex, check out the rest of the blog. Be sure to hit like, get in touch, or subscribe to learn more about the ways you can take better care of yourself and better sexual performance.

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