Sexual interest in a man is largely dependent on testosterone levels in his body. As such, low levels may signiﬁcantly reduce sexual desire, horniness and eventually, the ability to enjoy erections. Some estimates report that up to 20% of men who suffer erectile dysfunctions have hormonal problems, i.e., hypogonadism or low testosterone levels.
When a person is stressed out, the body reacts by releasing cortisol and adrenaline. For men, being stressed most of the time can lead to chronically elevated levels of the 2 aforementioned hormones, both of which can cause erectile dysfunction in 2 ways. Indirectly, stress can lead to weakened libido and consequently, less frequent or worse, failure to achieve erections. In a direct manner, the 2 stress hormones can signiﬁcantly affect blood ﬂow and since erections are all about the ﬂow, it increases the risk of suffering from erectile dysfunctions.
A man’s libido and depression are, unfortunately, tied together. According to Mark Held, PhD, who is a clinical psychologist in Denver, depression changes a person’s biochemistry and consequently affects libido. He further notes — and I agree — that it’s harder or practically impossible to be horny and depressed at the same time. Further, some medicines taken for managing depression also increase the risk of weakened libido, especially for men.
A big chunk of experiencing erections has to do with how a person sees himself. The sexier a person feels, the more frequent and longer lasting his erections will be. However, a man who looks lowly upon himself may ﬁnd it really hard to feel sexy and thus, may have a very difﬁcult time being aroused. As such, erections may come as frequent and as long as rains in the desert and the lines at many supermarkets, respectively.
A little alcohol never hurt anyone. In fact, a small amount can help a man feel more relaxed and confident. Too much of it, however, run the risk of negatively affecting the nervous system as well as increase the risk of being fatigued more often, both of which can signiﬁcantly reduce a man’s libido. Some drugs can also plummet your libido such as marijuana, which suppresses testosterone production by inhibiting the pituitary gland.
It’s hard to get enough sleep these days but that isn’t an excuse. Adequate and good quality of sleep is essential for optimal health and mental performance, as well as libido. As with depression, it’s practically impossible to be aroused even by the sexiest woman alive when a man is always tired due to lack of sleep. The desire to get enough sleep always trumps the desire to have sex and as such, the sleep card will almost always trump the horniness card and lead to erectile dysfunction.
Most medicines have side effects that vary in kind, duration and intensity. In particular, some medicines used for managing blood pressure, depression and prostate problems increase the risk for erectile dysfunction. Most men who are under medication are aware of this risk on top of others such as drowsiness, dry mouth, headaches, upset stomach and skin irritation, among others. One medication that can cause erectile dysfunction is benzodiazepines — a popular medication for treating anxiety,
insomnia and seizures. In particular, popular benzodiazepines like Ativan, Xanax, Librium and Valium have a sedative effect for reducing anxiety. The sedating beneﬁts aren’t limited to anxiety however, and often times extend to a man’s libido. When the libido is also sedated, it’s very challenging to experience frequent and lasting erections.
As mentioned earlier, depression is a sure ball way to quench libido and consequently, keep a man from experiencing erections. But the treatment for it may not necessarily be the cure — at least for erectile dysfunction. One popular type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI for brevity) such as Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro and Zoloft are observed to affect about 60% of men who take them. Though there’s still no clear reason as to how it does so, it’s suspected that erectile dysfunction cases are related to its effect on the neurotransmitter called serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. All 3 neurotransmitters affect a person’s well being and as such, can affect libido and ultimately reduce a man’s ability to experience erections.
Blood pressure medication — beta-blockers in particular — can also affect a man’s ability to achieve and sustain erections. Beta-blockers like Lopressor, SEctral, Tenormin and Cogard can have the same effect on neurotransmitters as antidepressants particularly epinephrine, which affects a man’s ability to feel excited. Some studies also suggest that beta- blockers interfere with the part of men’s nervous systems responsible for sexual arousal and consequently, erections.
Allergies may have little to do with erectile dysfunction but the medicines used to treat them have much to do with it. Antihistamines like Dramamine and Benadryl were noted to lead to erectile dysfunction, though no clear evidence explains just how they do so. Possibly, it’s because it affects the same areas of the nervous system responsible for arousal. The good news is that the erectile dysfunction side effect is temporary and often times disappear soon after stopping such medication.
Medications used to treat digestive system conditions like heartburn, erosive esophagitis, gastric ulcers and acid reﬂux — also known as H2 blockers — can also lead to erectile dysfunction, especially at high dosages, both indirectly (decreased libido) and directly (erectile dysfunction). H2 blockers also run the risk of reducing a man’s sperm count.
It’s not a time to feel that your masculinity is in question. It’s a time to explore to ﬁnd out why your body is not responding in the way that you expect it to and this is essential to get rid of any doubts you may have and to adjust things so that you have the maximum chances of continuing with a love-life that is satisfying for both of you.
Forget the question of simply ﬁnding a solution. It’s not the way to approach the problem. The following pages contain very vital information that will give you the right approach to solving the problem forever, so that you can maximize the possibility of overcoming dysfunction and going back to a healthy sex life.