Can Holiday Stress Induce Erectile Dysfunction?
The holiday season often comes with unwelcome guests: Stress, anxiety, and depression.
And it’s easy to see why. Traveling, shopping, cooking meals, cleaning, and the pressure to prepare for holiday events — this time of year can come with a long list of demands.
When this stress reaches its peak, your health can suffer in unexpected ways. Even the stress of your day-to-day lifestyle, let alone holiday-related stress, can induce what’s known as Stress-Induced Erectile Dysfunction (SIED).
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Having erection trouble every now and then isn’t necessarily a sign of ED or SIED. If it’s an ongoing issue, however, it can cause serious stress on a relationship and impact your self-confidence. It may also be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition.
The link between stress and sexual function isn’t always explored, but the physical and psychological effects of stress can directly affect the body’s ability to achieve an erection.
How Does Stress Lead to Erectile Dysfunction?
An erection is a complex function involving several different bodily processes. Your nervous system, blood vessels, muscles, hormones, and emotions all play a role in creating and maintaining an erection.
When stress enters the equation, it can affect how your brain signals these physical responses — directly disrupting your ability to get an erection. This means that you can become psychologically aroused, but your brain isn’t sending the right messages for your body to respond. Especially in periods of high stress, your body can enter “fight or flight” mode. If your mind and body aren’t relaxed, the nerve endings may not respond to stimulation.
Performance anxiety can also come into play when experiencing holiday stress-induced erectile dysfunction. There’s additional romantic pressure when festivities arrive. Stress can cause these negative feelings to spiral out of control.
Learning to Cope With Holiday Stress
It’s completely normal to feel stressed out around the holidays. And you might notice the impact on your body and mind — including erectile dysfunction. If you’re experiencing holiday stress-induced erectile dysfunction, there’s always help available to get you back on track.
In the long-term, solutions like stress management therapy can help you address the root cause and learn to cope with it day-to-day. A doctor can also help you diagnose any underlying conditions that could be playing a role.
Medication can help you overcome the symptoms of ED right away. Tadalafil, which is designed to treat erection problems in men, and sildenafil, which treats underlying pulmonary arterial hypertension, are two options for treating stress-induced erectile dysfunction.
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