March 23rd, 2020
Psychogenic erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain an erection due to psychological, rather than physiological, reasons. This can be because of relationship problems, depression, childhood trauma, or sexual abuse in rare cases, but the most common cause of psychological ED is stress and anxiety related to everyday life.
Unfortunately, the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak is an extreme stressor and cause of anxiety and even marriage-related issues. People are worried about themselves or loved ones catching the virus. They are also worried about how coronavirus is affecting their income.
Those who already suffer from psychogenic erectile dysfunction are facing an uphill battle when it comes to treating ED during these uncertain times.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that everyone practice social distancing as much as possible. This means only going out to do things like pick up medicine, grocery shop, or go to work if your job is essential to dealing with this crisis.
If you have to be around people, the CDC recommends you remain at least six feet apart.
According to these guidelines, you technically should not be having sex during the spread of the coronavirus. Realistically, though, people who live with their partner are likely still having sex. We can’t do any of our normal social activities. Most of us can’t even go to work. People are going to turn to sex to distract themselves from everything going on in the world.
So what are you supposed to do if your partner wants to be intimate and you are someone who suffers from psychogenic erectile dysfunction?
The biggest psychological causes of ED are stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness/sleep deprivation. This means treating psychological ED comes down to natural ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
One stress reduction strategy you can try is meditation. You might be thinking that if you were able to actually clear your mind, you wouldn’t be suffering from psychogenic erectile dysfunction in the first place. The thing is, “thinking about nothing” is not the only form of meditation. Instead, add a little creative visualization to the mix.
Find a quiet place to meditate. Put on some music you enjoy that has no lyrics. Get comfortable and close your eyes.
Once you’re in this state, think about you and your partner having sex. Visualize yourself getting a strong erection rather than thinking how you can’t get hard. Maintain your focus on a positive sexual experience and pleasing your partner. Add a mantra that you repeat to yourself, such as “I am relaxed and able to enjoy sex with my partner.”
You will have to do this daily, or even multiple times a day, for it to have an effect.
Breathing exercises are another thing for you to try to overcome psychological ED. The most popular breathing exercise is the 4-7-8 method.
First, breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds. Next, hold that breath for 7 seconds. Finally, exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds.
You should use this technique multiple times throughout each day. Try and make it a part of your natural breathing routine. Of course, use this breathing technique right before, and even during, intimacy. Focusing on your breath takes your mind off of thinking you can’t get hard.
Finally, take the focus off of yourself and put it on to your partner during intimacy. Focus on all the things about them that turn you on. Let your physiology, rather than your psychology, control the situation.
While it is easier said than done, times like this are a reminder to be appreciative of the good things in our lives. One of those good things is the relationship you have with your partner.
Everything that happens as a result of the virus is out of your control. Incorporate these relaxation techniques into your daily routine and let yourself be distracted from the world around you.
If your psychogenic erectile dysfunction persists, consider seeing a urologist. Dr. James Elist, MD, FACS has years of experience treating patients with erectile dysfunction. He is also the inventor of the Penuma implant, which is an FDA-cleared penile enhancement implant. He has authored many articles and books on the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Contact him to discuss psychological ED treatments today.