Sydney Counselling, Relationship Counselling, Sex Therapy

Erection Problems

Erection problems can be due to physical or psychological reasons or both. It is not uncommon for men to experience erection problems throughout their life. Often the aging process affects this. Illness and disease can also contribute to erection problems. Erection problems are sometimes referred to as erectile dysfunction.

Some common illnesses and diseases attributing to erection problems are prostate cancer, diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, depression, anxiety, stress, low blood pressure (hypotension) or high blood pressure (hypertension). Injury to the nervous system or pelvic region can also attribute to erection problems. Erection problems have also been attributed to arthritis, back pain, and obesity.

Medication can contribute to erection problems. Drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) or tremors such as beta adrenergic blockers (known as beta blockers) such as Propanolol have been known to cause erectile failure however some studies indicate that erectile failure had been reversed on stopping the medication. Psychotropic drugs have also been shown to contribute negatively to sexual performance – minor tranquilisers, sedatives and hypnotics; major tranquillisers and anti-depressants. Some minor tranquilisers such as diazepam had been shown to delay orgasm in women, there may be affects for men’s sexual performance. Major tranquillisers have been shown to affect sexual performance, as have studies for anti-depressants. Always check with your GP about the side effects of the drug you are taking – it may be the cause of erection problems.

Alcohol and recreational drug use studies have shown mixed findings concerning libido dependent upon quantity and frequency of alcohol or drug use. What does seem a concern is the more long-term effects of alcohol and recreational drugs on the nervous system, liver and endocrine system and their sexual consequences. If the consequence is medication then the effects of that medication on sexual performance needs to be considered. Perhaps a good maxim to work by is abstinence or moderation of alcohol or recreational drug use.

Are all medications bad? No, some enhance the ability to gain an erection and their prescription should only be by way of your GP. Avoid ordering and taking drugs off the internet as their clinical and pharmaceutical content may be compromised. A word of caution – some drugs taken to enhance sexual performance may conflict with therapeutic benefits of other medications in the treatment of physical illness or disease. Always check with your GP – play it safe.

Erection problems may also be linked to relationship problems and self-esteem issues. These issues are explored in counselling and may be due to a variety of reasons. If you are in good health and do not frequently consume alcohol or recreational drugs, erection problems may lie in other areas of your life to be followed up with.