Chronic Stress Can Affect Sexual Functioning And May Cause Impotency

Chronic Stress Can Affect Sexual Functions

Chronic Stress Can Affect Sexual Functioning

Biological, psychological, and environmental factors can have a negative effect on sexual functioning and may cause impotence. Current research suggests a variety of factors that may cause sexual dysfunction and increase the probability of developing erectile dysfunction in men. Men over the age of 40 are at greater risk than younger men. 

Risk factors of sexual dysfunction range from but are not confined to the following: 

  • Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), 
  • diabetes, 
  • prostate cancer
  • enlarged prostate, 
  • other prostate-related issues, 
  • alcoholism 
  • poly-substance abuse(drug and alcohol abuse), 
  • cigarette smoking, 
  • diet, 
  • and both psychological and physiological stress.

Erectile Dysfunction:

Erectile dysfunction(ED), commonly referred to as impotency is defined as the inability to develop and or maintain an erection in duration long enough for penetration to occur.

Stress Response: 

The stress response is also known as fight or flight is a physical and psychological response to psychological and environmental stress. The stress response is mediated by the hypothalamus-pituitary and adrenal axes, parasympathetic nervous system,  sympathetic nervous system, and the somatic nervous systems. 

The stress response is commonly referred to as "flight or fight response" and is an adaptive survival mechanism which allows individuals to respond to an environmental threat rapidly giving an individual an instantaneous burst of energy and an increased level of strength enabling a person to fight off a threat, or flee from it. 

However, chronic stress can disrupt the equilibrium of various biological and cognitive processes. Both chronic and cumulative stress can disturb the functioning of various biological and psychological processes of the body causing disequilibrium in the immune system, disrupting memory consolidation, causing memory loss, increase the risk of heart attack, lead to sexual dysfunction, and etc.
Chronic stress can cause sexual dysfunction
Chronic stress can cause sexual dysfunction

Parasympathetic And Sympathetic Nervous Systems

Both the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems have vital roles in the sexual functioning of both men and women.

The parasympathetic nervous system stimulates muscle fibers and arteries causing smooth muscles to relax which allows blood to fill the chambers of the phallus. 

However, during the stress response, the parasympathetic nervous system prevents the penis from becoming erect.

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the ejaculatory phase of coitus; vasoconstriction of the majority of blood vessels occurs during fight or flight in order to reserve oxygen for the organs that are essential for the sympathetic adrenaline response of the body. 
Couple showing affection

Sex can be a great stress reliever, however, stress can alter the hormonal levels of both men and women. Procreation becomes secondary to survival during stressful situations. 

10 Tips On Reducing stress and enhancing your sexual experiences. 

1) Exercising
2) Meditation: 
3) Healthy diet:
4) Setting the mood:
5) Discuss sexual concerns: 
6) Problem-solve:
7) Get an adequate amount of rest

8) Just chill: 

9) Conflict resolution: 

10) If none of the above work, consult professional help: 

Author on Inveigle Magazine

Author: Gregory M. Green is the author of various topics in the Social Sciences section of Inveigle MagazineHe writes on informative topics that bring awareness to the world. We are so pleased to have him as a part of Inveigle Magazine's Team. Follow us @Inveiglemagazi1 View more articles by Gregory M. Green

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