Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction: An Inclusive Guide

Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction: An Inclusive Guide
Published : Feb 05, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 07, 2024

Are psychological factors affecting your ability to get or keep an erection during sexual activity?

If the answer is yes, then you might have psychogenic erectile dysfunction disorder.

Certain factors including guilt, stress, low self-esteem, fear, depression, or relationship worries can cause psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

Almost 40% of erectile dysfunction cases are contemplated psychogenic.

Though erectile dysfunction can affect men at any age but psychogenic erectile dysfunction cases are more common in young men.

What do you understand by psychogenic erectile dysfunction?

Psychogenic erectile dysfunction is a failure to acquire and maintain an erection for sexual performance due to various mental factors.

However, psychogenic erectile dysfunction is quite common in young men.

It is often noticed that almost 85.2% of men below 40 years struggle with psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

Psychogenic erectile dysfunction not only affects your sexual health but also impacts mood, quality of life & interpersonal relationships.

Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction: What are its symptoms?

Failing to attain an erection occasionally is not uncommon or a major reason for concern.

However, when a man finds it difficult to attain or maintain an erection during sexual activity half of time, it can be erectile dysfunction.

Here are some symptoms of psychogenic erectile dysfunction:

  • Trouble attaining an erection
  • Not able to have an erection
  • Loss of erection before involving in sexual activity with a partner
  • Interest in sexual activity but problem performing
  • Premature or delayed ejaculation

Remember symptoms of psychogenic erectile dysfunction can differ from person to person.

However, awareness of symptoms and how erectile dysfunction influence your sexual performance can aid you to get right treatment.

What are different causes of psychogenic erectile dysfunction?

Erection process needs coordination between your blood vessels and psychological & neurological factors.

Any changes in components of erectile response can disturb your sexual performance and can be caused by:

Emotional stress

Certain external pressures like family issues, work-related stress, and relationship problems can make you suffer from emotional stress.

As a result, your ability to involve in sexual activity is also disturbed.


Relationship between erectile dysfunction and depression is probably bidirectional.

This means that depression can be a cause as well as an effect of psychogenic erectile dysfunction.


Feelings of anxiety can take place based on your fear of appearance, sexual performance, self-confidence, or external pressures.

Partner conflicts

Sometimes conflicts can cause stress or emotional trauma that can obstruct your ability to involve in sexual activity with your partner.

When you feel pressurised into sexual activity, it can cause psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

Low self-esteem

This can be linked to performance during or prior sexual activity which can lead to feelings of shame or inadequacy.

Cultural or religious beliefs

A man’s attitude towards sexual activity can be affected by their religious or cultural beliefs.


You might suffer from an emotional response during sexual activity and in sexual relationships due to a history of sexual abuse or trauma. 

To heal your problem, it is necessary to address it with your mental health professional.

Diagnosing psychogenic erectile dysfunction

After a physical examination and assessment of your clinical history, a doctor will diagnose psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

In case, primary triggers for your ED symptoms are situational then you might be diagnosed with PED disorder.

You might suffer from ED as a side effect of a medicine or your pre-existing health disorder like diabetes mellitus or hypotension.

To identify whether a cause of your ED is organic or psychogenic, doctor might perform some blood tests to assess:

  • Blood count
  • Glucose levels
  • Lipid levels
  • Testosterone levels

Such types of blood tests will aid in recognizing your underlying health conditions that cause organic ED.

Treatment of psychogenic erectile dysfunction

Here are various treatment methods which can help you to treat psychogenic erectile dysfunction:

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has become a potential and promising treatment option for young men.

This treatment can also present new stimulation techniques like physical motivation to increase sexual desire. 

However, still research is required to recognize effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for men of all ages.  

Anxiety reduction

Undertaking root causes of external stress like low self-confidence and work-related, relationship, or family stress can decrease & prevent PED.

Couples counseling

Counseling offers an enabled, and safe space for couples to commune about sexual and emotional issues. 

This further allows to increase intimacy and enhance communication.

Also, couple counseling helps in increasing sexual satisfaction and treating psychogenic erectile dysfunction problems.


There are numerous over-the-counter and prescription Ed medicines that can assist in improving erectile function in men.

First line of treatment for mood disorders is frequently when your erectile dysfunction coexists with anxiety or sadness.

Antidepressants also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors reduce symptoms of depression & anxiety symptoms, leading to PED.

An over-the-counter medicine called sildenafil citrate helps men suffering from depression’s erectile dysfunction.

Additionally, SSRIs and sildenafil citrate can be combined to effectively treat mood problems.

Can you prevent psychogenic erectile dysfunction?

High-quality sexual therapy is effective in relieving psychogenic erectile dysfunction by decreasing performance anxiety & anticipatory sexual anxiety.

Also, pleasure-orientated support for future sexual encounters can be integrated. 

When do you need to visit your doctor?

In case, your relationship is affected by psychogenic erectile dysfunction then it’s time for you to get medical attention. 

When it is left untreated, psychogenic erectile dysfunction can lead to long-term effects on your mental health and relationships.

While suffering from psychogenic erectile dysfunction, do not feel ashamed and discuss with your doctor to find right treatment plan.

Therefore, it is easy to treat and prevent psychogenic erectile dysfunction and decrease strain on your mental health as well as relationships.