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Male Performance Anxiety And Erectile Dysfunction: Is There A Link?

UPGUYS > Blog > Sex > Male Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction: Is There A Link?
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on March 04, 2022

Most men experience some type of sexual problem in their life. This problem falls somewhere between performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction

Performance anxiety is a sexual problem caused by a lack of confidence due to worrying about body image and pleasing the partner. Sexual anxiety can cause erectile dysfunction.

Read this article to learn more about the link between severe performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. 

This article explains:

-What's performance anxiety

-What causes male performance anxiety

-What are the symptoms of male performance anxiety

-Can severe performance anxiety cause ED

-How to treat male performance anxiety

-Get help

-Key takeaways

What's Performance Anxiety

Sex is one of the most enjoyable activities in life. But, this joy can easily be ruined if we constantly worry about our body image and our performance skills. It's precisely like stage fright. 

Performance anxiety is highly likely to lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). A study in 20005 shows that performance anxiety can create sexual dysfunction in both men and women.

What Causes Male Performance Anxiety

Sexual activity is not only physical. It is also mental and psychological. If your confidence is ruined due to stress, or if you are afraid or worried about anything, you'll get performance anxiety and might experience sexual dysfunction. The following are some of the reasons why you might get stressed:

  1. career loss or change
  2. problems in the relationship
  3. fear of not being able to satisfy your partner in the bedroom
  4. fear of not having the right-size penis
  5. poor body image
  6. severe illness in the family
  7. worry about premature ejaculation

What Are the Symptoms of Male Performance Anxiety?

Symptoms of male performance anxiety include:

  1. showing no or little interest in sexual activities
  2. having a difficult time to get hard
  3. difficulty in sustaining an erection long enough for intercourse
  4. premature ejaculation
  5. difficult time having an orgasm during sex

Can Severe Performance Anxiety Cause ED?

As you might know, erectile dysfunction is when a biological man is incapable of getting or maintaining an erection long enough for intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can happen due to many reasons, but primarily due to cardiovascular diseases and low blood flow.

When you get stressed, your body activates its nervous system. When the nervous system activates, it releases epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol. As a result, there will be an increase in blood pressure. Subsequently, the blood flow to other body parts, like the penis, decreases and makes it next to impossible to form an erection.

So, without any physical causes of erectile dysfunction present, a person with severe anxiety finds it challenging to get and maintain an erection.

If this goes on, gradually, the fear and anxiety will affect the stressed person immensely, and some will have less and less desire for sexual activities.

How to Treat Male Performance Anxiety

In order to treat the erectile dysfunction caused by performance anxiety, it should be identified why the person got stressed in the first place. 

Some people get over their performance anxiety over time because they become more familiar with their sexual partners.

But if the familiarity with the partner doesn't work, there are still two efficient treatments available: Therapy and medication.


There are different types of therapy that are suitable to address performance anxiety. Some of the most common ones include couple's counselling, sex therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy.

A study shows that guided imagery, a technique used frequently for dealing with anxiety, can also address and treat performance anxiety.


There are many medications available to treat erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety.  

Contact your healthcare provider and see if these prescription medications fit your needs considering your physical, psychological health. 

Get Help 

If you have any kind of erectile dysfunction, there is no need to worry!

Whatever psychological or physical problem you have these days which has caused you to be incapable of performing your best in the bedroom, know that there are scientifically-backed medications to treat your sexual performance. 

All you need to do is:

  1.  to contact your healthcare provider and share your concerns with them, or
  2. to contact online platforms that connect you to Canadian doctors online, and have your medications delivered to you. 

The medications in the market are both branded and generic. Branded drugs and their generic version have the same qualities, benefits, and side effects. 

Key takeaways

Anxiety and stress caused by poor body image and lack of confidence can lead to erectile dysfunction. But, it can be treated by counselling and medication and some lifestyle changes

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.