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Is my erectile dysfunction linked to stress?

Updated: 17 April 2017

“ Is my erectile dysfunction linked to stress ?” is a question most men would intuitively answer yes. To understand how chronic stress interferes with the reproductive system let’s look at the 4 stages of erection:

Non-excitable stage: Adrenaline (a stress neurotransmitter) is keeping the arteries in the penis constricted preventing blood from flowing.



Excitement-stimulation: The activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (NS) allows the flow of blood into the veins. Nitric Oxide accommodates the dilation of the arteries in the area. Viagra promotes the production of NO.




Ejaculation/orgasm: A shift of the NS into sympathetic causes the release of adrenaline -> the constriction of the arteries in the penis -> the ejaculation.



Loss of erection/refractory phase: The adrenaline keeps the arteries constricted and smooth muscle contracted while endorphins produce a feeling of well being! This stage can last from minutes to days.




Chronic stress causes the adrenals to be constantly switched on. The body’s inability to swift to a relaxed (parasympathetic) state, can cause lack of arousal and inability to maintain an erection. While the body’s inability to shift to an alert (sympathetic) state, such as when someone is drunk, can cause inability to ejaculate. Erectile Dysfunction ED is linked with Cardio Vascular Disease and exhausted adrenals are one of the links.


How can you tell if one suffers from erectile dysfunction?

There are no standards on how quickly one should ejaculate or how long his refractory phase last.

“ It is like athletics, there are sprinters and marathon runners!” ~ Dr Ronald Virag


How can you support an Erectile Function?

  1. Support your adrenals with a diet low in Glycemic Load.
  2. Supplements that support adrenal function are: Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), Niacin (vitamin B3), Zinc, and Magnesium.
  3. Use adaptogens wisely (i.e. Ashwagandha & Licorice root)
  4. Off-load stress-inducing activities.



Erectile Dysfunction is very often linked with a compromised cardiovascular function. Doing a comprehensive cardiovascular tests (such as the one offered by Genova Diagnostics) can be life-saving.