‘It is only on few occasions (now and then) or situations that I can’t get proper erections, I have no problem most of the time’ – This is a common scenario expressed by many men. Do we tell them that what they are going through is normal or should they be labelled as having Erectile Dysfunction?
Let us begin by explaining what erectile dysfunction is.
Erectile dysfunction in men is the inability to maintain an erection or get erect (Adequate hardness) when you desire. Sometimes, you might be able to get erect, but the erection does not last long enough to last through intercourse. In some severe cases of ED, you might not be able to get erect at all.
Often, erectile dysfunction is accompanied by a loss of sexual desire or interest and loss of self-esteem. When a man is unable to get an erection often, sex gets associated with a lot of anxiety related to performance.
However, occasional erectile dysfunction is very common in men and is not something to be worried about. It is also referred to as intermittent or situational erectile dysfunction and can be a result of factors not related to health conditions.
Situational ED can happen in certain situations and not others. If you have been suffering from ED, try doing some math and calculate if such incidents happen more than 20 percent of the time you have sex.
If the number is lower than 20, there is nothing to worry about. If the number crosses 20, it is best to get some professional advice. Your doctor will look at your overall health and help you determine whether the onset of ED is the result of a much serious underlying health condition.
As men grow older, some feel panicked if they aren’t able to perform like before. Some might not feel the urge to have sex as often as they did before. Again, this is not something to be alarmed about. Men go through hormonal changes as they age. Having sex fewer times than before may now be enough to satisfy the mind and body.
If you have been able to perform in most situations except a few or have been unable to perform in a particular situation every time, try evaluating what could have caused it.
Below are some most common reasons why men might sometimes not be able to perform.
If you have been stressed lately, you could point a finger directly at stress for being responsible. When the stress hormone (cortisol) in the body rises, the testosterone drops, and the brain does not receive the signals when it is time to get intimate.
When you are stressed, your mind may be clouded about the stress causing factor. Sometimes, you might be under stress because of performance anxiety if it is your first encounter. The pressure to perform well the first time may affect your erection adversely. Ironic, isn’t it?
Now, assuming the last time you couldn’t perform optimally, you are stressed if you will be able to perform well this time. You stress over it so much that you do not get erect this time either. Sounds familiar? Just relax and go with the flow! Stress is not going to do you any good.
Imagine you come home from a long day of work. You are so tired that you just want to hit the bed, but your partner wants to get intimate.
You try but, instead, your muscles are so tired that they are begging you to go to bed and your brain is already drowsy. You still want to satisfy your partner so; you go with the flow but cannot get an erection.
Now, is this erectile dysfunction or the fact that you were tired was to blame? Of course, the latter. Try again the next morning, and you will surprise yourself and your partner. This is why often, after a long workday, having sex in the night might not always work in your favour.
Having a drink or two on a romantic night might help set the mood and loosen up a bit, but did you know that the night might not end the way you intended it? Alcohol suppresses the sexual performance in men.
Too much of it might dehydrate the body and reduce the circulation of blood to the reproductive organs. It might also impair your senses and the brain might not receive the signals when you want to get intimate.
So, if you were unable to get an erection and were drunk, being sober might help you be more present and engage with your partner actively.
If you have been taking medication for blood pressure or added a new medicine, it could be the reason for intermittent ED. You could ask your doctor about it and switch medications.
Your ED should also get cured once you stop the medication. Medicines that contain sedatives often cause occasional ED by suppressing the nervous system.
Psychological Factors and Relationship Quotient
If you and your partner have been going through a rough patch, there are chances that your conjugal life will suffer. If you haven’t been able to move past your previous relationship, your feelings might be elsewhere, and it could affect your performance.
Sometimes, if your head is elsewhere while you engage in coitus, for example, anxious about a presentation the next day, it will show in your performance. Often being sad or angry might also be why erectile dysfunction happened.
In short, there is nothing to worry about if erectile dysfunction occurs occasionally. It is something to worry about only if it keeps repeating or gets worse over time. If you cross the 20% threshold mentioned above, it could be your body telling you that something is wrong and must be checked. If you can identify it to be situational ED, here are some things that you can do:
- Check your alcohol intake and cut down on smoking if you believe it could be one of the reasons causing your health to deteriorate.
- Verify with your doctor if your medications are the reason why it has been happening.
- Communicate with your partner if there is something on your mind. It could be hindering your performance or affecting your relationship.
- If you believe that your mental health is suffering and affecting all other areas in your life, we advise you to talk to a professional and get expert help.
Getting intimate with your partner is an expression of love and it should not cause you unnecessary stress. If you identify your case to be situational ED, try to determine the cause and work around it. If it happens occasionally, you do not need to worry about it.