Examining your relationships and life events for erection problems

Looking at events in your life, your relationships, and your feelings can often help you determine factors that may contribute to erection problems (erectile dysfunction).

Review the following events and concerns. Did your erection problems begin at this time? If so, this may be a factor. Talk to your partner or others about how this affected you and your relationship.

Events that are sometimes associated with erection problems include:

  • Getting a new job or losing a job.
  • Getting ready to retire or retiring.
  • Entering a new relationship.
  • A significant change in an existing relationship, such as the birth of a child or an older child leaving home.
  • The death of a longtime sex partner.

Fears and concerns may also contribute to erection problems, including:

  • Worry about aging.
  • Worry about a partner with health problems.
  • Worry about finances.
  • Concerns about poor communication between you and your partner.

All of these situations and others—especially when associated with stress, depression, anger, or anxiety—can cause temporary stress leading to erection problems. Give yourself time to adjust to changes. It is okay if sex is not a priority for a while. Generally after a few weeks, the erection problem may pass.

Last Updated: May 21, 2008

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