What is erectile dysfunction, exactly?
The inability to achieve and maintain an erection strong enough for sexual activity is known as erectile dysfunction.
Nothing to worry about if you're experiencing typical erection issues. But if erectile dysfunction persisted, it may be upsetting, stressful, and bad for your relationships.
Problems with erection maintenance or acquisition can indicate a medical condition that needs to be treated in addition to being a risk factor for heart disease.
Despite your embarrassment, talk to your doctor about your concerns regarding erectile dysfunction. It might not always be necessary to treat erectile dysfunction directly.
Utilizing medication or other direct therapies may be necessary in certain situations.
How does sadness affect sex?
Every part of your life, including your sexual life, can be impacted by depression. Your libido (sex drive) may be impacted by a variety of factors, including your low self-esteem, physical exhaustion, and sense of helplessness. Additionally, depression may lead to:
- Anorgasmia, also known as having trouble getting orgasmic.
- When getting an erection is challenging, this is called erectile dysfunction.
In what ways do sex and sadness overlap?
Depression affects sex because of biology. It all starts with a group of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters allow your brain, which is where sexual desire starts, and your sex organs to connect with one another.
When you think about something you want, your body boosts the blood flow to your genital organs. A rise in blood flow, an arousal trigger, is what causes erections or vaginal lubrication.
In a sad person, the sex-related hormones are out of balance. Thus, there is minimal to no sexual drive. When present in modest amounts, some of these chemicals may lessen the enjoyment of joyful events.
How are sexual and depression issues identified and treated?
If you think that your sexual problems are caused by depression, speak with your doctor. Sadness can sometimes result from sexual issues rather than the other way around. By carefully reviewing your medical history, current symptoms, and medications, you can learn more.
It's critical to get rid of any extra medical conditions that could be contributing to your depression or erection issues. Your doctor may do the following tests or physical examinations to look for the following conditions:
- issues with gynecology in women.
- hormonal imbalances.
- nutrition-related issues.
- thyroid disorder.
- issues with male urology.
Can erectile dysfunction result from depression?
In order to assess the relationship between ED and depression, a 2018 study looked over 49 publications. According to the study's results, ED was 39% more common among depressed individuals than in non-depressed individuals.
The precise pathways by which depression may result in ED are still unknown to experts. However, the current theories include:
Depressive thoughts and feelings are behavioral signs of depression. Either one or both of these can lead to performance anxiety that compromises erectile function.
Antidepressant medications are frequently used by people who have depression to address their symptoms. However, these medications could lower libido and make it challenging to get or maintain an erection.
Low testosterone: The male hormone testosterone has a significant impact on sexual performance. Low levels are hence usually linked to ED. According to a credible source, men with low testosterone levels are more likely to experience depression.
In accordance with the aforementioned 2018 study, patients with ED are 192% more likely to feel depressed. This therefore probably has a beneficial relationship with depression.
A person with depression may also have ED for the reasons mentioned above. In a similar vein, individuals with ED may experience depression more frequently.
Low self-esteem, sexual performance anxiety, and other unfavorable perspectives might make depression in ED patients worse.
One's depression treatment may be modified
A 2017 study found that sexual dysfunction is a common side effect of many antidepressants. As a result, switching drugs might be advantageous. Common side effects of antidepressants include decreased libido and difficulty maintaining an erection. However, some medications are less likely to have these negative side effects.
The following antidepressants are suggested by the study's authors for people who value sexual function:
How are erectile dysfunction and depression treated?
Depression is routinely treated with antidepressants. However, some antidepressants, like SSRIs, can make sexual dysfunction worse. Talk to your doctor about any potential sexual side effects before starting an antidepressant.
Everyone responds to antidepressants differently, so it's important to choose the right medicine and dosage for you. Always consult your physician before:
- Changing the antidepressant's dosage.
- your antidepressant of choice has changed.
- Depression medication is stopped.