Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Psychotherapy for Erection Problems

Topic Overview

Psychological issues may play a role in erection problems (erectile dysfunction). These issues may include depression, anxiety disorder, or another mental disorder.

Men with these types of problems may benefit from therapy.

Psychological treatment is most likely to be helpful for men who:

  • Have an erect penis when they wake up in the morning.
  • Can get a firm erection when masturbating.
  • Have gone through a stressful major life event, such as divorce, separation, death of a loved one, change in job, or moving.
  • Grew up in an environment where sex and sexuality were considered negative, wrong, or "bad," or who were sexually or physically abused as a child.
  • Lost their mother or father during early childhood.
  • Have a history of serious relationship problems.
  • Have a history of anxiety disorders or physical problems that have a psychological component (such as irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, asthma, or nervous bladder).

The type of therapy and how long it lasts depends on what type of problem you have. Both group or individual therapy may be used. It's often helpful to involve your partner in the therapy.

Evidence shows that group therapy helps with erection problems in some men. Adding group therapy to treatment with sildenafil (for example, Viagra) helped more than sildenafil alone. Men who took part in group therapy also were more likely to keep taking their medicine.footnote 1

References

Citations

  1. Melnik T, et al. (2007). Psychosocial interventions for erectile dysfunction. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3).

Credits

Current as of: May 28, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Christopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology

News & Events

View All

Exercising to Improve Symptoms of Endometriosis

We all know that exercise is one of the most beneficial ways to relieve stress, even though we sometimes don’t