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I have been having trouble achieving and maintaining an erection.

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Hi, I am a 24 year old white male who is relatively fit and active, former military. I stay up to date on medical checkups and am in "near perfect" health. I have been with the same partner for many years and we have enjoyed an amazing sex life. But, about a month ago I lost my erection during sex(has never happened before). Ever since that particular night, I have been having trouble achieving and maintaining an erection. I used to wake up with an erection(I rarely do anymore) and have zero trouble getting an erection . I have not mentioned this to my doctor but recent blood work did not point to anything that would cause this. I know that stress and anxiety can cause these types of issues, but I can't think of anything in my life that has changed that would cause this. I am just looking for non-generic causes and suggestions for this issue. Thank you.


Category: Sexologist

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Thank you for asking your query.

I would not call your problem Erectile Dysfunction (even though technically that's the medical term available.). I see at least 10 patients / month with a similar problem in my practice. Young and healthy adult male - all of a sudden having decreased sexual urge and erection. And most of the times there is no precipitating factors. But the good thing is that over a period of time (on average 4-6 weeks) everything comes back to normal without much intervention.

Now the cause for this temporary erectile dysfunction can be broadly classified into organic (associated with your body) and inorganic problems (like anxiety, stress). Since you do not have any physical symptoms of any other illness and the recent blood work being normal, the chance for a organic problem is remote. This could be something to do with your mind (stress, anxiety) or environment (too much work? peer pressure ?). And often there is nothing you can think of. Yes, no identifiable cause. Whatever be the case the key to tide over this phase are the following:

  1. Awareness and Acceptance Know that this a commonly occurring problem, more like passing phase. And there is nothing fundamentally wrong with your body.
  2. Stay active Physically
  3. Take a break Mentally and emotionally
  4. Whatever keeps you cool and relaxed pursue that for some time (even if you are not experiencing any apparent anxiety or stress)
  5. Discuss with your partner Talk your partner. Do not keep this secret and blow it out of proportion. Its important NOT to establish a negative feedback loop. Negative feeback loop occurs when you approach this problem with secrecy and . So each time during sex you will be thinking whether it will go up? and putting your mind through a stress. This acts kind of negative feedback. Once this keep happens a vicious cycle can occur and can act as a negative feedback loop. So the best thing is to be open. You should keep trying. May be should try non penetrative sex – (oral, mutual masturbation etc) for some time and see how it goes.

Hope this helps.

Thank you


Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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