Why can't I get an erection just before sex?

Sex problems

Erection problem 

An erection problem occurs when a man cannot get or keep an erection that is firm enough for intercourse. Or they might not be able to get an erection at all. Or, may lose the erection during intercourse before you are ready.

Erection problems are common. Almost all adult men have trouble getting or keeping an erection at one time or another. Often the problem might go away with little or no treatment. But for some men, it can be an ongoing problem. This is called erectile dysfunction (ED)

If you have trouble getting or keeping an erection more than 25% of the time, you should see your healthcare provider.

What are Erection Problems? 

When men go sexually aroused, muscles, hormones, blood and nerves all work with either other to make an erection. Nerve signals, delivered from our mind to the penis, make muscles relax. This allows blood to travel to the tissue in the penis.

Once the penis is filled with blood and an erection has commenced, the blood vessels to the penis tighten up so that the erection could be maintained. Following arousal, the blood tissues to the penis open up one more time, letting the blood to pass away.

At a point in a male’s life, he might face difficulty maintaining or achieving an erected penis. Erection difficulties are also known as:

  • Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
  • Impotence

For most men, these problems happen occasionally and it's not a serious problem. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there’s nothing to concern if erection difficulty happens around 20 percent of the time.

However, if you’re unable to maintain an erection at least 50% of the time, you may have a health issue that needs medical attention.

How does an Erection Work?

During intercourse the nerves release chemicals that increase blood flow into the penis. The blood flow is usually stimulated for many reasons, it can affect some thoughts or physical touch of the partner. When the man is physically excited the muscles in the penis relax and which allows the blood to flow through the penile arteries which fill the two chambers inside the penis.

After the blood is filled the penis grows stiff. And in the same way, the erection ends when the accumulated blood flows out of the penile veins and the muscles relax. This is a process of an erection and then when the erection goes away.

What is Impotence (Erectile Dysfunction)?

Impotence means that a man's penis doesn't get firm enough during an intercourse. The man cannot get or maintain an erect penis. In medical terms, it is called erectile dysfunction (ED).  

Erectile dysfunction is different from premature ejaculation.  

The major causes of Erectile dysfunction include:  

  • Vascular disease — Erections happen when blood sums up in the top of the penis. Vascular disease can control the quantity of blood flowing to or keeping in the penis. Both can lead to problems with erections.  
  • Vascular disease is the commonly diagnosed medical cause for being impotence.  
  • Nerve damage — Nerves must be normal work for a man to get and keep the penis erected. Nerves can be affected by multiple sclerosis, prostate surgery, diabetes, or damage to the spinal cord.  
  • Psychological factors — Psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, guilt or fear can cause erection problems. At one point in time, these few factors were meant to be the major reasons for impotence. Doctors now study that physical things cause impotence in major men with the issues. However, embarrassment or "performance anxiety" can make physical issues even worse.  
  • Hormonal problems — Dispersal levels of few hormones can disturb the erections. Hormonal issues, like low levels of testosterone, are an unusual cause of impotence.

What are the Causes of Erection Problems?

Male arousal is considered a complex process that involves our brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result if any problem arises with any of these. Just like this, stress and mental health concerns can cause or increase the chances of erectile dysfunction.

It is observed sometimes that a combination of physical and psychological issues can also cause erectile dysfunction. For example, a minor physical issue that affects your performance might cause anxiety in you about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen the situation of erectile dysfunction.

1) Physical causes of Erection Problem:

In several cases, erection problems like ED are caused by physical conditions in the human body. Common causes of these include:

  • Heart disease
  • Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome, which is a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and even high cholesterol
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Tobacco use
  • Peyronie's disease, which develops scar tissue inside the penis
  • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
  • Sleep disorders
  • Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
  • Low testosterone                                                                                 

2) Psychological causes of Erection Problem

Our brain plays a significant role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection in males, starting with feelings of excitement or desire. Several things can come in between while you experience feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Some of these include:

  • Depression, anxiety or any other mental health conditions
  • Any kind of stress
  • Relationship issues caused due to stress, poor communication or other concerns
  • Any Risk factors

As you age, erections might take a longer time to develop and might not be as firm as in your young ages. You might require more direct touch to your penis to get and keep an erection firm.

Various risk factors can contribute to erectile problems, including:

  • Medical health conditions like diabetes or heart conditions
  • Tobacco use restricts blood flow to veins and arteries. Tobacco can cause chronic health conditions that lead to erectile dysfunction
  • Being overweight or obese 
  • Certain medical surgeries like prostate surgery or radiation treatment for cancer
  • Several injuries that damage the nerves or arteries that control erections
  • Medications or drugs, including antidepressants, antihistamines and medications that are taken to treat high blood pressure, pain or prostate conditions
  • Use of Drug and alcohol, especially if you are a long-term drug user or heavy drinker

Diagnosing Erection Problems

Tests that your physician may recommend to determine the cause of your erection problems include are as follows:

  1. CBC-complete blood count, which is a type of tests that checks for the low count of red blood cells (RBC)
  2. hormone profile, which tapes the amount of the male testosterone hormones  
  3. NPT-nocturnal penile tumescence, which diagnosis whether your erection happens during sleep
  4. Duplex ultrasound  uses high-frequency waves of sound to take an image of the body’s muscles
  5. Urinalysis is another test that measures protein and test hormones amount in the urine
  6. Once your doctor decides the reason for your erection issues, they’ll suggest appropriate treatment.

Treatment of Erection Problems

If you think you are suffering from an erection problem, a good first step is to consult your doctor. The treatment you require will entirely depend on what’s causing it.

You might find that simple lifestyle changes will help you through it, such as losing weight, drinking less alcohol, or quitting smoking.

If a certain medication is causing your erection problem like ED, your doctor might lower your dose or try a different drug altogether.

There are also other treatments. They include:

  • Counselling
  • Medications
  • Pumps


There are times where you suffer from anxiety or feel stressed which causes erection issues, it might help to talk to a professional therapist.

Life-changing problems or even everyday stress can trigger a problem with erection. Talking out about these things with a licensed and friendly therapist can ease your performance anxiety and help you feel more confident in your relationship.

Usually, you’ll only require a handful of sessions and may want to include your partner, as well.

How To Prevent Erection Problems?

There are many ways through which you can treat erectile dysfunction and some of them are:

1) Try to control the disease you are going through. If you are suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure then take medications to control them.

2) Quite the smoking and drinking binge. They can help you a lot in controlling your erectile dysfunction problems.

3) Working out daily will also help you a lot in controlling the problem. If you are overweight then there are chances to suffer from ED so focus on your diet and workout daily.

4) De-stress your mind and body. Having a lot of emotional stress and tension on your mind and body can also cause problems. Go out for a walk or plan a trip because stress could be a reason for ED.

5) Ashwagandha can also be taken to improve health and stamina in an individual. Some Ashwagandha supplements can be useful. But first, consult a doctor before using this medicine because it can be harmful to your health if taken in high dosage. 

Ashwagandha Tablets

Benefits of our Ashwagandha Tablets

Lowers stress levels: Most performance issues can be due to poor mental health, Ashwagandha tablets help lower anxiety and stress making your mood better. It increases blood flow in the arteries in the pelvic area making your erection last longer.

Improves performance as it is a natural aphrodisiac: Ashwagandha is a natural aphrodisiac as it increases nitric oxide in the body making the veins in the genital to expand which will help both to have a satisfying performance. 

Improves the level of Testosterone in the body: As men age, their body starts producing less testosterone, Ashwagandha helps in the creation of testosterone in men. 

Increases the sperm count: Studies have shown that Ashwagandha helps in increasing sperm count and quality in men and is also good in maintaining the overall health of men.

Improves endurance: Ashwagandha has given proven results to people who have low endurance, it has helped their overall performance desire and endurance with time and regular intakes.  

6) Ginseng is a natural herb. Its dosages ranged from 600 to 1000 mg three times a day. This herb has been proven to work on many people suffering from ED before.

You can also do some urine or blood tests to know the root of the problem and to see if you are not suffering from any other disease.

Some foods can also be taken to prevent ED:

o  Whole grains

o  Green vegetables

o  Fruits

o  Nuts

And avoid red meats, sugar, and full-fat dairy.

You can improve your ED with the help of many things and various types of treatments are available. You can use certain devices as well as certain medicines to treat them. If none of these work then consult a doctor and ask for help. 

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