Although it is common and natural that on occasion a man does not get an erection when it comes to having sexual relations, this causes insecurities, discomfort, guilt and anxiety in him.

That is why we want to inform you in detail about the male erection, the possible causes that sometimes do not occur, and the permanent problems that may occur.

What is the male erection?

The male erection is the process of filling the penis with blood to keep it erect and at an angle away from the body for sexual intercourse. It takes place within the arousal phase, which belongs to the five that make up the male sexual response:

  1. Sexual desire
It is common and natural that on occasion a man does not get an erection

It is common and natural that on occasion a man does not get an erection.

Three columns of tissue extend along the penis: the corpora cavernosa, which are two in number and each cover an artery, and the corpus spongiosum, which covers the urethra. The tissue that makes them up is crossed by multiple blood vessels, and at the time of erection, based on signals sent from the brain through the nerves, these blood vessels fill with blood, hardening and lengthening the penis. Specifically, the corpora cavernosa are capable of increasing their base size up to 4 times.

At the same time that the blood vessels fill with blood, they constrict so that the blood does not come out again, which keeps the penis rigid and at the proper angle of the erection.

Why sometimes the erection does not occur

It is common and natural that on some occasion an erection does not occur, it is a temporary matter and it is due to very specific causes whose appearance is indicating that it is not a good time to have a sexual relationship. A day of exhaustion or high stress both at work and in the personal sphere, the lack of desire or drug use are the most common. Likewise, at the time of losing virginity or having sexual relations with a new partner, they can cause nerves and a state of anxiety that makes it impossible to achieve or maintain an erection.

The consequences for men are low self-esteem, increased anxiety, guilt...

The consequences for men are low self-esteem, increased anxiety, guilt…

Drugs are an important factor that makes it difficult to follow the process of sexual response, both in men and women. The euphoria and disinhibition that these substances can produce can lead us to want to maintain relationships under the influence of them, but in reality it is very likely that this desire is frustrated by physiological consequences.

Thus, alcohol and marijuana inhibit the nervous system, making it difficult for the brain to send signals to fill the blood vessels in the penis. Cocaine, in small doses, can promote an erection, but users of this drug, having to increase the dose to maintain the same effects, achieve the opposite process and make an erection more difficultNerves or worries can interfere with an erectionNerves or worries can interfere with an erection.

The other great cause is, as we said, anxiety. This can be due to multiple issues: nerves for being the first time having a sexual relationship, fear of not performing as expected, concerns unrelated to the sexual act and that do not go out of your head: money, work, a discussion, a disagreement… Or simply having had an intense day on a physical level can mean that at that moment we are not able to get excited.

Different causes of erection problems

When the inability to obtain an erection, or to maintain it throughout the sexual act, persists over time, we would be talking about an erection problem, erectile dysfunction or impotence. This sexual dysfunction should not be the result of anguish, since it occurs in 20% of men, its causes are not shameful and, moreover, there is a solution.

The causes of erection problems can be organic or functional, that is, of psychological origin or circumstances. Organic causes are telling us that there is a health problem, but don’t be scared, when faced with a problem of this type, you shouldn’t think about the most serious cause first. These causes can be:

  • The main one is age, as the years go by, erections lose the strength they had before, but this is part of nature.
  • Diseases from which it derives, such as diabetes.
  • Intake of drugs such as antidepressants, hypotensives and tranquilizers.
  • Arterial and vascular disorders in the genital area.
  • neurological injuries.
  • Development of a fibrous tissue along the penis that causes pain in the erection.

Long-term drug use. These not only make erection difficult under their effects, but alcohol, heroin, amphetamines, cocaine and marijuana produce stable erection problems over time. Tobacco, although it belongs to the group of drugs, we treat it in a special way because it is the most common and the one that more masks its harmful effects on health. 

There are different reasons why this can happen.

There are different reasons why this can happen.

Functional, situational or psychological causes are the most common, they can be the following:

  • Stress and chronic fatigue. It greatly affects psychological and physical well-being.
  • Permanent anxiety before sexual intercourse, either due to having had episodes of lack of erection in the past, or due to erroneous beliefs regarding the erection to be maintained.
  • Emotional disorders, such as depression.

The consequences that it has on an emotional level for men, such as low self-esteem, increased anxiety, feelings of guilt… lead to maintaining the problem, even more so if they later imply the deterioration of the relationship, or the consumption of substances for escape from it.Alcohol inhibits the nervous system and makes erection difficultAlcohol inhibits the nervous system and makes erection difficult.

That is why the couple plays a fundamental role in these cases. The problem must be discussed openly, without fear or shame, because that is precisely what having a stable partner consists of. Support from the other person is necessary to make you see that you don’t have to feel bad, that affective life is not reduced to sex, nor is sex reduced to intercourse.

Previous article14 questions to your gynecologist
Next articleCan I have HIV without symptoms?