Viagra for Psychological ED – Does it Even Help?

Exploring why Viagra may not be the ideal fix for psychological ED

A man holding an pill for erectile dysfunction, and is disappointed that it hasn't worked for him because his issue is psychological

As a sex therapist, I often get asked if drugs like Viagra or Cialis can be a quick fix for psychological ED. Although these medicines may assist some men, the cons far outweigh the pros when addressing the root causes of ED.

This article will explore whether Viagra can help psychological ED and why it may not work for everyone. We will also discuss alternative treatments, such as mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, and cognitive behavioral therapy, that can help alleviate ED symptoms without needing medication.

Can Viagra Help Psychological ED?

Generally speaking, Viagra can help mild cases of psychological ED, but it may not work for more severe cases. To understand why, we first need to understand how Viagra works and how psychological factors can prevent an erection.

How does Viagra work?

Viagra works by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis, making it easier for blood to flow and cause an erection. It was originally designed to treat physical conditions that affect blood flow.

While some men with performance anxiety may experience a placebo effect that boosts confidence, Viagra cannot address the psychological factors contributing to ED.

Why do psychological factors cause erectile dysfunction?

Psychological factors, such as daily stress and anxiety, performance anxiety, depression, and arousal issues, can often lead to ED.

For a man to have an erection, two separate processes must happen:

  1. First, he needs to have a desire – This is the result of psychological or physical stimulation that gets the man excited and interested in having sex.
  2. The second step is arousal – in this phase, blood flows into the penis and makes it erect.

Psychological factors interfere with the desire stage (which Viagra can’t help with). If you are too distracted by stress or anxiety, this puts a sort of “mental block” that makes it impossible for you to develop a desire for sex.

Viagra only helps with the arousal stage, but if you are too distracted, Viagra will not work!

Why you shouldn’t use Viagra for psychological ED

Some men become psychologically dependent on Viagra, which is a real shame, especially in healthy men who don’t have any physical issues that prevent them from getting an erection.

Viagra can have serious side effects such as headaches, nausea, hot flashes, indigestion, stuffy nose, and dizziness.

But, the main problem is that you are not dealing with the underlying issue causing your ED.

Viagra doesn’t cure the problem. If you suffer from stress or performance anxiety, Viagra won’t make this go away.

In the end, an erection is not the only factor in a good, satisfying sex life. Psychological issues play a crucial role in sexual satisfaction and performance, so it is always better to deal with this head-on.

How to treat psychological ED without Viagra?

To treat psychological ED, we first have to find the root cause.

Different therapy techniques, such as talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and guided imagery, can help treat the underlying issues.

Mindfulness meditation has gained traction as a treatment for psychological ED in recent years.

Mindfulness meditation teaches us how to stay in the moment during sex, which makes it less likely for us to get distracted by anxiety-inducing thoughts.

Studies have also shown that daily practice of mindfulness meditation can help with chronic stress and depression.

One study showed that practicing mindfulness helped 9 out of 10 men with psychological erectile dysfunction regain the ability to get and maintain an erection after 4 weeks of practice.

Summary

While Viagra may help some men with psychological ED, it is not a cure-all. It only addresses one part of the issue and can have serious side effects. Treating the underlying psychological factors through therapy and mindfulness meditation can be more effective in the long run and can lead to a more satisfying sex life.

About Bailey Hanek PsyD

Clinical Psychologist and Certified Sex Therapist

Dr. Bailey Hanek is a clinical psychologist and an AASECT-certified sex therapist. She serves as a professional consultant for Between Us Clinic. Dr. Hanek provides sex therapy and general psychotherapy to adults in her private practice. In addition, she works to increase access to information about relationship and sexual health through her founding role in The Relationship Coaches.