One of the greatest discoveries in the history of men’s sexual health is how discoveries about the physiological aspects of erectile dysfunction have helped to demystify a condition that has caused considerable distress and led to some rather esoteric treatments.
Within the same century, sexual health treatments evolved from the outright quackery of John Brinkley’s goat gland implants to being able to sort many ED problems out with a GP’s prescription to buy sildenafil and help change lives in the process.
With that said, ED is a complex condition and because of this and the fact it has many potential causes and connections to other conditions, many people either with a diagnosis or who fear they might have some ED symptoms have questions about other aspects of their sexual health.
Specifically, a lot of men with ED wonder if the problem is a matter of sexual desire rather than an issue with physiology, and the answer is surprisingly complex.
On the one hand, ED and libido are unrelated, but at the same time, ED has a lot of different causes and physiological and psychological aspects that can contribute to it.
The Libido Feedback Loop
Erectile dysfunction is a physiological condition where a man cannot grow an erection firm enough to have sex, but by itself does not necessarily indicate a low sex drive.
There are many different factors that are connected to ED including lifestyle choices, the effects of medication, hormone issues, heart conditions and a wide range of other health conditions that can contribute to ED.
However, your ability to get an erection is not necessarily a reflection of your sex drive or sexual desire. You can have low libido and get an erection, and you can have a strong and healthy sexual drive and still get ED due to other connected conditions.
At the same time, there is a libido feedback loop that can generate not necessarily as a direct result of either ED or low libido but because of the connected psychological criteria.
Depression, anxiety and stress are both potential causes and potential consequences of ED and low sex drive and so what can happen is that an issue in getting aroused can cause anxiety or depression, which in turn lowers a person’s sex drive, which contributes to further issues with ED in the future.
It is a cycle, and is a reason why a single difficult sexual experience can have lingering consequences and why even though ED and sex drive are not inherently connected, they can easily contribute to each other.
Thankfully, the reverse is true, and people with ED that is contributing to low sexual drive can break that cycle by managing its root causes, be they psychological, physiological, or an issue with the sexual relationship in question. Sometimes a good night’s sleep or a relaxing holiday is enough.
Sexual arousal is a complex process that has been highly simplified in our minds, and occasional ED is not usually anything to be concerned about. However, as with any other concern, talk to your doctor if you do have worries.