Why do I lose my erection ? 14 Reasons you can’t stay hard

Believe it or not, there are several reasons why a man could lose his erections that have nothing to do with Erectile Dysfunction or age, among them we can name:

Too much porn / masturbation

Frequent viewing of pornography, especially Internet pornography, over-stimulates and desensitizes the users brain to normally arousing experiences. And if your brain isn’t turned on, then neither is your penis.

This means, if you’re using a lot of Internet porn, then you’re likely to find sex with your real wife or partner to be less satisfying over time, and as you use more porn, you can expect to have serious problems with sexual dysfunction. (1)

One survey of 28.000 Italian men found that “Excessive consumption” of porn, starting at age 14, and daily consumption in their early to mid-20s, desensitized men to even the most violent images. According to the head of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine, this can cause male sexual dysfunction by lowering libido and eventually leading to an inability to get an erection. (2)

About masturbation, Susan Kellogg Spadt, PhD, RN, director of sexual medicine at the Pelvic & Sexual Health Institute in Philadelphia, says that what can happen with either sex is they masturbate frequently and become used to a certain touch, be it vibration or one’s own hand. Because of this they may become habituated to that sensation and find it more difficult to have an erection or an orgasm  with their partner. (3)

Low Testosterone

Testosterone stimulates a man’s sex driveand it also aids in achieving an erection.

Testosterone alone doesn’t cause an erection, but it stimulates receptors in the brain to produce nitric oxide — a molecule that helps trigger an erection.

When testosterone levels are too low, a man may have difficulty achieving an erection prior to sex or experience spontaneous erections (for example, during sleep). (4)

Low dopamine/libido

There is  a permissive role in the copulatory or consumatory phase for dopamine released at the level of the median pre-optic area, which receives projection from the dopaminergic incertohypothalamic pathway within the hypothalamus.
It is noteworthy that these participations of the dopaminergic system are not specific to sexual behaviour but rather reflect the more general involvement of dopamine in the regulation of cognitive, integrative and reward processes.
Due to its role in the control of locomotor activity, the integrity of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway is also essential for the display of copulatory behaviour. Dopamine can trigger penile erection by acting on oxytocinergic neurons located in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, and perhaps on the pro-erectile sacral parasympathetic nucleus within the spinal cord. (5)

Poor diet

A poor diet and exercise plan can start to affect your erection. Having a diet high in low quality hydrogenated fats causes the arteries in the penis to loose elasticity.

When arteries loose elasticity it causes a buildup of atherosclerotic plaque. This buildup blocks oxygen and nutrients from reaching the tissue in the penis. When the arteries get blocked, blood flow to the penis does not receive enough nitric oxide to be able to maintain an erection. (6)

Lack of sexual stimulation

When a couple is fighting or feeling distant from each other, they’re less likely to want to be intimate. Communication problems, anger, conflicts, resentment — all these negative emotions can carry over into the bedroom. (7)

In addition to this, lack of sexual activity is even worse for your testosterone levels. Following sex, testosterone levels are stimulated and are less likely to decrease when engaging in regular intercourse.

Poor blood circulation

Circulation problems are incredibly common. They are frequently related to a lack of exercise or physical activity or occupations that are related to long periods of sitting. Most of the time, the symptoms of circulation problems are present in the lower extremities.

This is because the blood circulating in this area already has a challenging task to get back up to the heart. When this function is impaired as a result of poor circulation causes like lifestyle factors or health conditions, this process can become even more difficult for the body to perform properly.

And, while the legs and feet are most often the area where symptoms are most predominant, men can encounter an unpleasant result of blood flow problems, in the form of erectile dysfunction (8)


The body reacts to stress by releasing adrenaline and cortisol. Chronic stress, in particular, can interfere with your body’s hormone levels, and result in a low libido. The arteries can also narrow and restrict blood flow in response to stress, which can also lead to erectile dysfunction. Stress can also reduce your libido by distracting you and taking your mind off sexual desire.

Libido and depression share a complicated link. “Depression  can change the body’s biochemistry and therefore reduce libido,” says Mark L. Held, PhD, a clinical psychologist in the Denver area. “It’s also harder to feel sexual when you’re depressed.” Some medications commonly used to treat depression may also lower libido as a side effect (9)

Medication with side effects

Numerous prescription medications are also an organic cause of erectile dysfunction, including those below (anyone taking prescription medications should consult their physician or health care practitioner prior to stopping or changing their medications):

  • Drugs to control high blood pressure (antihypertensives such as beta-blockers and clonidine)
  • Heart medications such as digoxin
  • Some diuretics (known as ‘water pills’ that increase urine output)
  • Drugs that act on the central nervous system (on the brain or spinal cord), including some sleeping pills and amphetamines
  • Anxiety treatments (anxiolytics)
  • Antidepressants, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants
  • Opioid painkillers
  • Some cancer drugs, including chemotherapeutic agents
  • Prostate treatments, including treatments for cancer, and for benign prostatic hypertrophy (such as 5α-reductase inhibitors). Anti-androgen drugs used for prostate disease and other conditions, can also cause erectile dysfunction
  • Anticholinergics – drugs with a wide range of uses that block a neurotransmitter (nerve signal molecule) that affects muscle tone
  • Hormone drugs, including estrogens and drugs that act on luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone
  • The peptic ulcer medication cimetidine

Chemical exposure

Bisphenol-A, a chemical found in hard, clear plastic used to make everything from baby bottles to food packaging, may increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in male factory workers exposed to large amounts of the substance, according to a study conducted in China. (10)

Other chemicals in plastics, cash receipts and in male cosmetics that affect the endocrine function are phthalates and parabens.

Lack of essential minerals

Adding the following vitamins for erectile dysfunction to your supplement plan may help in improving the situation.

  • Vitamin A: An essential vitamin when it comes to the regulation of the sex hormone progesterone, which is important when looking for the optimum in sexual health.
  • Thiamin B1: This vitamin is incredibly important in the optimization of nerve and energy transmission throughout your body.  Vitamin B will help to improve your circulation and stamina.
  •  Vitamin C: When taking vitamin C, you are helping to produce hormones needed for a healthy sex life and fertility. Vitamin C helps to increase sperm count and their mobility, strengthens capillaries as well as veins and reduces blood cholesterol.
  • Vitamin E: Often referred to as the “sex vitamin”, vitamin E is also considered an anti-aging antioxidant. It helps to protect the membranes of the cells from free-radical damage. It also promotes the creation of prostaglandins, hormones important to a healthy sex drive.

Certain minerals also promote a healthy sex life and a long-lasting arousal time that combat erectile dysfunction.

  • Zinc: The prostate gland stores zinc in a high concentrated amount and low amounts of zinc are often found in men with erectile difficulties. Zinc is needed for proper creation of testosterone and the development of sperm.
  • Magnesium: Though found only in trace amounts in the body, it is important to battling erectile dysfunction. Magnesium plays an important role in creating androgen, estrogen and the neurotransmitters that regular the sex drive.
  • Selenium: Almost 50% of selenium in a male is located in the testicles and semen ducts, and loss of selenium means low sperm count and that can lead to erectile dysfunction (11)


One classic study of more than 1,700 men found that those who rode a bike more than three hours a week had higher rates of ED than those who rode less often. In fact, the research found that less-frequent cycling could prevent ED.

The culprit, later research from the University of California, San Diego showed, may be the bicycle seat. A hard seat can compress the perineum (the area between the anus and scrotum), squeezing off the vital arteries and nerves necessary for normal sexual function. Bike riders bear weight directly on the area where the nerves and arteries enter the penis. (12)

High blood pressure

High blood pressure is a major cause of erection problems. A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that about 49% of men ages 40 to 79 with high blood pressure had erectile dysfunction .

Another study of men with high blood pressure, published in the Journal of Urology, found that 68% of them had some degree of erectile dysfunction. For 45% of the men, it was considered severe.

High blood pressure keeps the arteries that carry blood into the penis from dilating the way they’re supposed to. It also makes the smooth muscle in the penis lose its ability to relax. As a result, not enough blood flows into the penis to make it erect. (13)


It’s a risk factor because diabetes affects both the blood vessels and nerves that are important for maintaining an erection, explains Dr. Ryan Berglund, MD, a urology specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.

For men with diabetes, studies show that erectile dysfunction starts about 15 years earlier and is about four times more common than in men without diabetes. Treatment for diabetes often involves a combination of medication and healthy lifestyle choices — methods that may also be an important part of your ED treatment plan. (14)

Sleep apnea

A recent study from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City found that men with more severe erectile dysfunction have a higher risk for sleep apnea — a condition that’s characterized by deafening snoring and daytime sleepiness.

These two conditions may be linked because abnormal periods of breathing during sleep apnea increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and chronic fatigue. Treating sleep apnea with breathing support and medications may also improve erectile dysfunction. (15)


(1) A cure for impotence: stop using porn! Covenanteyes.com
(2) Erection problems? This habit may be why. Everydayhealth.com
(3) The truth about masturbation myths. Everydayhealth.com
(4) 9 warning signs of low testosterone. Healthline.com
(5) Dopamine and sexual function.Nature.com
(6) Semillas de chía, energía saludable por un tubo. Vitonica.com
(7) 12 Common Causes of Low Libido. Everydayhealth.com
(8) Poor circulation contribute to erectile dysfunction. Poorcirculation.net
(9) 12 Common Causes of Low Libido. Everydayhealth.com
(10) Study links BPA in plastics to erectile dysfunction. Cnn.com
(11) Vitamins for Erectile Dysfunction. Lovetoknow.com                                                                                                    (12) Erectile Dysfunction Risks No One Talks About. Everydayhealth.com  (13) Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center. Webmd.com (14) 8 Sicknesses That Can Wreck a Man’s Sex Life. Everydayhealth.com (15) 8 Sicknesses That Can Wreck a Man’s Sex Life. Everydayhealth.com