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Losing Erection? Know the Causes and Treatments 

Gina Walters


it hurts when i get hard

“Losing an erection” describes a man’s penis getting flaccid or returning to its non-erect state despite being sexually aroused.

Losing an erection during sex can be frightening but is relatively common. 

It is a typical sign of Erectile Dysfunction (ED). It occurs when you are unable to keep pressure on your penis. 

This comprehensive article delves into the topic of “losing erection,” exploring its various causes and factors contributing to the loss of an erection.

What is an erection

An erection, sometimes known as a boner, is a hardening of the penis.

The penis briefly fills up with blood and swells  during an erection. 

This causes it to feel rigid and to stand up and away from the body.

When an individual is aroused, the brain sends signals to the nerves in the penis. These nerves release a neurotransmitter called Nitric Oxide (NO).

NO is required for attaining and maintaining an erection. It promotes erections by relaxing the smooth muscles of the corporal cavernosal region. 

This relaxation permits more blood to enter the penile area after sexual stimulation. Penis enlargement and thickening lead to erections. 

Losing erection  may occur due to elevated Phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) enzyme levels, which hinder Nitric Oxide production.

Recommended read:
Explore the benefits of using nitric oxide supplements to enhance sexual health; read Improve Sexual Health with 5 Best Nitric Oxide Supplements for ED.

Causes of losing an erection

Several things can contribute to you either losing an erection or getting an erection during sex. 

Physical factors such as medical conditions, medication side effects, and poor blood flow contribute to it. 

Psychological factors like stress, anxiety, and relationship issues can also play a significant role. 

Understanding these causes is crucial for effective treatment.

When you lose an erection, it is not always evident that you have Erectile Dysfunction

If this occurs regularly, speaking with your doctor may be beneficial.

In most cases of ED, the best course of action is to consult a doctor immediately to diagnose the causes of ED.

Some of the factors are: 

Underlying medical condition

Erection problems can be caused by medical conditions that affect blood flow or nerve function. 

These include cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, high blood pressure, Obesity, hormonal imbalances (e.g., low testosterone), neurological disorders, and certain chronic diseases.

Physical causes

According to the NIDDK, the most common physical causes of ED or sudden loss of erection are underlying medical problems or physical injuries.

Physical factors account for 90 percent of ED, with psychological causes being far less common.

Apart from medical problems, physical causes may include: 

  • Alcohol 
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activities
  • Using illegal drugs, including weed  
  • High cholesterol

Psychological causes

Stress, Anxiety, Depression, relationship problems, performance anxiety, and low self-esteem can all harm sexual desire and lead to erection problems. 

Research reveals that nearly 40% of men experience some form of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) by the age of 40, and this percentage increases to about 70% by the age of 70. 

While complete ED diagnosis affects 5% of men at age 40, it rises to 15% by age 70.

The psychological reason for loss of erection tends to go away with time. 

Consult your doctor about treatment options for persistent factors.

As men age, natural physiological changes can affect blood flow and the ability to maintain a firm erection.


Losing erections is a manageable condition that can be effectively addressed through appropriate treatment methods. 

Typically the treatment depends on its root cause. At times, doctors may recommend a combination of therapies.

The primary treatments available for ED include a healthier lifestyle, regular exercise, and ED medications

The appropriate course of treatment depends upon the severity and the cause of a person’s condition. 

Let’s take a look a deeper look into these treatments: 

Healthier food choices

A group of healthy food lying on the tableSource: marilyna
Healthy lifestyle along with a nutritious diet can help in maintaining an active sexual health

Food items like cocoa, watermelon, pistachios, etc., can naturally help improve erectile function.

Eating foods high in flavonoids and antioxidants may help reduce the risk of ED.

According to a 2018 study, guys aged between 18 and 40 who took 50 mg of flavonoids daily were 32% less likely to have ED.

Thus, it’s essential to incorporate healthy and nutritious food that helps treat ED items in your everyday meal for ED.

Regular exercises

According to research, Obesity is a major cause of ED or loss or weak erection. Losing weight can enhance sexual performance and help you treat ED.

Regular physical activity can help you avoid potential risks of weak erections or losing an erection. 

Losing erection can be treated with Erectile Dysfunction exercises like pelvic floor exercises

If you want to learn more about the connection between Obesity and Erectile Dysfunction, read: Obesity and Erectile Dysfunction: Common Solutions and Connection.

ED medications

finasteride and cialisSource: pexels
ED medications guarantee fixing ED for temporary amounts of time

Your doctor will prescribe medications to help you treat your ED symptoms

You may need to try several medications before finding one that works. 

Medications like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra can help address difficulties with maintaining an erection.

Avoid self-medicating or using unverified remedies for erection issues; consult a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment.


In terms of sexual relationships, losing an erection can be common with various causes and no need for embarrassment or shame.

An erection is the result of increased blood flow into your penis. 

Losing an erection is also known as Erectile Dysfunction. 

Losing erections can be caused by multiple physical, and psychological causes.

It is crucial to remember that it is a temporary setback and can be treated.

A healthier diet, regular exercise, and medications may help treat erection loss.

Open communication, patience, and understanding between partners can help navigate and overcome any challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get over my fear of losing an erection?

Overcoming the fear of losing an erection involves addressing underlying anxieties, practicing relaxation techniques, and open communication with your partner. Seek professional help, such as therapies, and focus on pleasure rather than performance.

Why do I keep losing an erection in bed? 

Losing an erection during sexual activity can be caused by various factors such as stress, Anxiety, fatigue, relationship issues, medication side effects, or underlying health conditions.  Identifying and addressing the specific cause with open communication and professional guidance can help resolve the issue.

Can medication help me get an erection?

Yes, there are several effective medications available that can help you maintain an erection or prevent losing erections. Medications like Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), and Vardenafil (Levitra) enhance erection by boosting blood flow to the penis, aiding in achieving and sustaining an erection.

Why do I lose my erection when I stand?

When standing, the body’s blood flow distribution changes and gravity can affect the blood flow to the penis, causing a temporary loss of erection.  This is a normal physiological response and typically not a cause for concern.

Can Anxiety lead to losing an erection?

Yes, Anxiety can contribute to losing erections. Psychological factors like stress and performance anxiety can interfere with sexual arousal, making it difficult to maintain an erection.

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