If you're struggling with sexual performance anxiety, know that you're not alone. There are treatment options available to help you manage your anxiety and improve your sexual performance. And, if you're struggling with erectile dysfunction, sexual performance anxiety may be a contributing factor. Talk to your doctor about all of your options for treatment.

Sexual Performance Anxiety: Treatment Options and Link to Erectile Dysfunction

Sexual performance anxiety (SPA) is a condition in which anxiety about sexual performance causes sexual dysfunction. SPA can affect both men and women, and it can cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

Anxiety about sexual performance can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of not being able to perform sexually
  • Anxiety about sexual appearance
  • Anxiety about pleasing a partner

SPA can also be caused by physical factors, such as:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Inhibited sexual desire

The link between SPA and ED is complex. Anxiety about sexual performance can cause ED, and ED can cause anxiety about sexual performance. This can create a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break.


There are a variety of treatments available for SPA. The most effective treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the anxiety.

Psychotherapy is often an effective treatment for SPA. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be particularly helpful in treating SPA. CBT can help people to:

  • Identify and change negative thinking patterns
  • Manage anxiety and stress
  • Improve communication skills
  • Increase sexual knowledge and confidence

Medication can also be used to treat SPA. Medications that are commonly used to treat SPA include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepines

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat the underlying cause of SPA. For example, surgery may be necessary to treat erectile dysfunction.


There are a few things that can be done to prevent SPA. These include:

  • Identifying and addressing underlying causes of anxiety
  • Practicing stress-reduction techniques
  • Improving communication with a partner
  • Building sexual knowledge and confidence
Is anxiety affecting your ability to perform in bed? Research shows that sexual performance anxiety is among the most common causes of erectile dysfunction, as it affects 1 out of 4 men. Read the article below to learn more about sexual performance anxiety, and how it affects your ability to enjoy intimacy and sex.

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