“Work hard, play hard”, “work-life balance” – the omnipresent phrases which almost everyone knows by heart.
But it’s harder to achieve this in today’s day and age.
Overworking is negatively affecting many of us. In fact, Singapore is ranked as the 2nd most overworked city according to a 2019 worldwide survey.
Technology has made it more convenient to work just about anywhere, and anytime. But this has also blurred the lines of work and rest.
Zoom meeting after zoom meeting – the overworking is real. It is an emerging phenomenon in the workplace that is more connected than ever.
And you wonder if this is affecting your ability to have a good erection? Definitely.
Let us break it down for you how overworking (and stress) can affect your sexual performance.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) refers to the inability to get or sustain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse.
ED can be caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, nerve disease, low testosterone, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, low self-esteem, etc.
When we’re sexually aroused, our nervous system sends messages and redirects blood flow to penis; the increased blood inflow to the penis then fills the spongy tissues (corpus cavernosum) of the penis, causing an erection.
Then again, erection is a complex process. Just being aroused does not mean you will get an erection.
Cortisol. The stress hormone that causes erectile dysfunction
“When you overwork, your body is stressed without you realizing it.”
Our bodies are programmed to place priority on survival over reproduction.
When you overwork, the fatigue in your body produces a hormone called “cortisol”.
Cortisol usually happens in a “fight or flight” response – meaning that your body is getting ready to take action against an imminent threat.
Unfortunately, the “boost” your body gets with cortisol only worsens your erectile dysfunction.
Because cortisol and testosterone both require the same “ingredients”, more cortisol means the body can make lesser testosterone.
Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for virility and erection in men. With less of this, men struggle to maintain a good hard erection.
No wonder more young people are getting affected by ED these days!
Erectile dysfunction due to a disconnect between mind and body
As much as we would like to think that we can multitask, men are simply not designed for it.
When your thoughts are preoccupied, there is little space for your mind to get into the mood of sex. Your body is unable to send the signals required to trigger an erection.
The effects of one bad sexual experience can start to compound. Both parties in bed may begin to feel frustrated and unsatisfied.
This undoubtedly creates more mental pressure, resulting in a vicious cycle of stress and a worsening bedroom experience.
Running the rat race, but losing in bed
When was the last time you stepped into a gym? Or had a balanced diet? How about ever having a good night’s sleep?
When we are so caught up with our day-to-day lives, it is easy to sacrifice our general health.
We are not just talking about lazing around and gaining weight. When we become stressed, it’s easy to indulge to feel a little better.
An unhealthy meal, smoking and alcohol – things that make you feel good for a moment. Unfortunately, these vices can contribute to ED.
Now, if you are determined to stop your hectic schedule from messing up your sexual experience and tainting your relationship, we’ll show you how.
Stressed out by stress. What can I do?
Take a pause, re-examine yourself at work
Feeling helpless and overwhelmed at work all the time? Finding out the root cause is the most essential.
Is your pressure due to your job’s nature? Company culture? Or yourself?
Sometimes, when we are flooded with deadlines, we feel paranoid and overlook how more effective we can be.
Prioritize your tasks, focus on one task at a time, or get an app (e.g., Forest, LeechBlock) to block distractions such as social media. Sometimes it’s okay to get a little help to break the social media addiction.
If nothing you tried has improved the situation, it is time to consider if the company is worth staying.
For sure, it is uncomfortable to leave a familiar job. But it is more terrifying to work at the expense of your health and relationship in return for the paycheck.
You deserve a better work-life balance.
Healthy lifestyle is your best friend against stress
Could you imagine the exceptional moment when you wake up in the morning feeling great, enjoy your breakfast, with your favorite music playing in the background?
If what you see instead are the forever-crowded traffic and your overflowing to-do list,
your mind truly needs a break. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help you accomplish a more sustainable (and productive) journey.
ActiveSG has many gyms around Singapore that makes working out cheaper and more convenient.
Consider looking into the factors that are causing you stress. One way to break the cycle is to explore meditation – A short 10 minutes guided-exercise using meditation services like Insight Timer, Calm or Headspace can help refresh your mind – Giving you more control over your thoughts and emotions.
A focused mind for work. A close-knit relationship with your partner. And a refreshing image for more fulfilling and pleasurable sexual experience.
Get your sex life back on track
You now understand the ripple effects of overwork and stress that can have on your erections. But fret not, there is hope.
Thankfully, it is possible to reverse erectile dysfunction that is related to stress.
However, if your erectile dysfunction is also a source of your stress, you may need a little help to break that cycle.
Seeking professional advice from a doctor who is sensitive and experienced with erectile dysfunction can help get things going again.
Sire Singapore provides convenient virtual consultations with locally licensed doctors, along with affordable erectile dysfunction treatments that are shipped directly to your home.
Erectile dysfunction does not have to be permanent, but it is a journey that takes time to heal.
- Overview of male sexual dysfunction. UpToDate. Accessed February 6, 2021.
- Hedon F. Anxiety and erectile dysfunction: a global approach to ED enhances results and quality of life. Int J Impot Res. 2003;15:S16–19.
- Hehemann MC, Kashanian JA. Can lifestyle modification affect men’s erectile function?. Transl Androl Urol. 2016;5(2):187-194. doi:10.21037/tau.2016.02.05
- Kalaitzidou I, Venetikou MS, Konstadinidis K, Artemiadis AK, Chrousos G, Darviri C. Stress management and erectile dysfunction: a pilot comparative study. Andrologia. 2014;46(6):698-702. doi:10.1111/and.12129
- Brownlee KK, Moore AW, Hackney AC. Relationship between circulating cortisol and testosterone: influence of physical exercise. J Sports Sci Med. 2005;4(1):76-83.