10 Things That Can Wreck Your Erection

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Erectile function is a complex topic to discuss. It is not only about being turned on and enjoying sex. 

It would help if you also had a minimum of cardiovascular health, intact nerve function, and coping with stress and anxiety. Even when you have all that, a boner killer can interfere with your sexual performance.

According to the CDC, 30 million people have erectile dysfunction in the United States. But interestingly, 95% of these cases can be reversed. 

In some cases, changing a few lifestyle factors can do the trick. In others, being aware of things that can wreck your erection will definitely help recover your erections faster.

So, either if you’re receiving treatment or exploring alternatives first, this list could help you identify if there is something you can do to improve your sexual health.

10 Things That Can Wreck Your Erection

We can say that chronic disease is probably the number one thing that wrecks your erection. But let’s assume you don’t have cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes

One of the ten things we discuss below could be interfering in your erections or worsening the effects of the underlying disease.

1. Sedentary behavior

This is a boner killer not all of us consider. Sometimes sedentary people do not consider themselves sedentary. So, first, we should determine what sedentary behavior is. 

An individual is considered physically inactive when he doesn’t reach the minimum physical activity recommended for his age. In an adult person, that would be 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day for five days a week (1).

Exercising does not only lead to enhanced functionality of the muscles. It also boosts blood flow and improves cardiovascular health. 

Living an active life will also help you maintain a healthy weight. Proper cardiovascular health and a healthy weight are a good start to regaining erections (2).

2. Excessive physical activity

Exercise can help you maintain good health. But some people become obsessed with increasing physical performance. They push excessively hard, which can turn against them in different aspects. 

Testosterone levels increase when we start exercising, which is beneficial for erections. But after a threshold of physical activity, testosterone levels begin to drop. They get replaced with cortisol, the stress hormone. 

Studies show that after a very long episode of strenuous exercise, patients lower their testosterone levels. Such a decrease may also affect sexual function for hours or days after a marathon and other sporting events (3).

3. Tobacco and alcohol

Tobacco is a terrible boner killer, and alcohol can also turn against you. Studies show that tobacco smoke has an inflammatory effect on the organism. 

There are cardiovascular consequences, and your blood flow stays affected for long periods. Penis blood flow is also affected, and that’s why smokers have a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction (4).

As for alcohol, it inhibits the central nervous system. One or two drinks may help you relax, reduce anxiety levels, and sometimes favor erectile function. But heavy drinking impairs nerve function, which is also required to induce erections. 

Moreover, studies suggest that drinking three or more drinks impairs erection and reduces sexual satisfaction (5).


4. Recreational drugs and some medications

Some medications have sexual health side effects. They include a few medicines used to treat hypertension and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Antidepressants and other drugs that act on your nervous system may have a similar effect. They can turn into a bone killer or interfere with your orgasm. 

Naturally, there are medical alternatives you can try. It is only a matter of talking about it with your doctor (6).

Recreational drugs may also have the same effect, especially heroin. Using prescription drugs irresponsibly is associated with neurologic and psychiatric side effects. They all contribute to erectile dysfunction in many ways (7).

5. Stress and anxiety

Believe it or not, stress and anxiety are a real boner killer. Your mind and mental health influence how your penis reacts to sexual arousal. 

A disturbing thought in the background can be enough to kill an erection. That is why after a very stressful day at work, some men may not feel the same sexual desire.

In this regard, it is essential to mention performance anxiety. This is a common cause of transient sexual dysfunction in young men. They may not have much experience in sex and feel insecure about pleasing their partner. These insecurities act against them and reflect in their erectile function (8).

oxidative stress and sexual dysfunction

6. Problems and changes in your relationship

Something as simple as discussions and problems in your relationship can interfere with sex. Couples with relationship problems experience sexual dysfunction more frequently. Erectile problems can be both a cause and a consequence of relationship problems in men and women.

Stressful events and changes in your relationship may also interfere. For instance, you likely won’t feel the same arousal if you constantly have your newborn baby in the same bed (9). 

7. Hormonal disruptors

There is also information about chemical disruptors that change your hormonal profile. One of them is known as BPA or bisphenol-A. This substance is found in plastics and lowers testosterone levels when you accidentally consume it.

You can avoid this boner killer by ensuring that everything you buy is free from BPA. Avoid taking plastics to the microwave and try to eat natural and fresh foods instead of processed products (10).

8. Unhealthy eating

Now we are mentioning fresh foods, let’s also mention unhealthy eating. It does more harm than you think, especially if you constantly eat out. 

Unhealthy food is cheaper than fresh foods like fruit and vegetable. They are also tempting and make you feel cravings more often.

A diet of saturated fats, excess sodium, and sugar slowly damages your blood vessels. They undergo inflammation and grow fat plaques. Blood flow reduces in smaller arteries, including those in your penis. This effect takes time, but it is never too late to change your dietary patterns.

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9. Sleep debt

When you sleep, different tissues in your organism renew and reconstruct. Sleep is essential for your central nervous system and cardiovascular function. Studies show that people with sleep-related disorders have a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction (11).

So, take a moment for yourself. Remember that sleeping is an integral part of your health, including your sexual health.

melatonin supplement

10. Not receiving enough sunlight

This is a hidden boner killer people don’t often consider, especially during winter. In northern latitudes, when the sunlight is not as intense, people are prone to vitamin D deficiency

The same happens if you stay indoors all day. People with a darker skin tone and seniors are at a higher risk.

Vitamin D molecules work in the organism similar to a hormone. It regulates cell growth and development. When levels are low, the blood vessels do not work as intended. Endothelial dysfunction ensues, triggering or worsening circulatory causes of erectile dysfunction (12).


Have you identified a boner killer in your life after reading this list?

All of these can be modulated through inexpensive interventions and lifestyle changes. Thus, even if you’re receiving treatment for erectile dysfunction, considering this could speed up the recovery process.

So, sleep your night hours, eat healthily, quit tobacco, modulate your alcohol intake, find a way to cope with anxiety, and exercise, but not excessively. You can also check your meds with your doctor and avoid buying products with BPA.

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