Organic vs. Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction 

It is important to note that psychogenic erectile dysfunction should be ruled out first before adopting a “label” of erectile dysfunction.

Organic Erectile Dysfunction, also known as Organic Impotence, refers to the inability to obtain an erection firm enough for vaginal penetration, or the inability to sustain the erection until completion of intercourse.

Psychogenic erectile dysfunction is defined as the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection satisfactory for sexual performance owing predominantly or exclusively to psychological or interpersonal factors.

Organic impotence is a disorder that persists for several months to several years and does not change due to partners or sexual activities including masturbation or desire for sex. Men lose their morning erections and partial erections and over time are unable get an erection at all.  Vascular disease is the most common cause of organic impotence and Leriche’s syndrome of aortoiliac occlusion will result in loss of muscle mass and impotence.  Laboratory tests and a thorough evaluation needs to happen to determine if it is organic impotence over psychogenic erectile dysfunction to rule out the possibility of psychological or interpersonal factors.

It is important that men with erectile dysfunction see a doctor or urologist before seeking sex coaching or counseling to determine whether or not the origins are organic or psychogenic as the treatments for organic impotence will differ.

Psychogenic impotence implies that there is a psychological connection which is affecting the body. With this type of erectile dysfunction men benefit from clinical sexology and sex coaching to talk about what is happening and gain tools to reconnect with healthy and pleasurable sexual desire.

Organic impotence may need medical treatment and may not respond to therapy but rather, must be dealt with as part of a larger medical issue.

Categories: Sex Education

Dr. Anya

Dr. Anya is a sexuality expert with over 25 years experience working with individuals, couples, and groups. Dr. Anya has a Doctor of Human Sexuality degree and is a certified sex educator and certified sexologist. Dr. Anya has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area working with individuals and couples and invites straight and LGBTQ people into her practice.


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