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Organic vs. Non-Organic Erectile Dysfunction: Understanding the Key Differences and Addressing the Root Cause

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common and frustrating condition afflicting more than 30 million men in the United States. The good news is it is also a highly treatable condition once the source of the issue is identified. Erectile dysfunction refers to the inability to form or maintain an erection firm enough to complete sexual intercourse. Several factors can contribute to the development of erectile dysfunction, including medical conditions (organic erectile dysfunction) and situational or psychological conditions (non-organic erectile dysfunction). Knowing the difference between the two will help you understand the root cause of your condition and navigate treatment.

senior-man-in-deep-thoughtWhat is Organic Erectile Dysfunction?

Organic erectile dysfunction, also known as physiogenic ED,  is caused by physiological or physical abnormalities interfering with the normal functioning of the penis. This type of ED is commonly associated with a problem affecting the nerves, hormones, blood vessels, tissues, or muscles involved in the erection process. 

What is Non-organic Erectile Dysfunction?

Non-organic ED is idiopathic (occurring without a clear physiological cause). In other words, this form of ED is often situational in nature and related to mental health issues, such as anxiety, relationship issues, religious beliefs, and more.

Understanding the Key Differences Between Them

Organic Erectile Dysfunction


Non-Organic Erectile Dysfunction


 Caused by physiological factors (has       identifiable organic causes

 Caused by psychological/interpersonal factors (Does not have   an identifiable organic cause)

 Tends to be consistent/ongoing

 Tends to be inconsistent/short-term

 More common in older men

 Can occur at any age

 Contributing factors are medical and can   include: 

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Vascular disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • Prostate cancer
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Metabolic syndrome

 Contributing factors are situational or psychological and can   include:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Poor body image
  • Low self-esteem
  • Relationship problems
  • Intimacy issues
  • Religious beliefs
  • Past sexual trauma
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Performance anxiety




Symptoms of Psychogenic ED

  • Inability to get or maintain an erection during sexual activity, but can get erections in other situations (like during sleep or masturbation)
  • Occasional or situational erectile difficulties - may happen in some sexual encounters but not others
  • Difficulty getting an erection despite feeling aroused
  • Erections may not be firm or hardened enough for penetration
  • Early loss of erections during sexual activity
  • Variable and inconsistent ability to perform sexually
  • Ongoing worries or anxiety about sexual performance
  • Avoidance of sexual intimacy due to performance anxiety
  • Strained relationship with a partner due to sexual difficulties
  • Low self-esteem, depression, or other mental health issues related to erectile problems
  • Preoccupation with erectile ability and desperate feelings when unable to perform

How to Cure Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction 

The first step in addressing psychogenic (non-organic) ED is to get a proper diagnosis from an erectile dysfunction specialist in NJ. Psychogenic ED requires a more holistic approach to treating the condition. This may include lifestyle changes such as exercise, relaxation techniques, and stress management, as well as therapy to address relationship issues, past trauma, or intrusive thoughts that may interfere with performance.

Navigating the Maze: Finding The Best Erectile Dysfunction Specialist in NJ

The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction is a world-class provider of erectile dysfunction treatments in New Jersey. Their urologists conduct thorough testing to identify the cause of ED, evaluating medical conditions, medications, and psychological factors. In severe organic erectile dysfunction cases, plastic surgeons, Dr. Tushar Patel, Dr. Michael Rose, and Dr. Eric Wimmers specialize in advanced and highly effective vascular reconstruction procedures that improve blood flow to the penis by grafting new arteries or bypassing blocked vessels.