How Long Does Temporary Erectile Dysfunction Last?

It is easy and typical to see erectile dysfunction as a persistent issue that only gets worse over time. However, addressing the cause of the problem properly can help either solve it or improve one’s sexual performance. In this article, we will discuss how long temporary erectile dysfunction lasts? As well as cases when erectile dysfunction can be reversible, and how to achieve this.

What is temporary erectile dysfunction

It is a collective term that refers to the instances when a person cannot achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory intercourse. The issue can be persistent in the events of direct tissue, nerve, or blood vessel damage, such as:

  • penile trauma;
  • spinal cord injury;
  • nerve damage after prostatectomy;
  • artery blockage, etc.

If addressing or removing some contributing factors can improve a patient’s erections, it is called temporary erectile dysfunction (TED).

TED has different types and causes

Situational erectile dysfunction is a more transient and erratic form of TED. It only happens under specific circumstances, as the name implies. It is mostly caused by:

  • Psychological factors. Current stress, performance anxiety, trust issues, pending conflict in relationships, etc. can manifest as ED.
  • Adverse effects of drugs. There are medications that can suppress libido and make it hard to experience arousal; some can affect erections directly. If the alternative was prescribed, the dose was altered, or the treatment course ended, drug-induced temporary ED will be alleviated.
  • Alcohol intoxication. Alcohol causes dehydration and with occasional use, can decrease blood pressure, thus interfering with erection. Moreover, it acts as a depressant, affecting CNS activity and thus inhibiting nerve signal from the brain that causes physical arousal.

The term “temporary impotence”, or TED, can also narrow down the occurrence to its more prolonged kind. Generally, it is connected to chronic diseases or long-term lifestyle risk factors that also affect one’s health:

  • A state of obesity. Abnormally high blood pressure, diabetes, low testosterone, poor circulation, and other conditions that exacerbate ED are linked to excessive weight.
  • Bad habits, such as alcohol abuse and smoking, affect cardiovascular and mental health.
  • A sedentary lifestyle encourages obesity and raises the risk of cardiovascular issues.
  • Poor diet with a large rate of fast food. Junk food and fast food are associated with high levels of fat, sodium, and cholesterol—all bad for blood pressure and circulation.
  • Chronic stress—causes circulatory issues and changes in hormone levels.
  • Metabolic syndrome—is associated with low testosterone and impaired blood flow.

How to treat TED

See your healthcare practitioner if you think you may have ED. Blood testing, physical examinations, and targeted questionnaires can all be used to identify the root of the problem and provide a long-term solution.

There are three basic measures that you can take.

Lifestyle changes

A healthy and wholesome way of living is key to improving your well-being. A balanced diet will provide the necessary nutrients without excessive calorie intake and negative effects on your metabolism. Physical activity is necessary to battle stress and improve cardiovascular health. And ditching bad habits saves you from a lot of health-related issues now and in the future.

Stress management

Stress affects many aspects of your health, from mental state to hormone balance. While you cannot completely avoid experiencing stress in your life, you can manage it through counseling, sports, creative hobbies, and other means that fit you.

ED medications

The quickest and simplest way to get an erection for a person who struggles with ED is to take PDE5 inhibitors. These drugs are vasodilators that widen blood vessels to promote penile engorgement. They also enhance the effect of nitric oxide—a compound that takes part in vasodilation as well.

The most common brand names (active compound in brackets):

These medications have contraindications which is why they are available with a doctor’s prescription. You can obtain it by visiting your physician’s office or through telemedicine. To minimize the possibility of adverse reactions, strictly follow the doctor’s recommendations.

Depending on the drug and the patient’s individuality, PDE5 inhibitors take from 30 minutes to 1 hour to work. Some of them, such as Cialis, can be administered on a daily basis to maintain a persistent effect that allows certain spontaneity in the sexual activity of the patient.

It is noteworthy that PDE5 inhibitors do not create erections as is but merely promote blood rush into the penis if the person is aroused. For example, in the case of short-term erectile dysfunction with psychological causes, they may not provide a desirable solution.

How to cope with TED

While erectile dysfunction can be temporary, this does not mean that living with it is easy. Being unsatisfied with your intimate life and how you perform in bed can harm relationships, decrease self-esteem, and generate an additional source of stress that will further exacerbate ED’s development.

We described several coping strategies to improve your sexual life and general well-being.

Talk with your partner

The presence and support of a loving and understanding companion means a lot for a faster recovery, and ED is not an exception. On the contrary, it affects both partners in the relationship. However, to reach an understanding, you will need to communicate. An honest and respectful discussion about the state of affairs and ways to find a solution will help both of you feel more confident and develop a cooperative plan.

Focus on health

TED is indeed a signal to give more attention to your physical health, schedule screening, address chronic conditions, etc. The common causes of ED are hormone imbalance, poor circulation, cardiovascular disorders, etc.


Psychological factors affect our health as much as physical disorders do. Therapy and couple counseling, if needed, is a powerful tool that allows you to:

  • improve how you communicate with the partner;
  • uncover and resolve pending conflicts;
  • work on trust issues;
  • process psychological trauma;
  • improve your self-esteem and body image;
  • overcome performance anxiety;
  • manage ongoing stress, etc.


Temporary erectile dysfunction is the term used when it is reversible. Situational, or short-term, TED happens in specific situations. The most frequent causes of it are mental health problems and substances consumed, like alcohol and prescription drugs. Chronic stress, smoking, obesity, alcoholism, and other lifestyle risk factors, as well as ongoing health conditions including metabolic syndrome, are the main causes of persistent TED.

Speak with your physician to identify the source of TED and create a treatment strategy. You can increase your chances of resolving the issue with counseling, stress management, open communication with your partner, and adopting a healthy lifestyle.


How long does short-term erectile dysfunction last?

Short-term ED only manifests itself in certain situations. If causative factors are removed, the issue will not persist.

Why do I only have ED sometimes?

Sporadic ED that only occurs in certain situations is not uncommon. Its most prevalent causes are anxiety and stress.

What is a quick fix for erectile dysfunction?

Taking a PDE5 inhibitor, such as Cialis, Viagra, or analog/generic, will provide a quick solution for the moment. These drugs improve blood flow to the penis, providing a harder erection. If ED troubles you often, it is better to consult a doctor.