Morning erections – These types of erections are sometimes known as 'morning wood' or 'nocturnal penile tumescence.' Men commonly get a few erections throughout the night and when they wake up from sleep. This is quite common and completely normal. A man of any age can experience morning erections, although they can become less frequent as they age or if they develop erectile dysfunction (ED).
When blood flow increases into the penis, an erection occurs. For the penis to become erect, the blood fills specialised chambers called erectile tissue.
Morning erections are not fully understood -– it has been suggested that they are related to rapid eye movement sleep (REM). The system in the body that prevents erections from occurring is temporarily turned off during this stage of sleep. Erections occur when these systems are turned off. REM sleep can also cause more testosterone to be released in the body, causing erections. These morning erections may be different from erections that occur during the day as a result of erotic thoughts.
They are distinct from normal erections – erections that occur in the morning are quite different from erections that occur when a man is aroused. Arousal erections arise differently. A person can become aroused in many ways, including erotic thoughts or stimulation of the penis. In response, the brain sends more blood to the penis.
You're mistaken - morning erections signify that the blood supply and nerves around the penis function properly. No health problems are associated with them, such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or prostate problems.
It may be more difficult for some people to urinate in the morning when they have morning erections. Despite being inconvenient, this is not an indication of underlying medical conditions.
How often is it normal? – Men get morning erections at different frequencies, so it's difficult to say if there is such a thing as 'too little' or 'too often'. Morning erections are experienced by some men daily, while others only experience them once a week. You should know your usual frequency, as these can be normal. You may have erectile dysfunction (ED) if you have fewer morning erections than average. Make an appointment with your doctor if this occurs.
Warning signs – Morning erections are entirely normal, but they shouldn't include:
Cause pain – if you have an erection that causes pain, you should consult your doctor about an underlying penis problem.
Last for more than 4 hours – a prolonged erection can seriously damage your penis if it lasts longer than four hours. A&E is the best place to go if this happens to you.
It's not necessarily true - the mechanisms that cause morning erections differ from those that cause erections caused by erotic thoughts and stimulation. It is, therefore, not uncommon for men with morning erections to have difficulty having sex. So, when you get an erection in the morning, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the mood for sex or aroused.
Nevertheless, every individual is different, and morning erections arouse some men. A morning erection can even make sex more enjoyable for some men. It is entirely safe to have sex with an erection in the morning. In the same way, you can ejaculate when you are aroused and release sperm, but it is still essential to use protection if you do not want to get pregnant.
There are different types of erectile dysfunction (ED).
If you have 'psychogenic ED,' you may still be able to get morning erections. Some people have problems getting erections due to performance anxiety, relationship problems, being over-tired, or drinking too much alcohol. The term psychogenic ED is used to describe this type of ED. The blood supply to the penis is not affected in this situation, so men with these types of erection problems will still have morning erections as long as there is no problem with the blood and nerve supply to the penis. Younger men are more likely to suffer from psychogenic ED than older men.
It is possible that you may not be able to have morning erections if you suffer from 'organic ED' - this is because there is a problem with the blood or nerve supply to the penis. As the name implies, this type of ED is known as organic ED, which is more common among older men.
The relationship between morning erections and testosterone levels - there is also some evidence suggesting that a decrease in testosterone levels in your body can also cause a decrease in morning erections. Although no specific study has examined this, you may get fewer morning erections if you're taking medications that alter testosterone levels in your body. These medications include:
Beta-blockers – used to treat high blood pressure and anxiety, this medicine works on the heart.
Opioid painkillers – are among the most potent painkillers.
Antidepressant medication – used for both depression and anxiety
Not easily – morning erections cannot be stopped with recommended treatments. There is no need to worry about morning erections. Remembering morning erections are normal and a sign that the blood and nerves flowing to your penis are functioning correctly.
It is not necessary to treat morning erections. Talking therapy may be an option if you're worried about morning erections. Any anxiety or other issues you want to discuss can be worked through with them.
Are you worried about morning erections? You're not alone. Mobi Doctor offers confidential online consultations with experienced doctors who can help you understand the underlying causes and provide personalized treatment plans. We understand that discussing issues related to sexual health can be uncomfortable, which is why we offer a discreet and convenient way to seek help from the comfort of your home. Don't let concerns about morning erections affect your quality of life - book your online consultation with Mobi Doctor now and take the first step towards regaining your confidence and enjoying a fulfilling sex life again.