Most men often experience erections, sometimes called boners, without physical or psychological stimulation. It is usually not a cause for concern, though it can feel quite embarrassing.
When waking up in the morning, random erections are normal in adolescents and adults, due to fluctuations in testosterone.
Causes of Random Erections
An erection is often generated when a male becomes aroused by seeing, thinking about, or feeling something or someone who is sexually exciting. The brain sends signals that widen the arteries connected to the penis, allowing more blood to flow in. The veins that usually carry this blood back to the rest of the body contract. This results in the penis swelling and stiffening, resulting to an erection. Erections that occur without sexual stimulation which can be caused by several factors.
Nocturnal penile tumescence, sometimes called morning wood, may be triggered by hormonal changes during the night or physical stimulation from contact with the bed sheets.
A healthy male will typically experience 3 to 5 erections while asleep, each lasting 25 to 35 minutes.
Levels of hormones also fluctuate throughout the day, particularly testosterone, and this can cause random erections.
In 2006, a research established that testosterone is essential in the formation of an erection. Another study conducted 10 years later also suggested that this hormone plays a major role in sexual functioning.
What is Considered Normal?
An erection usually happens when an individual becomes sexually aroused. A random erection refers to one that occurs without any sexual stimulation.
They are most common in adolescents and young adults, but men of any age can experience random erections. This is entirely normal and may indicate healthy sexual functioning.
However, if a person has random erections but is frequently unable to produce or maintain an erection when sexually aroused, this could be a sign of erectile dysfunction, ED.
Random Erections and Erectile Dysfunction
Occasionally, it is normal for a person to be unable to produce or maintain an erection when sexually stimulated. This can be caused by exhaustion or alcohol consumption. Or, there may be no clear reason.
However, if this begins to happen regularly, it can point to erectile dysfunction, ED.
Physical and psychological factors cause ED, and recognizing which are responsible can help to determine the best treatment to resolve the issue.
Physical causes may include problems with the nerves or blood flow. Medications such as sildenafil (Viagra), can help to upsurge blood flow to the penis. However, random erections may be a possible side effect of taking these medications.
ED may be caused by psychological factors if someone experiences random erections and frequent inability to produce and maintain an erection when stimulated.
Management of Random Erection
Random erections may be hard to avoid since they occur unexpectedly.
Tips to manage random erections include:
- Hiding the erection. You can conceal the erection by using a bag or an object as a shield, sitting behind a desk, or rearranging the fabric of the pants can help to disguise an erection.
- Focusing. You can redirect your attention by performing a mental task, such as solving simple math problems.
- Getting cold. Taking a cold shower can help, when possible or going outside in cold weather.
- Avoid stimulating the erection further. An erection may take longer to disappear if it is further stimulated by movement or clothing.