Erectile dysfunction in young men: causes and treatments


Erectile dysfunction becomes more common with age, but it can affect young men. Treatments can be effective for people of all ages.

Erectile dysfunction (ED), formerly called impotence, occurs when the penis does not receive enough blood to produce an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse.

Erectile dysfunction is very common – most men find it difficult to get or maintain an erection at some point. According to some estimates, ED affects 30 million males in the United States only.

This article examines how aging affects ED. We also explore risk factors, causes and treatments.

Many people think that erectile dysfunction is a problem for older people, but it can also affect younger men.

According to some estimates, ED affects 8% of men aged 20 to 29 and 11% of those aged 30 to 39.

Data also suggests that the number of people under the age of 40 seeking medical attention for erectile dysfunction is on the rise.

Many factors that contribute to erectile dysfunction can occur at any age. These include physical and emotional factors, both of which are important for sexual activity.

Some contributing factors include:

  • having anxiety, depression, or feelings of shame or guilt about sexual activity
  • experiencing significant stress, about sex or something else
  • smoking
  • drink excess alcohol
  • use recreational drugs
  • be overweight or obese
  • lack of physical activity
  • using workout supplements, testosterone boosters, or over-the-counter erection aids

At any age, making adjustments such as reducing stress levels and exercising more frequently can help improve erection problems and improve overall health.

Age is a primary risk factor for ED. By some estimates, men have a 40% chance to have some form of erectile dysfunction before your forties. The risk then increases by about 10% per decade.

Although people are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction as they age, aging is not the direct cause. Erectile dysfunction is not a normal part of aging – some men are sexually active in their 80s.

However, as people get older, they are more likely to develop medical conditions that increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. These include:

In fact, diabetes and atherosclerosis are the two The most common medical problems that cause erectile dysfunction.

Meanwhile, erection problems can be a side effect of medications people are more likely to take as they age, such as blood pressure medications, tranquilizers, and ulcer medications.

These vary widely and can include psychological, neurological, and lifestyle factors. Erectile dysfunction can also be a side effect of certain medications.

Stress, anxiety, and lifestyle factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction at any age, while physical factors are more likely to play a role in older people.

Physical causes include conditions that affect the vascular system, nervous system, or hormonal system. Some of these causes include:

  • mental health issues, such as stress and anxiety
  • sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea
  • arterial hypertension
  • heart or blood vessel disease
  • atherosclerosis
  • obesity
  • chronic kidney disease
  • Peyronie’s disease or curvature of the penis
  • hypogonadism
  • abnormalities of the penis, such as those affecting the foreskin
  • injury to the penis, spinal cord, prostate, bladder, or pelvis

In many cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by factors such as an unhealthy diet, high stress levels, lack of exercise, and smoking. By addressing these issues, people can often improve or resolve their symptoms of ED.

However, even if a person suspects that they know the cause of their erectile dysfunction, they should still see a doctor for a diagnosis. This is because erectile dysfunction can be an early sign of some other medical problem.

The main definition of erectile dysfunction is difficulty getting or maintaining an erection that is firm enough or lasts long enough for intercourse.

A person with ED can:

  • be able to get an erection, but not every time they want to
  • having erections that don’t last as long as desired
  • being unable to get an erection

It is important to note that occasional erection problems are common in men.

If these problems occur regularly or worsen gradually, however, this may signal erectile dysfunction and the person may benefit from treatment.

The physical complications of erectile dysfunction are usually mild. However, erectile dysfunction can be a symptom of a more serious health problem, such as heart disease.

During this time, the emotional effects of erectile dysfunction can be significant. People may experience:

  • stress or anxiety about sexual activity
  • low self-esteem
  • emotional distress
  • relationship problems

Young adults may find erectile dysfunction particularly uncomfortable to deal with or address, due to the misconception that it only affects older people. In fact, erectile dysfunction is relatively common among young men.

The best approach varies from person to person – some find that changing lifestyle factors is enough to resolve their ED, while others require professional treatment, such as medication.

When treating erectile dysfunction, a doctor or other healthcare professional may suggest the following:

Lifestyle changes

These can reduce many factors related to ED. A person can benefit from:


If a person has the impression that anxiety, stress, depression, or relationship issues are interfering with daily life, including sex, talking to a mental health professional may be helpful.


A doctor may prescribe medication that stimulates blood flow to the penis, helping to achieve an erection.

There are many erectile dysfunction drugs out there, and each can cause side effects. Common options include:

Learn more about erectile dysfunction treatments here.

Changes to current drugs

If a doctor determines that erectile dysfunction is a side effect of a current medication, he or she may recommend changing the medication or changing the dosage.

However, do not make any changes without talking to a doctor first.

Erection aid devices

Vacuum devices are mechanical pumps that create an erection by drawing blood into the penis.

ED rings are bands that wrap around the base of the penis to keep blood inside, helping to maintain an erection.

Natural remedies for erectile dysfunction are increasingly available over the counter. But little to no scientific evidence suggests they work.

In addition, some remedies may produce side effects or react negatively with the drugs. Before trying any over-the-counter treatment, it’s important to see a doctor.

Plus, these natural remedies and supplements can actually worsen erectile function in the long run, even if they help in the short term.

It should also be noted that they work differently from erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra and Cialis, which do not affect function beyond the duration of effect of the drug.

Learn more about natural treatments for erectile dysfunction here.

For many people, lifestyle changes improve or resolve the symptoms of ED.

Erectile dysfunction becomes more risky with age, but it is relatively common in young men. Stress, anxiety, and factors such as stress and smoking can contribute to erectile dysfunction at any age, while physical factors, such as high blood pressure, are more likely to contribute to erectile dysfunction in men. the elderly.

As a result, erectile dysfunction may be easier to treat in young adults, although treatments can be effective at any age.


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