The National Institute of Health estimates that Erectile Dysfunction affects nearly 30 million men in the United States. While it’s typically associated with older man, recent research has discovered that Erectile Dysfunction affects a considerable percentage of younger men.
The occurrence of ED in younger men could be explained by the increase in stress, depression and drinking among the younger generations. Men under 40 are more likely to smoke, drink and use drugs compared to their elder counterparts. These behaviors have a degrading effect on their health as they disrupt hormone balance and blood vessel integrity. Stress from jobs, depression, certain medications, diabetes, and other metabolic conditions are also factors that contribute to erectile dysfunction.
In some cases, the desire to perform well in bed can be so overwhelming that it can actually prevent sexual performance all together. Significant performance anxiety is a major factor attributed to causing ED in young men. This problem can get worse with time and become a permanent affliction if the stress surrounding sex is not reduced. Erectile Dysfunction can be triggered by something as simple as putting on a condom. A recent survey on 100 young men found that 25% of men lost their erection while trying to put on a condom.
A study conducted on 439 ED patients, 26% of whom were under the age of 40, analyzed lifestyle and health factors associated with ED including testosterone levels, BMI, drug use and smoking history, drinking habits, and the length of relationship with a sexual partner. The results revealed that men weren’t suffering from ED for the same reasons. Psychological factors such as anxiety and depression played a major role in younger men’s sexual problems. Heightened exposure to pornography was also identified as a contributor to the rising ED trend among young men. Continued exposure to porn creates “triggers” specific to pornographic fantasies. As a result sexual arousal becomes conditioned to those triggers and is thus hindered in real sexual situations.
Since the cause of ED varies from person to person, the treatment varies as well. Treatment depends on ED frequency; primary ED is a lifelong condition while secondary ED is experienced by men who experience periods of normal sexual function. Alternating between bouts of normal and abnormal sexual performance can lead men to take ED drugs like Viagra without a prescription. ED drugs should not be taken without consulting a doctor; while they are considered safe, higher doses can lead to serious health complications.