Erectile dysfunction in young men: Facts and treatments
Dr. Aysha Butt is the Medical Director of FROM MARS, and is a GP Partner at Woodcote NHS Medical Practice.
Having erectile dysfunction when you’re young can feel like being lost on a deserted island. Though in reality, half of all British men in their thirties are affected. It’s the same for 35% of men in their twenties. That said, there can be a cause for concern when ED strikes young.
WHAT CAUSES ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION IN YOUNG MEN?
Not to scare you, but guys who are 19, 25 and even 30 years of age are considered premature for ED. To be on the safe side, your first move should be to speak to a GP. They’ll help you rule out anything more serious.
If you’re fit and healthy, it may be comforting to know that ED is much more common than you think in millennials. After all, a lot has changed for young people over the years. For starters, most of us are working long hours under pressure, which can contribute to stress.
Studies suggest that stress and anxiety are two key causes of erectile dysfunction in men under 40. Depression can also lead to ED in over half of males (62.5%) living with mental health concerns — a factor that many forget about.
ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND LIFESTYLE — ARE THEY LINKED TO ED?
Using drugs and alcohol can be a cause of ED, whatever your age. It may be short-term for now, but long-term alcohol and substance abuse can raise your chances of ED by causing your testosterone levels to drop. Smoking can also have the same effect.
A diet that’s high in salt and fat can raise your blood pressure. Leading a busy, 21st century lifestyle can often mean we grab food on-the-go, so we don’t eat as well as we would like.
Everything we’ve mentioned so far can contribute to erectile dysfunction in young men, but you can change that by working out and not overdoing it on the cheesy fries. And if you already have ED… fear not, there are treatments available to you.
CAN WATCHING PORN CAUSE ED?
Believe it or not, another common cause of ED in some men is porn. Porn-induced erectile dysfunction, or PIED, can affect men who use porn to masturbate. So, if this sounds like you, have a bit of time off.
HELP FOR GUYS EXPERIENCING ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION YOUNG
We’ve already spoken about seeing your doctor to rule out some of the more serious causes of ED, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. But what if you’re confident your ED has nothing to do with your physical health? The next move you should consider is to evaluate your lifestyle.
Why not try and eat healthier? You’ll find a long list of healthy food that are also aphrodisiacs such as strawberries, avocados and passion fruit.
You could also try lowering your alcohol intake and giving up drugs.
Finally, look into sexual enhancing medicines like sildenafil (Viagra). Sildenafil works by stimulating your sexual organs and increasing the flow of blood to your penis, helping you get an erection in 30 minutes to an hour.
FOUR COMMON QUESTION ABOUT ED IN YOUNG MEN, ANSWERED
1. IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION COMMON IN 30-YEAR-OLDS?
Yes, and it’s becoming more common. Stress, anxiety and a busy lifestyle are all causes of erectile dysfunction in young men. Some of these factors can be controlled, while others (like depression) depend on getting to the root problem. Your GP can rule out any serious causes of ED for you.
2. WHAT CAN CAUSE ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION AT 20?
If you have erectile dysfunction at 20, you should first speak to your GP or a sexual health clinic to find out why. Again, depression, which affects one in five men, can be a contributor. Other guys blame performance anxiety. Have you changed partners lately? Often erections can sense nerves. Look to try sildenafil, which can be taken with other medication if needed.
3. HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?
If you’re convinced your ED isn’t being caused by a serious health issue, simple lifestyle changes can be all you need. Cutting down on smoking, drinking and recreational drugs can be a good place to start. Going to the gym can also increase your testosterone level, helping you to get and maintain an erection.
4. CAN STDS CAUSE ED?
It’s no secret that chlamydia is more common in young men than older guys. But aside from being an embarrassing issue, chlamydia can also lead to impotence. Chlamydia can also up your chances of getting an inflamed prostate, which is another (painful) cause of ED.
IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION A PROBLEM AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE?
Anything that causes you embarrassment or hinders your happiness is a problem worth addressing. Don’t think for a minute that you are any less of a man for having ED either. This is where so many guys get it wrong.
The truth is there’s a good chance all of us will experience ED one day. That could be at 17, it could be at 27. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you get checked out and take all reasonable steps to get your mojo back. Rarely is it gone forever.