Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition where a man can’t achieve or hold an erection long enough for sexual intercourse. Despite being synonymous with older men, we’re seeing a trend to how this much-shushed topic is affecting younger adults who are thought to be in generally better health.
It’s difficult to get a solid number on the male population experiencing erectile dysfunction. This is associated with the average man not seeking help as this is still considered an embarrassing subject to talk about, unfortunately.
But according to a study conducted by Capogrosso (2013), 114 out of 439 men (26%) who experienced ED were younger than 40-years-old. Half of them were reported to have “severe’ cases of ED. It’s hard to pinpoint why this is happening, as many biological processes involving the brain, nerves, muscles, and hormones play crucial roles in achieving and maintaining an erection.
In this article, we’ll take a look at two highly possible factors linked to the prevalence of ED in men as young as their early 20s.
Though ED on its own doesn’t pose any harm to a man, it could indicate there are serious underlying health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. While heart diseases are common with the older folk, we have seen an increasing trend of people under forty suffering from heart attacks. As arteries become blocked, it’s harder for blood to reach the penis, thus potentially indicating cardiovascular disease.
As a temporary solution, men can opt for medication like viagra from reputable online pharmacies like Manual. However, if they find that they can’t erect half the time, it’s best to see a certified medical professional.
Lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use are also proven causes of erectile dysfunction. Some men find that once they cut those bad habits off and follow a healthy lifestyle, their erectile dysfunction significantly improves without the need for medical intervention.
It’s not a surprise that psychological issues can cause erectile dysfunction. This could stem from performance anxiety, which is when one becomes self-conscious about how you perform in bed and worry that you can’t please their partner sexually.
When they become anxious, stress hormones such as adrenaline are released. This prevents blood from flowing into the extremities such as the penis, thus failing to achieve an erection.
This creates a cycle where the individual’s self-esteem is affected negatively. If not treated, this could lead to depression and make the condition worse.
There are also concerns about how readily available porn is contributing to erectile dysfunction in young males. While there is no strong evidence for this, Dr. Anand Patel who specialises in sexual health issues believes that porn leads to unrealistic expectations towards sex. He adds that browsing through different videos with different people is highly arousing, and this translates poorly in a real-life situation.
Though psychological factors isn’t a big piece of the pie when it comes to causes of erectile dysfunction, it is still prevalent in males. In a study done in 2015, almost a quarter of the men treated for sexual disorders had anxiety, while 12.5% had depression.
Non-sex related stress such as work can spill over into a man’s sex life as well. The American Psychological Association (APA) cites that work is a significant stressor that affects 76% of Millenials (18-33), who happens to be one of the most stressed generations in 2012. As the costs of living, student debt, and other loans continue to burden Millenials, we can only expect to see higher incidences of stress-related ED in the near future.