Erectile Dysfunction In Young Men

Young Men Get Erectile Dysfunction, Too

Most 20- and 30-somethings aren't concerned about erectile dysfunction — but from depression to drinking, there are a number of circumstances that cause ED to strike young.

By Wyatt Myers

Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

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Think erectile dysfunction is only an old man’s problem? We hate to break it to you, but young men are not immune.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that erectile dysfunction strikes as many as 30 million men in the United States. Its prevalence does increase with age — 4 percent of men in their 50s are affected by ED, 17 percent in their 60s, and 47 percent of those over 75. But research has also found that 5 percent of those affected were between 20 and 39.

Why would these men (who are expected to be reaching their sexual peaks) be unable to keep an erection?

The Six Biggest Culprits

When a older man experiences erectile dysfunction, there’s often a physical problem to blame. For guys in their 20s and 30s, however, it may be more of a psychological issue.

Performance jitters.For some young men, the desire to perform well in bed can be so overwhelming that, in turn, it causes them to not perform at all. “When a younger man experiences ED, it often is associated with significant performance anxiety, which in turn increases the problem, sometimes turning a temporary situation (i.e., too much to drink that night) into a permanent problem,” says Jerome Hoeksema, MD, assistant professor of urology at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “The more they worry about it, the worse it gets. Young men need to recognize this cycle and try to reduce the ‘stress’ surrounding sex.”

Depression.The profound sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness that characterize depression may also cause ED among younger men. “The biggest effect of depression is on a man’s desire for sexual relations, or libido,” says Drogo Montague, MD, director of the Center for Genitourinary Reconstruction in the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. “To some extent, depression can affect a man’s ability to maintain an erection. It can be a chicken-and-egg situation. However, reduced libido is a common indicator of depression.”

Condom troubles.Can the simple act of putting on a condom cause so much stress that it actually leads to erectile dysfunction? Sure it can — in fact, one recent survey of 234 young men conducted by the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago found that 25 percent had lost an erection while putting on a condom. “Putting on a condom requires a break from stimulation, and when it is on, it can reduce sensation,” says Dr. Montague.

Booze.Most men have learned: One too many cocktailsdoesn’timprove performance; instead, it can have the opposite effect. During a recent study of 1,506 Chinese males, the men who drank three or more drinks a week were more likely to have ED or some form of sexual dysfunction. “Men may find that alcohol decreases social inhibition, which makes it easier to approach a woman,” says Montague. “But alcohol is a depressant, and at higher quantities it can reduce both a man’s desire and ability to perform.”

Drug abuse.“Other illicit drugs can have an effect on erectile function, too” adds Montague. “In particular, cocaine use has been linked to a condition called priapism, where an erection lasts for more than four hours. It is a painful and potentially damaging condition that requires immediate medical attention.”

Obesity.Obesity itself is not a risk factor for ED — but there is a connection. “The bigger concern is that obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes or vascular diseases, which are risk factors for ED,” says Montague. Morbid obesity, a term used to classify individuals who are significantly overweight, can cause hormonal changes that are triggered by excess body fat. In addition, obesity can put physical limitations on sexual intercourse.

How Younger Men Should Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Because the primary cause of a young man’s erectile dysfunction is often psychological, he may want to treat erectile dysfunction with some form of counseling rather than an ED drug. “There are treatments, such as sex therapy, that are very effective and do not require prescription medication,” says Montague.

To help doctors figure out the best treatment, young men should let their doctor know how often they have difficulty getting an erection. Secondary ED is a type experienced by men who have had periods of normal sexual function (compared to primary ED, which is a lifelong condition). “Young men can experience either type,” Montague says.

How Younger Men ShouldNotTreat Erectile Dysfunction

What young men should not do is take an ED drug like Viagra without a prescription, or mix them with other drugs. “This is a huge problem and not a safe practice,” says Penny Kaye Jensen, PhD, president of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. “Some young men are mixing ED drugs with mind-altering drugs, such as ecstasy or crystal methamphetamine. This is on the rise and is a potentially deadly combination.”

“There’s a reason the ED drugs are intended only for men who clearly need them,” Jensen concludes.

Video: ED(Erectile Dysfunction) Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction In Young Men

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Date: 11.12.2018, 06:21 / Views: 63573