ED and Younger Men Q&A

Guides ● January 2019

In 30 Seconds

  • According to a 2017 scientific journal published by the US National Library of Medicine, the prevalence of ED in younger men has been on the rise over the past decade.
  • There are many physical or organic causes of ED. The best thing to do is get checked out by your GP to ascertain the causes for you specifically.
  • Some professionals say that ED in younger men is mostly psychological. There’s also stats to show that men often don’t seek help. In one study, only 14.1% –  from more than 3,000 men below 40 years suffering from ED sought medical attention. So don’t suffer in silence.

Questions Answered

For many of us, sexual confidence and feeling ‘manly’ are linked to our performance in the sack. Blame the cultural myths of men being ever-up-for-it love machines! Truth is, erectile dysfunction (ED) is extremely common.

And it’s not only when you get older. According to a study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, one out of every four new erectile dysfunction (ED) patients are under 40.1

We’ve done our homework and spoken to the experts to bring you the answer to all your burning questions when it comes to ED and younger men:

Is ED becoming more common for younger men?

The jury is out on this one. But according to a 2017 scientific journal published by the US National Library of Medicine, the prevalence of ED in younger men has been on the rise over the past decade.2 The study also showed that only 14.1% –  from more than 3,000 men below 40 years suffering from ED seek medical attention.3 So go and get checked out by your GP.

What are the reasons for ed in younger men?

The above study suggests psychological factors and the use of drugs, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to manage depression, as a leading cause of ED among young people.4

Experts believe that causes of ED can be broken down into three categories:

  1. Organic medical conditions
  2. Psychological reasons
  3. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake and stress.5
“In the past – and as this study revealed –  ED among younger men has often been largely disregarded or underestimated by medical professionals who attributed it to transient conditions such as performance anxiety,” explains Dr Earim Chaudry.

What are the specific health reasons for ED?

There are many physical or organic causes of ED. The best thing to do is get checked out by your GP to ascertain the causes for you specifically. Here’s our guide to some physical causes:6

  • Metabolic and cardiovascular (CV) disorders: Men aged between 24-29 suffering from metabolic conditions such as diabetes or CV have a high likelihood of getting ED.
  • Endocrine issues: Healthy thyroid function helps reduce the risk of ED. This study showed that sufficient control of thyroid function in hyper- and hypothyroid patients was associated with an improvement in ED. Plus Hyperprolactinemia is also associated with loss of sexual desire. The development of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism can lead to ED.
  • Low testosterone: While this isn’t medically recognised as a cause, testosterone deficiency is common in men with ED.
  • Age: It remains a fact that testosterone levels decrease with age. This study still showed that the aging process remains the most significant risk factor in causing ED.
  • Obesity: This caused a decrease in testosterone levels too.
  • Neurological conditions: According to a study published by the US National Library of Medicine, neurological conditions are less common but more typical to younger men. These include spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and spina bifida. Plus the consequences of prostatic surgery, stroke and Parkinson’s disease can all lead to ED.

What about the psychological causes of ED?

This study published by the US National Library of Medicine makes an observation of a similar study conducted in Finland, which sampled 3,500 men aged 18-48 years. The findings? That depression and anxiety play a significant role in ED.7

“Anxiety can lead to an excessive focus and provides a cognitive distraction that negatively affects the erection,” explains Dr Chaudry. So talk it out. Talk to your GP and talk to your partner. Talk to your mates too. You’ll probably be surprised at how many people can relate.

This study published by the US National Library of Medicine makes an observation of a similar study conducted in Finland, which sampled 3,500 men aged 18-48 years. The findings? That depression and anxiety play a significant role in ED.

What about the rise in our aging populations?

A report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that there will be an increase in life expectancy. By 2025 an average of 15% of the population will be aged more than 65 years. It’s likely that the prevalence of ED will rise to around 322 million of cases worldwide.

What can I do about it?

The first port of call is seeing your GP.8 It won’t hurt to clean up your lifestyle too. Quit smoking. Cut back on drinking. And lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. Because good men deserve great sex.

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