Although erectile dysfunction usually affects men aged over 40, it can be a problem for any man who has reached sexual maturity.
Many young men under 30 experience erectile dysfunction. However, this is a psychological issue in the vast majority of these cases. This can often be due to stress or anxiety from the pressure to perform.
Knowledge about erectile dysfunction has improved greatly in the last few years. In the past, sexual dysfunction used to be a taboo topic and was not really considered a medical condition. These days, men no longer hesitate to approach their doctor about their erectile problems thanks to the fact that it is now considered a physical problem that can be solved by prescribing the appropriate treatment.
However, despite increased understanding about the problem, erectile dysfunction is still usually only associated with older men. This perception is often portrayed in the media, films and advertising, which only depicts men over 40 needing an erectile dysfunction treatment like Viagra.
This is probably one of the reasons why we find it hard to associate erectile dysfunction problems with younger men. Contrary to popular belief, erectile dysfunction does affect young men as well as older men, despite it being more common for the latter group.
So why is erectile dysfunction more common amongst older men?
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Erectile dysfunction is normally considered to be a problem for older men because of the high percentage of men over 40 who suffer from it. In fact, it is estimated that more than half of men aged between 40 and 70 will experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their life.
But what makes erectile dysfunction more common amongst older men? In order to answer this question, it’s necessary to explain the physical root cause of these symptoms first.
Erections happen because of a complex sequence of molecular and chemical reactions. When a man is sexually stimulated, the brain relays specific nerve signals that trigger certain hormonal responses. These hormones are responsible for making the blood flow to the penis, especially to the corpus cavernosum. The increased blood flow causes an erection.
Erectile dysfunction can occur because of blood circulation problems, especially when blood cannot reach the penis properly. Treatments like Levitra and Cialis help the blood vessels at the base of the penis dilate so that blood flows more easily, thus encouraging the erection to stay firm.
Circulatory problems are common amongst older men due to a number of factors, including the presence of undiagnosed illnesses (diabetes or high blood pressure). Erectile dysfunction is by no means a natural aging process, despite the fact that the risk of developing blood-circulation problems increases with age.
Erectile dysfunction also affects young men. A study by Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan examined 400 cases of male erectile dysfunction. One in four men taking part in the study were under 40.
What does it mean to suffer from erectile dysfunction as a young man?
The causes of erectile dysfunction in young people are not necessarily any different from the causes in older men, but some causes are especially prevalent amongst men aged between 18 and 40. As mentioned above, problems with blood circulation can result from diabetes, high blood pressure or a multitude of other diseases.
Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by consuming alcohol, drugs and by smoking cigarettes. The toxins contained in these items can inhibit blood flow and prevent signals from being properly transmitted between the pleasure centres in the brain and the blood vessels in the penis.
However, scientific studies tend to find the chief cause to be psychological. Pressure to perform sexually; relationship problems; lack of sexual experience; anxiety or stress at work; these are all causes of erectile dysfunction. It can become a vicious circle, because the stress of a new relationship can lead to erectile problems, which in turn can cause the sufferer to become more stressed, etc., resulting in erectile dysfunction.
Are the erectile dysfunction treatments the same for young men as for older men?
No. Erectile dysfunction is treated depending on its underlying causes. It is important to remember that you can cure your symptoms no matter what the underlying cause is. Whatever your age, you should take these steps to solve the problem.
When men over 40 suffer from erectile dysfunction because of a blood circulation problem, it is generally treated with an appropriate prescription treatment. These drugs can also be prescribed to younger men. Nevertheless, it is best to discuss your problem with your doctor beforehand, because circulation problems can also be caused by more serious undiagnosed diseases.
Erectile dysfunction due to stress or anxiety is usually treated using different means, such as discussing problems with a partner or therapist. This applies to both younger and older sufferers. Being aware of your fears and anxieties about sexual performance will help to combat the symptoms.
However, if doing this does not help the issue, then you may be prescribed a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Increasing blood flow usually improves your sexual performance, even when your problem is caused by stress. Prescribing a drug for erectile dysfunction could even increase your confidence and hence resolve the problem.
Am I too young to use medication for my erectile dysfunction?
If you are aged 18 or older, you are sexually active and you suffer from persistent erection problems, do not ignore your situation just because erectile dysfunction is usually associated with older men. Feel free to discuss your problems with your doctor or partner.
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Medical review on March 10, 2017 by Dr. Davis Taylor