Can ED Occur in Young Men? | ED Causes and Treatments

Updated on & Medically Reviewed by Dr Lalitha
Can ED Occur in Young Men? | ED Causes and Treatments

There is a false notion that erectile dysfunction happens only amongst older men. While this is partly true, studies reveal that Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Is More Common in Younger Men Too.

The changing lifestyles, increased stress and anxiety, habits and substance addictions, medications, etc. all affect the way men perform in bed.

Let us first be clear about What is ED.

ED is the inability to maintain an erction (hardness) long enough to have satisfactory intercourse. Some might find it difficult to get an erection, while some might not get it whenever desired or even if it does happen, the erection does not last through the moment.

Occasionally, men might not be able to perform optimally, but it becomes a cause of concern only when the frequency increases. Erectile dysfunction may be the result of a much serious underlying condition, which is why it is extremely important to approach an andrologist before it gets worse.

Understanding ED

Essentially, an erection occurs when the blood reaches the penis as the circulation in the body increases. When the blood is unable to reach the reproductive organs, the erection gets affected.

It can happen due to clogged arteries and veins. Plaque deposition and blockages in the flow of the blood may sometimes also indicate an underlying heart condition. Often, ED also may be the result of medications that men take for blood pressure, tranquilizers or diabetes.

Causes of ED

As men grow old, the chances of diabetes increases and studies show that about 50% of men suffering from diabetes also suffer from erectile dysfunction. In younger men, while diagnosing the cause of ED, testing for sugar levels to rule out diabetes could be one of the options.

Hypogonadism is another reason why older men suffer from ED. It is a condition where the level of testosterone in the body falls and affects libido as well as performance. As men reach 40, the testosterone levels start falling and gradually progress.

If a young man suffering from ED tests negative for all other tests, it could be a sign of the early onset of andropause. If this is the case, men can undergo testosterone therapy and supplement their testosterone requirements to have an improved sex life.

Now, if the young man suffering from ED is a smoker, it could be a direct repercussion of their habits. There is a direct relationship between smoking and ED. Smoking also affects sperm quality, vitality, count and it is also detrimental to men’s reproductive health.

Once men stop smoking, it might take a while before the reproductive capacity gets restored, but the sad news is that it might never go back to the prime condition that was before the nicotine damage.

Another cause of ED amongst men might be excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption causes the body to get dehydrated. The blood flow reduces while angiotensin (the hormone associated with ED) rises in the body.

Long term alcohol consumption can also cause damage to the nervous system and the brain might not receive the signal when it is time for an erection. So, even if alcohol might set a mood to get intimate, it might inhibit performance and senses in bed.

Other Reasons Why Younger Men Might Not Be Able to Maintain an Erection Could Be:

  • Penile curvature
  • Penile abnormalities
  • Obesity
  • Any major injury to lower body parts
  • Chronic kidney diseases

Physiological Causes of ED

These are some of the physiological causes that might be associated with ED. Let us look at how the state of mind can be one of the major causes of ED.

With changing times, younger men are subjected to a lot of pressure while juggling family, work, and peers. We highly underestimate the presence of mental health issues in men and associate it with a weakness that, in turn, can cause depression and anxiety in men.

When the stress hormone cortisol increases in the body and stays elevated for prolonged durations, the brain is unable to process positive emotions. It is quite natural that for a person suffering from anxiety or stress, sex might not be the first thing on their mind.

Stress and anxiety affect the emotions, hormones, nervous system, muscles, blood vessels and overall well-being. Over 90 percent of young men and teens who suffer from ED suffer from psychological erctile dysfunction that is a direct cause of their mental health.

In a relationship, the quality of the relationship may also be one of the factors affecting performance. If a relationship has been strained or factors like lack of communication exist, it could affect the sense of attraction to the other partner and they might not be able to perform. This can almost always be cured by working on the relationship or when both partners find new relationships that help their state of mind.

We can thus say that erctile dysfunction is not something synonymous to old age. A physically fit young man might also be experiencing erctile dysfunction due to reasons that are not physical.

Erctile dysfunction might be an indication of some serious underlying condition. If you are suffering from ED, our advice would be to take it seriously and approach your doctor. There is no reason to associate ED with shame as it is a bodily issue and not something that can be controlled.

It could be your body’s warning about something serious that must be addressed. The sooner you speak up, and decide to do something to help yourself, instead of being silent, the easier it will be to address your condition.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare professional.

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