It’s complicated, is the simple answer. A lot of anxiety for younger men comes from the idea that erectile dysfunction is a problem mostly experienced by older men, making them feel embarrassed and different. In reality, erectile dysfunction is widely experienced by men of all ages.
Research conducted by the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that one in 4 new erectile dysfunction cases occurs in men under 40, reinforcing the important fact that erectile dysfunction affects men of all ages, not just older men.
However, it is more common in men over the age of 40, with the NHS estimating that 50% of men aged between 40 and 70 will suffer from erectile dysfunction of varying degrees.
However, while erectile dysfunction is more likely to occur as you get older, it is not an automatic condition. Michael Feloney, erectile dysfunction expert from the Nebraska Medical Center suggests that “although having sex at 70 is not the same as having sex at 20, erectile dysfunction is not a normal part of ageing, you should still be able to have a satisfying sex life as you age.”
While age is a factor, and it’s hard to argue erectile dysfunction isn’t age-related, it is by no means the most common factor. Common risk factors in all ages include sexual performance anxiety, obesity, smoking, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and side effects from medications such as antidepressants.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction in Younger Males
As opposed to older males over 40, erectile dysfunction in younger men is often caused by factors relating to lifestyle or sexual performance anxiety. When we are about to have sex with a new partner, negative thoughts can creep into our heads resulting in an overwhelming sense of stress and anxiety. Worrying about impressing your partner sexually or performing well can insight erectile dysfunction, which can often turn into a downward spiral with feelings of embarrassment and failure.
There are many other factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction in younger men:
- Continuing issues in your relationship
- Worry that you won’t perform well and will disappoint your partner sexually
- Being uncomfortable in your own skin can drastically increase stress by having to be naked in front of someone new
- Concern over the size of your penis
- Worry that you might ejaculate too early, too late, or not at all.
All of these thoughts can lead to your body releasing the stress hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine, constricting your blood vessels making it harder for you to get erect.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction in Older Males
There are many factors, psychological and physical, that can cause erectile dysfunction regardless of age. But, a large number of these problems are more common the older you are. Simply put, erectile dysfunction is more common in men over 40 because of the variety of health problems that become increasingly likely with age. As Michael Feloney says, “erectile dysfunction is not a normal part of ageing.”
● Cardiovascular Disease – a devastating collection of diseases related to the heart that causes erectile dysfunction by constricting blood flow throughout the body.
● Neurogenic Conditions – Conditions affecting the nervous system such as Parkinson’s and Stroke.
● Diabetes – When not well controlled, diabetes can damage blood vessels and the nervous system.
● Psychological Conditions – Just as with younger men, elderly men can suffer from many of the same complex emotions when presented with sexual situations.
● Medicines – A side effect of many medications is erectile dysfunction, and older men usually take more medications.
For both younger and elderly men, there are things you can do to treat your erectile dysfunction. See our article for help on overcoming performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction:
Treating Erectile Dysfunction
In many cases, treating underlying causes is enough to put an end to ED. Sometimes, however, a little “extra help” is required. Depending on the underlying condition, your doctor may suggest and explain the benefits & risks of varying ED treatment options, which may include diverse injected or oral medications; hormone replacement, surgery and/or penile implants; exercise, vacuum-pump or other devices.
You and your partner can then decide which of these options you would prefer. Man Go can also offer more detailed information on varying treatment options, helpful advice and suitable products to help you beat ED. Why not browse our ED Treatments right now?