Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on February 17, 2022
Erectile Dysfunction in your 20s might not have been an issue you would imagine yourself to be dealing with in your youth. However, it is something a lot of young men deal with.
It is a given that ED is more common among older men: BC Medical Journal recorded a 49.4% prevalence of erectile dysfunction in a cross-sectional study of Canadian men over the age of 40. However, young men in their 20s are also affected by it.
According to a study published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine, one patient out of four diagnosed with ED is a young man. So if you’re a 20-something and sometimes face difficulty getting an erection, understand that you are not the only one. The purpose of this feature is to explain the hows and whys of ED, but importantly, to assure you that it is treatable and can be prevented.
This is not just about arousal — it is a complex process that involves your blood circulatory system, brain, nerves, hormonal system, muscles and several other body parts to work together.
Erectile dysfunction, once called impotence, is the inability to maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. For some people, it might make them unable to have an erection at all. Others might find it challenging to keep an erection for long.
Healthy blood circulation is required to get an erection and maintain it. Atherosclerosis — a condition that involves the clogging of arteries — is a possible cause of Erectile Dysfunction.
High blood pressure or hypertension is another heart condition that elevates your chances of developing ED because of its adverse effects on the blood vessels. The potential damage caused by hypertension affects the overall blood flow in the body. Consequently, it can hamper the blood circulation into the soft penile tissue when you are aroused.
It is a proven fact that hormonal problems such as low levels of testosterone in the body can result in a lack of sex drive, as well as erectile dysfunction. Increased levels of prolactin — a hormone produced by the pituitary gland — is also another hormonal disorder that could lead to ED in your 20s. If your thyroid levels in the body are abnormally high or low, this can be a possible cause of ED as well.
Obesity is a factor that increases the risk for hypertension and diabetes. If you are overweight in your twenties, losing excess weight can reduce your chances of ED.
Diabetes is a condition involving increased blood glucose levels that could cause damage to the blood vessels, including those responsible for bringing blood to the erectile tissue during an erection. It also affects both the nerves inside the penis and the ones surrounding it, thus affecting sexual stimulation.
Smoking can be directly linked to erectile dysfunction since tobacco products, including cigarettes, damage your cardiovascular system. Cigarettes contain chemicals, including nicotine, that can hamper blood circulation throughout your body and damage the heart, resulting in cardiovascular conditions that cause erectile dysfunction.
The brain is where the urge and stimulation for sex originates. Depression brings a disbalance in the brain chemicals needed to stimulate the blood circulation for an erection. This will lessen your sex drive and eventually affect your sexual performance.
You might struggle to put a condom on the right way or face similar issues which might cause you to lose your erection. If you are a 20-something facing this issue, you are not the only one. This is so common that there is actually a term for it known as the Condom-Associated Erection Problem (CAEP). In a study conducted in 2015 among young men, 15.7% of men faced CAEP during penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI), and 32.2% had CAEP during PVI as well as condom application.
A commonly occurring problem among young men in their 20s is sexual performance anxiety. You might feel anxious or nervous about your appearance or your ability to please your partner, which could give you a hard time getting an erection. Sexual performance anxiety is one of the factors that can be linked with erectile dysfunction.
Read more: Penile Diseases: 12 Problems That Can Happen To Your Penis
For some people, lifestyle changes might suffice when it comes to resolving ED, whereas others might need to consult a doctor for medication.
The medication prescribed by doctors for ED is supposed to stimulate blood circulation in the penis to help achieve an erection. Viagra or its generic version, called Sildenafil, are options many people go for in Canada. These medications need a prescription in Canada. 74% of men report that it works for them. Other common medications are avanafil (Stendra) and tadalafil (Cialis). You will need an appointment with a healthcare provider and a prescription for any of these medications.
For your overall health as well as for the treatment or prevention of ED in your 20s, you can start by making the following changes in your life:
Since the underlying causes for erectile dysfunction among young men are often psychological, therapy and counselling will be an effective option for treating ED in case it is linked to psychological factors.
Read more: 5 Foods To Promote Penis Health
We understand that dealing with any kind of sexual dysfunction, let alone erectile dysfunction, can be stressful. However, ED is not the end of your sex life. If you are in your 20s and are experiencing it, take action. Consult a healthcare provider and learn how you can overcome these problems.
Remember, ED in your 20s is curable, and with time, as you identify its underlying causes, you can work toward a better sex life and a stronger relationship with your partner.
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