At some point in life, most men experience difficulties keeping an erection. Usually, this is temporary and not linked to health issues. However, adult men who suffer from this persistently may have a medical condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED).
ED is when a man cannot achieve or maintain an erection for long enough to have sexual intercourse. For an erection to occur, several factors, including muscles, nerves, hormones, the circulatory system, and the brain, all come into play.
These are the systems that must work together to fill the erectile tissue with enough blood in the penis. When a man has ED, he begins to have trouble having sexual intercourse.
Although this is a medical problem typified as an issue for older men, according to epidemiological studies, it can also affect adult men of all ages. Fortunately, in most cases, erectile dysfunction is treatable. Here, find out why it affects young men and how it can be treated.
Causes of ED in Young Men
A survey undertaken in the United Kingdom shows that most young men in their 30s have struggled to maintain an erection at some point in their lives. A different study found that at least 26 percent of men under 40 have severe ED, but suffered in silence. About half of this number cited work stress and personal life issues.
Erectile dysfunction is clinically defined as the persistent inability to maintain an erection. It means that an occasional off-night should not be treated as an emergency. However, should the off-night affect your performance and become a regular pattern, you should look for medical help.
In young men, the biggest culprit for ED is anxiety. Anxiety triggers your body to release stress hormones. The hormones then narrow the blood vessels, thereby reducing the amount of blood that reaches the penis. Furthermore, high levels of stress may cause a man to lose interest in activities they enjoy, including sex.
Some medicines can trigger erectile dysfunction. The most common culprits are drugs prescribed for blood pressure, depression, and heart disease. Before changing the medication that is responsible for ED, consult your healthcare provider. Illegal drugs and alcohol could also lead to ED in young men.
Narrow Blood Vessels and Hormonal Imbalance
Diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure can all cause the blood vessels to narrow. Narrowed blood vessels restrict the flow of blood to the penis, which hinders erection.
Men who use steroids to build muscles are also at risk of ED. Abnormally low or high levels of prolactin or thyroid hormone could also trigger erectile dysfunction.
Other causes include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Penile abnormalities
- Inability to produce enough sex hormones, also known as hypogonadism
- Multiple sclerosis
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
Because ED can be a sign of other underlying health problems, it should not be ignored. A health professional or therapist can help.
Can ED be Treated?
Yes. However, treatment varies from one individual to another. For some, taking steps towards improving their overall health may be the answer. For others, a different form of treatment, such as counseling when stress and depression are involved, could help. Your doctor may suggest the following remedies:
There are many natural remedies available over the counter. However, little scientific evidence has been collected to support their ability to cure ED. Note that taking the medication without consulting your healthcare provider could result in adverse side effects.
Change of Medication
Should your healthcare provider discover that the medication you are taking is the cause of your ED, they may stop it or change it. Do not change or stop your medication before consulting your doctor.
Your healthcare provider could recommend exercise. You may also have to quit smoking, eat a healthy diet, and have only a moderate intake of alcohol. If you are experiencing relationship problems, seek counseling.
Young men have a better chance of reversing erectile dysfunction than their older counterparts. It can be reversed through lifestyle changes or medication. Following the advice given and the medication prescribed can lead to a normal and healthy sex life.