Is ED Normal In Young Men?

Is Erectile Dysfunction Normal For Young Men?

In Erectile Dysfunction, Sex by userLeave a Comment

The popular misconception about erectile dysfunction is that it’s an old man’s disorder. However, while the risk of erectile dysfunction certainly increases with age, it’s not at all exclusive to older men. The fact of the matter is that there are quite a few men under 40 who suffer from ED. 

The question you might have is: “is erectile dysfunction normal for young men?”

The answer is: yes and no.

The truth of the matter is that this question is far too complex to be answered with a single word.

What Constitutes Erectile Dysfunction? 

Erectile dysfunction includes any condition in which a man struggles to either get or maintain an erection. This condition comes in a range of severities, with some men unable to obtain an erection at all, and other men unable to obtain an erection on a consistent basis. 

Many of the individuals who suffer from ED are able to achieve an erection initially but are unable to keep it for the duration of a sexual act. This is the form of ED which is most common in young men. 

Symptoms which accompany erectile dysfunction include reduced sex drive, sexual anxiety, and shame. Stress often accompanies ED as well. 

Is Erectile Dysfunction Normal for Young Men?: The Statistics

Statistically speaking, it’s fair to say that erectile dysfunction is not normal for young men. After all, cases of chronic ED (ED that is consistent over a long period of time) affect only 5% of men under 40. 

However, there’s a little more to it than just this one statistic. While most young men don’t suffer from complete ED, a good many of them suffer from partial ED (sporadic erectile dysfunction which occurs randomly). In fact, it’s been found that approximately 40% of men at the age of 40 suffer from partial ED. 

But what about men in their 20s?

The truth is that there are relatively few cases of complete ED in twenty-something men. While some cases certainly exist, they are rare and are generally brought on by serious health problems. Typically, if a man in his 20s is experiencing ED, it’s partial ED, in particular, and is being brought on by an easy-to-eliminate factor. 

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction in Young Men? 

The causes of erectile dysfunction in young men are many, running the gamut from the physical to the psychological and including everything in between. The most common causes of erectile dysfunction in young men include: 

Extreme Stress 

Generally, when a young man experiences erectile dysfunction, it’s because he’s also experiencing extreme stress. Extreme stress can cause disturbances in the brain’s communications with the rest of the body, preventing the brain from sending blood to the pelvic area. Ergo, erectile dysfunction presents itself. 

All types of stress can cause this effect, from work stress to school stress to relationship stress to family stress and more. Stress occurring during an act of sex can also make it difficult for a man to maintain his erection. 

Since young men are highly prone to stress, they are much more likely to suffer stress-induced ED. 


Another possible cause of ED in young men is obesity. While being overweight in and of itself doesn’t necessarily affect one’s ability to achieve an erection, the conditions that come with being overweight often do. These conditions include but aren’t limited to diabetes and hypertension. 

Excessive Alcohol Consumption and Drug Use 

There’s really no doubt about it: men drink and experiment with drugs more in their younger years than they do in their older years. As such, young men are much more prone to drug and alcohol-induced erectile dysfunction than are old men. 

Drug and alcohol-induced ED can occur in both the short-term and the long-term. For instance, while a social drinker or drug user might have trouble obtaining an erection while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, a heavy drinker or drug user might have trouble obtaining an erection at all for the entire duration of his drinking and drug use. 

Excessive Masturbation 

Another common cause of erectile dysfunction is excessive masturbation. Men who masturbate over once a day every day can become desensitized to sexual feelings and can have trouble obtaining proper blood flow in the pelvic area. 

Now, this isn’t to say that you should stop masturbating. In fact, masturbation is a healthy activity for young men.

However, it does mean that you should masturbate in moderation. Try to limit your masturbation sessions to no more than 5 times a week. 

Oversaturation of Porn 

One of the more common causes of ED in young men is an oversaturation of porn. The more porn a young man watches, the more desensitized his brain becomes to sexual activity. The more desensitized his brain becomes, the more stimulation he needs in order to achieve an erection. 

If you find that you’re able to achieve an erection while watching porn but are unable to achieve an erection during real-life sexual situations, your porn consumption might be a problem. You’re advised to cut it out of your life for a few weeks to see if the situation improves. 

Heart Issues 

While not all young men who suffer from ED possess heart issues, a good many of them do. In most cases, these men suffer from high blood pressure, in particular.

However, over time, this high blood pressure can turn into more serious problems (ie. angina, heart attack, stroke, etc.). So, if you’re a young man who has ED, you would be wise to have your heart health assessed by a doctor. 


Those who suffer from diabetes often suffer from erectile dysfunction as well. This is due to the fact that diabetes can sometimes damage veins and nerves around the penis. 

Psychological Issues 

There is a range of psychological conditions which can cause erectile dysfunction. These include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, insomnia, and bipolar disorder. 

Treatment Options for ED in Young Men 

Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available for young men. The most commonly used treatment methods for erectile dysfunction include: 

Psychological Therapy 

If your erectile dysfunction seems to be stemming from a psychological issue, you’re highly advised to engage in psychological therapy. Therapy is not only beneficial to those suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and other serious mental illnesses. It can also help those experiencing high stress, low self-esteem, and everyday relationship problems. 

Therapy includes speaking to a psychologist about your problems in a constructive manner and getting to the roots of your issues so that you can treat them in a head-on manner. In some cases, individuals will even be prescribed medications to help them combat their problems.  

Lifestyle Improvements 

In the cases of many young men, lifestyle improvements are all that’s needed in order to combat erectile dysfunction. These improvements include diet improvements, exercise improvements, and sleep improvements, primarily. 

For instance, exercising 3 to 5 times a week can work wonders in reducing blood pressure and increasing blood flow throughout the body. It can also help to stave off conditions such as diabetes. 

At the same time, eating a healthy diet consisting of whole foods can help both your mental and physical state. Plus, laying off alcohol can eliminate any risk of alcohol-induced ED. 

Lastly, getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night can reduce the effects of mental illness and improve blood flow throughout the body. 

ED Medication

These days, ED medications are most popular than ever. Why? Because they’re readily available, easy to take, and reliable. 

These medications work by opening up the blood vessels in the pelvic region of the body. In doing so, they increase blood flow to the region, allowing blood to more easily make its way into the penis. The result of this is, of course, quicker and more consistent erections. 

Most young men with ED can benefit from medications. However, regardless of whether or not medications are taken, exercise, a healthy diet, and ample sleep are still recommended. 

Penis Pumping 

One last treatment option for erectile dysfunction is penis pumping, a form of treatment which involves stimulating one’s penis in a vacuum tube. While this form of treatment is best for short-term results, it can help over the long-term. 

Penis pumping works by stimulating the blood vessels in the penis. As these vessels become stimulated, they open up, allowing for increased blood flow. As a result, the penis becomes more erect. 

If you’re going to use a penis pump to induce an erection, you might also consider using an erection ring. These rings are worn at the base of the penis in order to maintain blood flow during sex. 

Utilize Medication to Combat Your Erectile Dysfunction 

As you can see, it’s much more commonplace than what most people probably realize. And erectile dysfunction can certainly affect younger men, even starting as early as 18 years old.

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