Erectile dysfunction in young men: Causes and treatment advice

Most of us associate erectile dysfunction (ED) with older men. This is primarily due to what we see in pharmaceutical advertisements and what we know (or think we know) about the natural decline of bodily functions as we age. In the medical sphere, however, we’re seeing more and more data on younger men (those in their early 20’s to mid 30’s) presenting with ED symptoms. As adults, we should know that it’s not our age, but rather our unique state of physical and mental health, that determines our risk for illness, disease, and dysfunction. For instance, there are plenty of men in the world who maintain healthy sex lives up into their 80’s, while others struggle just to breathe without medical assistance. This isn’t any less true among our younger male population. Although we like to attribute health and vitality to youth, our age alone cannot not protect us from illness or the various factors that could cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction.


Do

Do ask yourself the following questions to see if you might have ED

The first thing you should do is try to rule out if what you’re experiencing could actually be symptoms of erectile dysfunction. If you experience any of the following scenarios more than half the time that you attempt intercourse, it’s likely that you are indeed suffering from ED:

  1. During intercourse, are you unable to maintain an erection to completion?
  2. Are your erections ever not hard enough to penetrate your partner?
  3. Do you experience difficulty maintaining an erection during masturbation?
  4. Do you typically wake up without morning erections?
  5. Do you not feel physical pleasure when having sex?
     

Do describe your ED symptoms in detail with your doctor

Based on your honest descriptions, your doctor should be able to determine how serious your ED symptoms are and what, if any, tests need to be done in order to unveil the cause(s) of your symptoms. From there, your doctor can begin the process of diagnosing ED as a chronic condition or a temporary/situational concern.

Do take an active approach with your health

After seeing your doctor and getting an idea of what could be causing your ED symptoms, you should be proactive about putting yourself on the right track toward a healthy recovery. A healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and exercise is an undisputable elixir to almost any health issue that exists today. You should also undergo any treatments that your doctor advises, but in order to achieve lasting results, adopting a healthier lifestyle is necessary.

Do take an active approach with your health

After seeing your doctor and getting an idea of what could be causing your ED symptoms, you should be proactive about putting yourself on the right track toward a healthy recovery. A healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and exercise is an undisputable elixir to almost any health issue that exists today. You should also undergo any treatments that your doctor advises, but in order to achieve lasting results, adopting a healthier lifestyle is necessary.

Do share your ED symptoms with a support group or trusted online forum

Online forums are a great place to get questions answered and concerns shared in a discreet and safe manner. These also provide people with social support for their specific concern and let them know that they’re not alone in their struggle. If you’re worried about speaking to a doctor about your ED symptoms, you can anonymously share your concerns on an online forum and most likely get a response from someone who is going through or has already gone through a similar situation.

Do follow a treatment plan geared toward resolving the underlying cause(s) of your ED

It’s so easy to just take a pill or use a device that will create the illusion of a healthy and natural erection, but you will then be dependent on these things whenever you want to be sexually active in the future. You also won’t be acknowledging any potential health issues that could be causing the ED symptoms in the first place. This could prove to be especially dangerous if health issues are at all connected to your vascular or nervous system. Follow the advised temporary treatments and/or procedures, but don’t neglect the long-term lifestyle changes you’ll need to make a full recovery.


Don't

Do not take ED medications before consulting with a doctor

Whether you get a legitimate prescription or a counterfeit one, you shouldn’t take any medications for a condition that you may or may not have. You don’t know how a medication will interact with any other medications you might be taking or other health conditions you may have. Taking a medication that you don’t actually need could also make the issue you’re trying resolve worse.

Do not wait too long before seeing a doctor if symptoms persist

Persistent ED symptoms, especially when seen in younger men, should not be ignored for too long. These symptoms could indicate underlying health issues that could be detrimental, even fatal, to your health if left unattended to. An inadequate blood supply, for instance, could be the underlying cause of your ED. This would mean that you could have a blockage in an artery, putting you at a much greater risk of heart attack or stroke.

Do not settle for poor medical advice or insensitivity from a medical provider

If you feel that your doctor or other healthcare provider is diverting from your genuine health concerns by not fully addressing them or changing the subject before working toward a solution, you should seek at least one other medical opinion. You should without question seek a new healthcare provider if yours displays any insensitivity about your concerns, which includes disregarding and belittling them, among other behaviors that you feel are not in line with being of the most benefit to your health and wellbeing.

Do not disregard your emotional or psychological well being

Your ED symptoms could very well stem from an emotional or psychological issue. Stress, anxiety, and depression can make it nearly impossible for some people to become aroused. Even those who have ED stemming from a physical condition can experience a worsening of their symptoms due to the negative emotions they have about their ED. Seek the appropriate help by speaking with a sex therapist, therapist, or psychologist.

Do not suppress the problem with drug abuse or other self-destructive behaviors

Experiencing ED symptoms can be depressing for some men, especially if they’re also given a more concrete diagnosis of ED. However, the last thing you should do is engage in mind-numbing activities that could exacerbate your ED symptoms, such as drinking excessively or abusing other drugs.


Summary
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For younger men suffering from ED, there are many treatment options available and lifestyle changes to be made that can alleviate and even reverse ED symptoms. The first step is finding out whether or not you actually have ED by taking the online ED quiz and getting tested by a medical doctor or urologist. You should then follow whatever treatment plan is advised by your doctor, while also maintaining your physical and emotional health. There are many potential reasons why a young man could experience ED. Some reasons have quick fixes, while others can stem from more seriously health concerns. Each cause will require a different form of treatment, so it’s imperative to your health to consult with a medical professional as soon as you decide that your symptoms have become a persistent problem.


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Muhammad A. Mirza, M.D.Founder and Board Certified in Internal Medicine

Dr. Muhammad Mirza, M.D. is the Medical Director at Doctor Available, LLC, based in New Jersey, and the founder of ErectileDoctor.com. He is board certified in internal medicine and has had extensive experience as a practicing clinical physician...

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