What was once thought of being an issue that affected almost exclusively men over the age of 60, has now become a problem affecting younger men as well. Erectile dysfunction, commonly known as ED, has been reported to have increased in men under 40 in the last decade.
Discover our latest podcast
One study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that 30% of men under the age of 40 experienced ED. Meaning that roughly one out of three men under 40 experience sporadic ED. The average age was just 32.
What is the cause of this increase in younger men suffering from ED
Several causes have been linked to this increase in younger men. Certain genetic and cardiovascular diseases have been known to have an effect on the potency of a man's erection.
Butmaybe the most important culprit that consistently pops up in modern research is the effect that pornography might be having on young adult men's sexuality. Dr. Anand Patel, a GP specializing in sexual health believes that:
When you're in your teens watching pornography, that is your learned sexual experience. It becomes your brain's way of relating to sex and it's hugely problematic, because making love to your laptop avoids all the social nuances and physicality of having sex
He further explains that:
With porn you're going from video to video, and from new person to new person, which is highly arousing. When you try to translate that into real life with one single person, that relationship can decrease its value in terms of novelty and excitement and become less arousing
One solution suggested would be to abstain from pornography to rewire the way that your brain reacts to sexual stimulation. In a sense, the idea would be to 're-sensitize' your body to real life sexual stimuli.
With the de-stigmatization of mental health issues and people seeking out help more frequently, depression, as well as other mental disorders, have been identified as a leading cause for ED in younger men.
Performance anxiety is another phenomenon that has increasingly been talked about in the last few years in relation to ED. Experts believe that younger men feel more pressure to perform in the bedroom than ever before and some theories associate this with how masculinity and virility are being portrayed in the media.
The good news about all of this is that therapy to treat depression, performance anxiety and other mental health issues that might be affecting the quality of your sex life does exist and can help treat ED effectively.