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Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms Age

erectile dysfunction symptoms age

Is erectile dysfunction inevitable?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse.

Some people may assume ED increases with age. The fact is that the inability to maintain an erection isn’t always age-related.

Aging doesn’t necessarily mean you’re destined to develop ED indefinitely. While age can raise the risk for ED, there are ways to treat it.

Learn more about the risks and treatment options.

Is erectile dysfunction (ED) common in men under age 40?

Problems with erections tend to become more frequent as a man gets older. Many people associate erectile dysfunction (ED) with older men, but it’s something younger men should take seriously, too.

In a Journal of Sexual Medicine study published in July 2013, Italian researchers found that about a quarter of the men with ED in their study sample were age 40 or under.

Hope, no matter your age

ED is often associated with getting older. Although ED’s frequency does increase with age, it’s treatable regardless of your age and isn’t as inevitable as you might think.

In fact, ED can have many causes not associated with aging.

What Age Does Erectile Dysfunction Start?

Dr. Newton says you might be surprised by how many men have erectile dysfunction. He says it affects about 50 percent of men over the age of 40 and is even more common as men age.

“Many men are hesitant to bring it up with their doctor,” Dr. Newton says. “They should remember it is very common, and they are certainly not the first, nor will they be the last, to have this issue. We try to ask about it regularly so they don’t have to bring up the topic. But, if we don’t know about it, we can’t help.”

What Are Erectile Dysfunction Causes?

Dr. Newton says while many medical conditions have a genetic aspect, erectile dysfunction does not follow that trend. Here are a few main causes:

Low testosterone. A man with low testosterone might also notice symptoms including fatigue, depression, decreased interest in sexual intercourse, changes in muscle mass and changes in body hair.

Diabetes. This occurs when your body can’t appropriately handle sugar. Diabetes is one of the most frequent causes of erectile dysfunction.

Peripheral vascular disease. This involves the narrowing of blood vessels. It is also one of the most frequent causes of erectile dysfunction.

Obesity. A healthy diet and weight loss will help decrease the risk of multiple health issues, including erectile dysfunction.

Psychosocial stress. Due to the amount of anxiety about erectile dysfunction, mild erectile dysfunction and intermittent difficulty can lead to constant erectile dysfunction in some patients. Addressing the stress around the disorder with a psychiatrist or psychologist can help improve function.

Smoking. Not smoking or stopping smoking can help reduce the risk of multiple medical conditions, including erectile dysfunction.

Treating ED

Fortunately, ED is a treatable condition. Sometimes making lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, take care of it.

Medications and devices are also available. A short course of oral medication can be very helpful. Sometimes, oral therapy is prescribed first to reduce anxiety.

Men with anxiety or depression may benefit from seeing a counselor or sex therapist. Couples may decide to seek counseling together to work on any relationship issues. A sex therapist can also help a man with performance anxiety, teaching him ways to relax and be more confident about sex.

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