Does Erectile Dysfunction Affect Young Men?

×
Content of this article

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as a consistent or recurrent inability to attain and/or maintain penile erection sufficient for sexual satisfaction.

The definition of erectile dysfunction leaves room for interpretation and will vary depending on each person’s perception of what’s ‘normal’. The definition is in line with the philosophy of sexual medicine where only symptoms that create distress require treatment, that is to say, that there is no reason to treat apparent erectile dysfunction in a person who does not consider it a problem. The downside of this vague definition is that it can cause over or underestimation of the problem amongst the general population.

Lack of a conclusive definition also leaves room for interpretation from health care professionals. A particular risk for younger, healthy men is that health care professionals may not accept that complaints of sexual dysfunction are valid but rather ‘excessive’ or ‘over-rated’. In summary, the presence or absence of erectile dysfunction can only be decided from the point of view of the patient.

 

Click HERE to View Viagra Prices > >

What causes erectile dysfunction?

An erection begins in the brain when something (a particular sight, sound, feeling or thought) causes sexual excitement. The brain sends a message to the blood vessels in the penis to open up and let more blood flow in by releasing a chemical called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide activates another chemical called guanylate cyclase which increases levels of a third chemical called of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). cGMP relaxes smooth muscle and increases the flow of blood into the penis.

 

download

 

Figure 1: Chemical pathway of sexual arousal to erection

Any problem that physically disrupts the flow of blood to the penis or prevents the brain from sending the correct signals to the penis could potentially cause erectile dysfunction. Examples of medical conditions which affect blood flow to the penis include heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Examples of medical conditions which can cause nerve damage and interfere with the signals being sent from the brain to the penis include spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Diabetes causes both nerve damage and disruption of blood flow and is, therefore, a strong risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Hormonal issues such as low testosterone levels and side effects of medications may also influence blood flow into the penis.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, lifestyle habits that increase the risk of cardiovascular damage, diabetes, high cholesterol and stroke are also likely to increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. This includes things like smoking, little or no exercise, poor diet and too much alcohol consumption. It is considered that erectile dysfunction may be an early indicator of underlying cardiovascular damage.

In addition to physical causes, psychological issues can also affect the ability to get and maintain an erection. Psychological issues can include personal problems such as fighting with a partner or concerns about past sexual performance. They may also be related to anxiety or depression or stress unrelated to sex.

It should be stressed that erectile dysfunction is a multidimensional disorder, that is to say, that there may often be a number of both physical and psychological factors acting at the same time.

Viagra & Generic Sildenafil

From: £16.00

Does erectile dysfunction affect young men

Although the likelihood of experiencing erectile dysfunction increases with age it is thought to affect all men at one time or another. It is estimated to affect 1% to 10% of men younger than 40 years and 2%–9% of men between 40 and 49 years.

Interestingly, the incidence of erectile dysfunction in young men seems to be increasing. A study published earlier this year observed the age of the first presentation of erectile dysfunction (that is to say, the age at which patients presented at a clinic for the first time). They observed a total of 1567 men over a 12 year period and they concluded that the percentage of men under the age of 40 presenting for the first time with erectile dysfunction was 13% in the earlier portion of the study but increased to 21% in the latter part. The reasons for this apparent increase may well be a consequence of improved education amongst patients. Information is far more available nowadays and public health campaigns and drug advertisements are far more accessible. The knowledge of the availability of medication such as Sildenafil (also known as Viagra), Vardenafil (Levitra), Tadalafil (Cialis) and Avafinil (Spedra) which can be used to treat the problem along with increased confidence and knowledge about the condition itself may well influence and encourage more young men to seek advice and treatment. All of which are safe. Nevertheless, it can not be ruled out that there is, in fact, a trend towards increasing erectile dysfunction in younger men as a consequence of modern lifestyles. It is widely acknowledged that depression, anxiety and stress are on the increase and although both physical and social factors can cause erectile dysfunction in men of any age, proportionally, younger men are far more likely to be affected by psychological factors than older men. A study from Finland, involving almost 3,500 men aged 18–48 years confirmed the role of depression as a significant predictor of erectile dysfunction. The same study also showed that anxiety plays a significant role and that ED is significantly less frequent in men with a longer lasting sexual life, thus underlining the positive role of sexual experience and self-confidence. It stands to reason that an increase in underlying psychological conditions may also be a possible explanation for the observed increase in younger men experiencing erectile dysfunction.

Order erectile dysfunction treatment

Sildenafil

From: £16.00

Viagra

From: £45.00

Tadalafil

From: £19.98

Cialis

From: £39.99

Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, depression and relationship issues may be successfully treated with psychotherapy in the form of counselling. Temporary erectile dysfunction caused by stress may well resolve without intervention, often as a result of the removal of the underlying stress.

Medication for erectile dysfunction

A number of studies including a recent Chinese study on young men aged 21-35 years old who had failed to respond to psychotherapy concluded that there was a significant improvement in sexual function with medication use.

The first line of medication treatment for erectile dysfunction are drugs known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. They include the drugs Sildenafil (also known as Viagra), Vardenafil (Levitra), Tadalafil (Cialis) and Avafinil (Spedra) – The differences between these options are discussed here.
 
Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors are designed to be used in the natural setting, that is, alongside sexual stimulation. They work with the body’s natural functions so that when arousal takes place, the chemicals involved in the process are increased and maintained. Essentially they increase levels of nitric oxide and reduce the enzymatic breakdown (destruction) of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) by T phosphodiesterase type 5 (hence the name, phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors).

 

download (1)

 

Figure 2: How medication affects the chemical pathway from arousal to erection

Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors are considered to be effective, safe, and well-tolerated for the treatment of men with erectile dysfunction. There are no significant differences in efficacy, safety, and tolerability among the PDE5 inhibitors so the choice of which to use could depend on personal preference or best value for money. At present, generic sildenafil is the best value for money and may be an appropriate choice for some men experiencing erectile dysfunction. For many years, sildenafil tablets were known by their brand name, Viagra. Sildenafil is the exact same medication as Viagra with the same effectiveness and cautions for use.

 

Click HERE to View Viagra Prices > >

 

References

  1. Rastrelli et al. “Erectile dysfunction in fit and healthy young men: psychological or pathological?” Transl Androl Urol. 2017 Feb; 6(1): 79–90. 2)
  2. Zhang X, Yang B, Li N, Li H. “Prevalence and Risk Factors for Erectile Dysfunction in Chinese Adult Males”. J Sex Med. 2017 Oct;14(10):1201-1208.
  3. Rachael Jones 17th June 2018 “The effect of lifestyle modification and cardiovascular risk factor reduction on erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. Arch Intern Med. 2011 Nov 14;171(20):1797-803 4) Maiorino et al. “Lifestyle modifications and erectile dysfunction: what can be expected?”
  4. Asian J Androl. 2015 Jan-Feb; 17(1): 5–10. 5) Capogrosso et al. “Age at First Presentation for Erectile Dysfunction: Analysis of Changes over a 12-yr Period”. Eur Urol Focus. 2018 Mar 2. pii: S2405-4569(18)30068-3. 6) A Jern P, Gunst A, Sandnabba K, Santtila P “Are early and current erectile problems associated with anxiety and depression in young men? A retrospective self-report study”. J. Sex Marital Ther. 2012; 38(4):349-64. 7)
  5. Corona et al. “EDEUS, a Real-Life Study on the Users of Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors: Prevalence, Perceptions, and Health Care-Seeking Behaviour Among European Men With a Focus on 2nd-Generation Avanafil”. Sex Med. 2018 Mar;6(1):15-23. 8) Li et al. Effects of different medications with tadalafil on erectile dysfunction in males with primary sexual failure].
  6. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2017 Jun;23(6):522-526 9) Pharmacotherapy for Erectile Dysfunction: Recommendations From the Fourth InternationalConsultation for Sexual Medicine (ICSM 2015)

 

Assured Pharmacy is not liable for the currency or accuracy of the information contained in this blog post. For specific information about your personal medical condition, please contact our doctors or pharmacists for advice on [email protected].