Most people think of erectile dysfunction as a problem that only affects the older generation, but it occurs in younger men more often than you might realise.

One study reported that 26% of men they looked at with erectile dysfunction (ED) were under 40 years old¹. This echoes the reports of some sexual health specialists and GPs who are seeing a significant increase in the number of young men with ED.

In this blog, we look at what could be causing the rise in ED among young people and how men in their 20s can treat erectile dysfunction safely.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get, or maintain, an erection firm enough for penetrative sex. When you are aroused, nerve signals are sent to the base of the penis to relax the arteries and increase blood flow, causing an erection. In men with ED, a physical or psychological problem interferes with this process.

What’s causing ED in young men?

Erectile dysfunction is usually associated with the type of illnesses that are common in older men – heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

In the study introduced earlier, researchers found that the young men with ED were in better shape with a leaner body mass and higher testosterone levels than the older participants². So, what’s behind this rise in erection problems among men in their 20s?

Performance anxiety

Some experts think the problem could be related to performance anxiety. This is the fear that you won’t be able to please your sexual partner when it comes to having sex, and it can be so overwhelming that it leads to an unsatisfactory experience.

An over-reliance on pornography may also be contributing to the unrealistic expectations men in this age group have about sexual performance. Many admit taking Viagra for help improving their stamina, particularly at the start of a new relationship.

Stress, anxiety, and depression, can all cause erectile dysfunction and affect your sex drive. Left untreated, these psychological problems in young men could get worse.

Lifestyle factors 

Lifestyle factors could also be to blame for the rising prevalence of erectile dysfunction among young people. Too much alcohol, misuse of drugs, and a poor diet can all contribute to an inability to get and maintain an erection.

The good news is that these can all be remedied with some simple lifestyle changes from reducing your alcohol intake to losing weight.

Can Viagra help men in their 20s?

Viagra, also referred to as “the little blue pill”, works by optimising the chemical (cGMP) responsible for relaxing the blood vessels in the penis and increasing blood flow. It does this by stopping enzymes from breaking down this much-needed chemical too early.

Men in their 20s are able to take Viagra successfully, but not everyone is suitable. It’s important to tell your GP or pharmacist if you are taking any other medication or you have any health issues. In particular, you should mention if you have:

  • Angina or other cardiovascular disease
  • Severe liver problems
  • Low blood pressure
  • Recently had a stroke

Though ED drugs are readily available to buy online, you should never buy medication from an unauthorised seller. You cannot be sure what they send you is genuine, and they are unlikely to check that it is safe for you to take Viagra.

viagra tablets

When to see your GP for ED

Erectile dysfunction can be a symptom of a serious underlying condition, and though it’s less likely in younger people, you should check with your GP before you self-diagnose.

Diabetes, for example, puts you at risk of erectile dysfunction and the two often occur together. In 2015, doctors at the University of British Columbia in Canada found that more than 11% of male participants with ED (1,417) had undiagnosed diabetes³.

If you have diabetes, you are between two and three times more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than someone without diabetes. The two conditions share many of the same risk factors:

  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Excessive drinking
  • Stress

Other metabolic and cardiovascular conditions can also cause erectile dysfunction, and GPs are worried that these things are going undiagnosed in young people who simply assume that their problem is confined to the bedroom.

If you are in your 20s and you experience erectile dysfunction for the first time, speak to your doctor before you buy Viagra. They can arrange further tests to check for diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

The key takeaway

Google ‘average age of man taking Viagra’ and you’ll get a mixed picture. Pfizer spokesman, Daniel Watts, claims the average age is 53⁴, but anecdotally, GPs and other healthcare professionals are seeing more young men with erectile dysfunction.

Psychological problems and lifestyle choices could be behind the increase in sexual problems, but ED is also one of the symptoms of diabetes and heart disease

Viagra can help men in their 20s and it’s easy to buy discreetly online, but before you hand over your money, check to make sure that you’re buying from a registered pharmacy, whose staff are trained to put your welfare first.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Oct 25, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Oct 19, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm
References

Registered Service

NPA logotype
Image of registered pharmacy
Icon of registered GPhC
 Symbol of legally seller service

Sign up to our newsletter

Contact Us

Call: 020 8894 6080

Office Hours:
9am-5pm Weekdays
9am-12pm Saturday

*We are closed on Bank Holidays

 

PostMyMeds Ltd.
VAT Number: 219 8747 65

Visit us

132 High Street Whitton
Twickenham
TW2 7LL

Click here for a map

Trustpilot Reviews

COPYRIGHT © 2021 - PostMyMeds Ltd


Secure and safe

  • Sign of online payment method
  • Thumbnail of mastercard
  • label of  sage payment method
  • Image of registered pharmacy
  • Comodo Trusted Site Seal