The little blue pill is not just for older men. E.D., or erectile dysfunction, is more common with age, but is becoming more and more common among men of all ages. While impotence my happen naturally in men as they age, young men are experiencing this problem more often due to factors other than age. Erectile dysfunction is characterized by the inability to get an erection, the inability to maintain an erection, and difficulty having an erection that is firm enough for intercourse. These symptoms are serious and can affect your relationship and your health no matter your age.
E.D. in Young Men
As many as 25 percent of men under 40 years of age may experience symptoms of erectile dysfunction. E.D. symptoms in young men may be caused by many factors ranging from psychological, neurological, or lifestyle issues.
Common causes for E.D. in young men include:
-Depression and other mood disorders
-Spinal cord injuries
-Hormone imbalance and disorders
-Antidepressant, alcohol, or drug use
Considering the causes for erectile dysfunction are quite common, a young man may try to correct it on his own. E.D. is not something men like to talk about—neither with a doctor, nor with their partner. If you or someone you love experiences symptoms of erectile dysfunction, no matter your age, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible.
What Can Your Doctor Do?
It may be that a doctor you’ve had currently or in the past wanted to “throw pills” at the problem. The little blue pill (Viagra) might have gotten a lot of good press in recent years, but it is not the only treatment for E.D. Your doctor may discuss options such as injections, suppositories, penile implant surgery, and special devices which can increase blood flow to the penis. Your doctor may also treat your erectile dysfunction by improving artery health and blood flow, bringing blood pressure into a healthy range, and monitoring and controlling diabetes.
In order to have the best diagnosis and treatment for your erectile dysfunction, you should be honest with your physician about your symptoms and how it is affecting your life and relationship. You should notify your medical staff of all medication you take, including prescription, over the counter (OTC), remedies, supplements, and vitamins. Keep track of your symptoms and individual occurrences, patterns, and circumstances. Reflect on your stress, major life changes, relationship problems, habits such as smoking and drinking, and drug use. These may tell the story of your erectile dysfunction and help your doctor determine an appropriate treatment.
Your doctor’s visit may get personal. This is because your sexual function is personal! Expect to answer questions about the firmness of your erection, the frequency and effectiveness of masturbation, and your sexual activity. Your visit should include a physical exam, assessing the prostate and penis, as well as blood work and other lab tests.