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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or sustain an erection. Typically a problem associated with older males, some studies have recently shown that young men may also be subject to this health condition. There are several different possible causes of erectile dysfunction in young men including functional abnormalities, lifestyle factors, and side effects from medication or medical procedures.
It is important to note that most men occasionally have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. The body is not always able or willing to respond on command, and may be thrown off by a variety of circumstances. Erectile dysfunction is distinguished from the occasional inability to get an erection by frequency; men with ED have recurring episodes of the issue on a regular basis.
Psychological factors are often linked to erectile dysfunction in young men. Anxiety about performance or sexual skills, self-image issues, and even conditions like bipolar disorder or depression may all cause erectile dysfunction in young men. In some cases, fear of erectile dysfunction can even lead to the condition occurring, as anxiety over not being able to perform sexually causes the body to experience stress and may reduce the output of chemicals and hormones that allow desire and erection to occur.
Lifestyle factors may be a major contributing factor to erectile dysfunction in young men. Men in their 20s are more likely to engage in excessive use of drugs or alcohol, both of which may inhibit performance. A poor diet and exercise regime may also be partially to blame in some cases. Smoking and obesity are also sometimes considered possible factors in the appearance of ED in younger men.
In some cases, ED occurs because of a related disease or health condition. Diabetes, vascular problems, and neurological diseases are all linked to the occurrence of erectile dysfunction in young men. Experiencing repeated episodes of erectile failure may be cause to visit a doctor for a physical examination to rule out any possible developing health conditions that may be contributing to the issue. In many cases, nerve damage caused by injury, disease, or surgical procedures may also be related to the condition.
Erectile dysfunction in young men may cause feelings of shame, anxiety, or even failure. Fortunately, the condition is quite treatable in many cases, though treatment may depend on the cause. Cases related to psychological issues may benefit from therapy and possible treatment of chemical imbalances, while those related to physical conditions may be resolved through medication. Seeking medical help is generally recommended as the best way to get to the bottom of the issue.