Erectile Dysfunction In Young Men: Causes And Treatments

Erectile dysfunction is a condition, whereby a man’s penis does not erect for sexual intercourse and when it does, it is for an unusually short time. An erection necessitates hormones, muscles, nerves, the brain and circulatory system. Although psychological factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction, medical reports indicate that there are other risk factors involved.

In some cases, ED still takes place even when it is not for sex. According to research, lack of erections in the night is a major cause of concern. During sleep, an erection helps in nourishing the penis with a fresh supply of blood and oxygen. Not waking up with an erection is a condition that should be checked by the doctor.

Fortunately, ED is treatable. Here are the causes and available treatments.

Causes of erectile dysfunction

Physical conditions

Getting and maintaining an erection mainly requires healthy blood circulation. An unhealthy man is more likely to deal with ED. Common physical causes of ED are:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
  • Metabolic syndrome (condition linked to high insulin levels, increased blood pressure, excess cholesterol and body fat around the waist)
  • Surgeries or injuries
  • Atherosclerosis (clogged blood vessels)

Effects of drug abuse

Abuse of drugs like tobacco, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, methadone, and opiates can cause difficulties in getting or maintaining erections.

Medications and prescription drugs

Although prescription and over-the-counter drugs are used for treating diseases, some medication might cause ED.

  • Diuretics and high blood pressure drugs
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs, and anti-anxiety drugs
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Parkinson’s disease medications
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Muscle relaxants

Psychological issues

The feelings of arousal that lead to an erection come from the brain. Therefore, if the mind is not ready for sexual intercourse, there might be a problem with getting an erection. Psychological issues include:

  • Stress related to money, jobs, and other life events.
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Poor communication between the man and his partner
  • Worry of pregnancy or underperformance
  • Feelings of insecurity, embarrassment or low self-esteem

Treatments available for ED

Adopting healthy lifestyles

Eating a balanced diet, getting more workouts, losing weight and sleeping for enough hours can help in treating ED. Men suffering from ED should also minimize their intake of alcohol and cigarettes or completely cut off substance abuse.

Medical treatment

Oral phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) are used for ED treatment. PDE5 contains enzymes that catalyse the action of nitric oxide in the body. NO allows the blood vessels in the penis to open, thus increasing blood flow. Common ED medications are:

  • Tadalafil (Cialis)
  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Vardenafil (Levitra)

Vacuum constriction devices

A vacuum cylinder is placed over the penis to create an erection, and a band is placed under the penis to maintain the upward bend.


Patients receive a penile prosthesis implant to help in achieving an erection.

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