Most assume that middle-aged and particularly older men experience erectile dysfunction. But younger men struggle with it too. In fact, a recent study found that 26% of those under 40 experience ED. Half of those had a severe form of ED. For the concerned, it’s important to have the right information in order to know when a problem is indeed occurring, and what steps to take to alleviate it.
ED symptoms include the inability to create or sustain an erection, an erection too soft to engage in intercourse or one that lasts for too short a time to be viable. For some, a soft erection makes sex feasible, but the act is not as pleasurable for one or both partners. The first thing to understand is that most men feel ashamed about erectile issues. Don’t. This is a health condition that can be diagnosed and treated. It’s normal to feel this way. But ignoring the problem will only make it worse.
Some men experience a mild case of ED and believe that although their sex life isn’t great, it’s good enough. But ignoring the problem even when it’s mild could also be neglecting an underlying health issue that could be far worse, even life threatening. There may be a physical problem like diabetes or high blood pressure, or an emotional one like depression, anxiety or chronic stress.
It’s also important to communicate with your partner about such problems. Men having difficulty often push their partners away. But this can create a rift in the relationship, even cause it to end. Be honest with your partner. Certain lifestyle choices have been shown to cause or exacerbate ED, such as smoking and drinking alcohol in excess, having a poor diet and lacking exercise. Some physicians say 85% of cases can be reversed through lifestyle changes alone.
Lastly, visit your doctor and explain the symptoms you are having. It may feel difficult for you to discuss the issue. It takes a lot of courage. But once the root of the problem is isolated and treatment is administered, you will be healthier and you and your partner, happier and more satisfied.