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How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction?

by | May 9, 2022 | Sex

When you’re having trouble getting or sustaining an erection alone or with a sexual partner, any sexual encounter can quickly transform into a massive downer. With the power to crumble masculinity, lower self-esteem, and eliminate any ounce of remaining sex drive, erectile dysfunction (ED) can make a guy feel like they’re the only one in the world with a penis that can’t achieve a boner. But, that isn’t the truth.

Erectile dysfunction is actually more common than you’d think, with most men experiencing erection problems at some stage of their life. Even if they don’t chat about it at the local pub.

How common is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual dysfunction in men. Yet when we look to science for data on the prevalence of erectile dysfunction, results vary.

This 2018 study indicates erectile dysfunction affects about one third of men. Whereas this more recent 2019 review implies a global prevalence of erectile dysfunction between 3 to 76.5%.

Now, we know you’re thinking these numbers are fairly broad, so we’re taking you on a time warp back to 1994 when The Massachusetts Male Aging Study claimed the title of most reliable source of info cited by experts.

The study states around 52% of men experience some form of erectile dysfunction, with this total increasing 5 to 15% between the ages 40 and 70.

Judging by the discrepancies in data, we can agree that erectile dysfunction is a common condition that’s difficult to measure in large populations (and even harder to accurately measure due to the many men suffering in silence, ashamed to seek help).

How common is erectile dysfunction in younger men?

While there’s truth in the risk of erectile dysfunction increasing with age, it’s still common for young men to experience impotence. This study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that 26% of men under the age of 40 were affected by erectile dysfunction to some degree.

How common is erectile dysfunction in older men?

It’s common knowledge that erectile function in men deteriorates progressively with age, particularly once someone hits the big four-zero (40 ). The reason older men are more likely to experience ED is as simple as the failing state of health that comes as a bonus with getting older.

Older generations are more prone to conditions of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity. These are all risk factors for the onset of erectile dysfunction.

What risk factors are associated with erectile dysfunction?

Leading causes of erectile dysfunction are vascular in nature, however there is noteworthy data suggesting a relationship between ED and common risk factors of:

  • Aging
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Dyslipidaemia
  • High blood pressure
  • Pelvic surgeries
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Lack of exercise

How to treat erectile dysfunction?

If you’re wondering how to deal with erectile dysfunction in a marriage, in a relationship, for a one night fling, or for your own solo enjoyment, there are many treatment options available.

ED treatments range from oral medications, penile injections, medical procedures, testosterone therapy, psychotherapy and counselling (to manage mental health and performance anxiety), and various behavioural techniques.

A trusted healthcare professional is your best source for personalised advice unique to your situation. Medical professionals can guide you through an ED treatment plan to help improve sexual function for longer-lasting sexual intercourse. Always speak with a doctor prior to commencing any form of ED treatment.

How to prevent erectile dysfunction?

Experiencing ED is a total bummer for your sex life, and although there are certain lifestyle factors that can be altered to reduce your risk of ED, the condition isn’t completely preventable.

We still recommend trying to minimise your risk of ED by:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Maintaining a healthy weight, or losing weight if currently overweight
  • Talking to someone about your condition (avoid bottling up your emotions)
  • Learning to manage stress and anxiety (learn some strategies to overcome anxiety)

We’re here to help!

Managing erectile dysfunction isn’t a solo job. Talk to a Stagger doctor to kick off your journey towards improved penile function, and a better sex life.

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