Impotence Occurring in Younger and Younger Men; Why?

By March 19, 2013Men's Health

Couple in troubleImpotence, also known as erectile dysfunction, is a problem most often associated with older men, but it can actually affect men of all ages and many young men suffer from impotence.

What causes impotence?

Most cases of impotence in younger men are associated with psychological causes; this can be anything from feeling overwhelmed and inexperienced to suffering from depression or severe anxiety.


In young men who are inexperienced, anxiety is a common problem; if they haven’t had sex many times before, it is natural to feel slightly worried and perhaps nervous about how they will perform, especially if they are experiencing peer pressure or they feel under pressure from their partner. Some men also feel anxious about having sex because they are worried about getting a girl pregnant, while others worry that they won’t be able to keep their erection if they use a condom.

In young men, there may also be anxiety in relation to the state of your relationship, your sexuality and your feelings towards the person you are having sex with; guilt, strain in the relationship and confusion about your sexuality can all contribute to loss of erectile function.

Physical causes

In older men, physical causes are more common; men over the age of 65 tend to experience impotence as a result of problems that affect blood flow around the body, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Alcohol and young people

Alcohol is a common cause of erectile dysfunction; it tends to prevent men from getting an erection on a temporary and sporadic basis. It is common for men experience a degree of erectile dysfunction after they have drunk alcohol and the more you drink the more difficult you may find it to get and keep an erection. If you find that you frequently struggle to get an erection after drinking, try to avoid drinking for a set period of time before you plan to get intimate with somebody.

Why is impotence becoming more common in younger men?

Research shows that psychological problems are becoming more common in young people; issues such as depression and anxiety are fairly common among young men and these are both risk factors for erectile dysfunction.

Alcohol consumption is also a problem; studies show that young people drink much more than in previous generations, and drinking alcohol, especially in large volumes, affects erectile function.

There is also increased pressure on men when it comes to having sex at an early age; teenagers grow up faster than ever and they feel pressure to have sex during their teenage years; inexperienced boys are likely to feel nervous and anxious, especially if they hear their friends talking about having sex or they are the last one in their group of peers to have sex.

What can be done?

Treatments for erectile dysfunction have come on in leaps and bounds and almost all cases of erectile dysfunction can be successfully treated. In younger men, impotence is often a one-off or a short-lived problem, but if it persists there are effective treatment options.

Psychological treatment for anxiety and depression may be beneficial; this may involve therapy or counselling; anti-depressant medication may also be recommended, but some medicines can cause erectile dysfunction as a side-effect. Counselling and therapy can help people to identify and address problems in their present or past and help them to develop new ways of dealing with these problems.

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