Half of men reporting erection problems are in 30s, and pill is not the answer

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Many won’t seek help, or will try to fix it using “solutions” that really only mask their problem.

Many people think of erection problems as a condition that only affects older men. But you don’t have to look far to find reports of the condition among men in their 20s and 30s. Some research even estimates that half of males who report having difficulties getting or maintaining an erection are in their 30s.

Yet despite how common erection problems may be – affecting nearly half of men aged 18-60 – there remains a lot of stigma and shame around having the condition. This can be especially true when you’re young, thanks to the sexual scripts many have grown up hearing – such as that they should always be ready to have sex, that they should get aroused at the drop of a hat, and that they should be able to perform perfectly every time.

As a result, many won’t seek help, or will try to fix it using “solutions” that really only mask their problem. For example, there are reports that many younger men are turning to prescription and over-the-counter drugs, such as Viagra, to cope.

Such drugs have become much cheaper and more widely available through discreet online pharmacies in recent years. But though these products may help people with the occasional unreliable erection, they won’t actually fix the crux of the problem.

There are a number of reasons why erection problems may happen, including certain health problems (such as hormonal imbalances or high blood pressure). But one of the most common causes of erection problems, particularly among young men, is anxiety.

Ordinarily, when aroused, the brain sends signals to the penis and triggers it to fill with blood. But when a person is anxious, the body releases stress hormones (called cortisol), which activates the body’s flight or fight response. Because high levels of cortisol constrict blood vessels and blood flow, this can make it difficult to get (or maintain) an erection.


There are any number of reasons why young men may experience anxiety, especially surrounding sex. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • low desire
  • feeling of guilt and shame
  • relationship problems
  • confusion about sexuality
  • religious beliefs
  • poor sex education
  • poor body image
  • fear of pregnancy and STIs.

Understanding the root cause of your anxiety is key in treating erection problems.

Take for example if a person’s erection problems are caused by anxiety stemming from low libido. They may feel guilty that they cannot satisfy their partner and may feel a sense of shame because of it. Without talking to their partner or a healthcare professional about it, they may only continue in a cycle where their anxiety worsens because of their erection problems, and their erection problems worsen because of their anxiety.

What you can do?

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