How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Impotence has a significant impact on the sexual health of men. Erectile dysfunction erodes confidence, ruins relationships, and leads to depression. It is estimated that worldwide, 322 million men will be affected by 2025. Across the UK it is believed that 4.3 million men suffer from the condition.

A review of the current epidemiological literature on erectile dysfunction (ED) suggests that approximately 5–30% of men have moderate or severe symptoms of impotence. Methodological differences, different definitions of ED, age distributions, and concomitant medical conditions, may explain much of the variance in reported prevalence rates.

Currently, up to 70% of men with ED are not treated. Various chronic disorders are associated with elevated rates of ED. Underlying problems including depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular and neurological diseases. Illnesses that are more common in men over 60 years of age. That partially explains the prevalence of ED in the elderly.

Impotence Is on the Rise

Several studies have been done worldwide on the prevalence of impotence. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study is the one that is quoted most often. The study demonstrated that ED is increasingly prevalent with age. Digging deeper into the data, we find that 40% of men at age 40 are affected. That percentage rises to 70% for men at age 70. The prevalence of complete ED increased from 5% at age 40 to 15% at age 70. Age was the variable most strongly associated with ED.

Estimates have been published using data from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. Incidence data are necessary to assess risk and plan treatment and prevention strategies. The Massachusetts study data suggest that annually, there will be approximately 17,781 new cases of ED in Massachusetts and 617,715 in the United States.

A larger national study, the National Health and Social Life Survey, looked at a sexual function in men and women. This study surveyed 1,410 men aged 18 to 59 and also documented an increase in ED with age.

Something that was expected was found by the study. The obvious conclusion that with aging, comes a decrease in sexual desire. In the oldest group 50 to 59 years of age, men were 3 times as likely to experience erection problems, compared with men 18 to 29. Experience of impotence is more common among men in poor emotional and physical health. The study also concluded that impotence is a public health concern.  And that emotional issues are likely to contribute to the experience of sexual dysfunction.

Warning Signs from Pornography

Though the risk of ED increases with age, it’s still possible for young men to experience ED. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2019 found that ED affected about 26 percent of men under the age of 40. In recent years, the condition has been more frequently reported in the younger population. The main reason for this is stress. The pressure of balancing work and family life. Most men in their 30s are finding it hard to cope with the economic insecurity, the long working hours, and the needs of the family.

Surprisingly the condition is mutating and spreading even into the generations that are starting to be sexually active. Doctors have identified warning signs from the availability of pornography to children. Research has shown that watching pornography may cause impotence. Psychologists explain this with the fact the pornographic content creates a distorted perception of sex. Young men begin to develop unrealistic ideas about sex and what’s expected of them. That gets translated into performance anxiety. The percentage of people who are suffering from physiological causes is beginning to rise.

Regaining Satisfaction with Noninvasive Treatments

If occasionally you are experiencing erection problems, there should be no cause for concern. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have ED. It’s normal to have trouble getting or keeping an erection. The Cleveland Clinic estimates that up to 20 percent of sexual encounters are. An indication of a medical issue is if for more than 50 percent of the time you are experiencing difficulty getting an erection. Consult your doctor if you’re concerned about the quality of your erections.

Oral medications are one of the first treatment options. Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis are among the most common and effective drugs on the market. These medications increase blood flow to the penis. And are generally safe to use. For some talking to a therapist or their partner may resolve the issues of stress, depression, or anxiety.

However, so many men experience considerable distress from their condition, the increasing awareness of ED, is breaking taboos and creating a healthier environment for resolving the condition. The availability of noninvasive treatments may help in encouraging patients to seek treatment. And eventually regaining satisfaction with their sex life.

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