Erectile dysfunction (ED) is making headlines after US scientists found that those who suffer from the condition are 70 per cent more likely to die early.
Generally considered a condition only affecting older men, ED has been found to be more prevalent among men under 40 than previously thought.
What causes ED?
There are many reasons why men experience ED, including lifestyle choices such as smoking and taking drugs. Frequent use of drugs and cigarettes was found to be more prevalent in the younger group which, may have contributed to their erectile problems as toxic effects on the cardiovascular system can impact upon the blood supply to the penis.
Stress caused by work demands or being unemployed, relationship conflicts, family life, money worries and medical conditions such as depression, diabetes and heart disease can also cause symptoms of ED, the side effects from some medications.
How can I know if I have severe ED?
Perception of what is ED differ in different age groups of men. Younger men may have higher sexual performance demands than older men and missing a single erection could be perceived as severe ED for younger men, whereas older men missing several erections might consider that to be severe.
Also, older men consider that ED is a symptom of the aging process and may not seek medical advice as quick as a younger man.