When Do Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms Start in Men?

erectile dysfunction in young men

Erectile dysfunction symptoms occurs when a male cannot maintain an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse. Though it is often seen as a problem that is associated with age, increasing in years does not always cause this health condition.

It is possible for young men to have erectile dysfunction, and it is also possible for seniors to maintain firm erections. Though being older increases your chances of developing erection problems, there are a few things you can do to lower your risks at any age.

Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms in Men Under Forty

Erectile dysfunction symptoms in men can start at any age, but among young men, it is usually caused by lifestyle issues instead of health problems.

In their 20s and 30s, the most common reasons that men deal with erectile dysfunction are:


  • Stress: This is actually the most common reason that younger men have erectile dysfunction. Stress causes levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, to increase, and this alters other hormonal balances and affects blood pressure.


  • Anxiety: The reason that anxiety can cause erectile dysfunction is actually more mental than physical. Men with anxiety disorders often find that they have panicky fixations that make it hard to have a successful sexual life.


  • Substance Abuse: While intoxicated, it can become difficult or impossible to maintain an erection. The issue usually goes away once an individual is sober again.

If men are experiencing erectile dysfunction symptoms at a young age, it is important to seek the advice of a physician.  Many erectile dysfunction clinics specialize in treating men with reproductive issues.

The Start of Age Related Erectile Dysfunction

symptoms of erectile dysfunction

Typically, 40 is the start of age-related symptoms of erectile dysfuntion.

Research studies have found that almost 40 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 50 occasionally have trouble maintaining an erection. It is more common among men who have a high risk for coronary artery disease because issues with blood flow directly affect erections.

By the age of 50, 2.4 percent of all men consistently cannot get or maintain an erection. This is typically caused by health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, these types of erectile dysfunction are often avoidable with diet and exercise.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction Among Seniors

erectile dysfunction treatment options

Once a man reaches the age of 60, his testosterone levels can drop significantly. Around age 35, men can lose up to 1% of their total testosterone levels per year.  By age 50, many men can have lost up to 50% of their free testosterone.

This causes issues with impotence that can only be fixed by erectile dysfunction drugs or testosterone supplements. 75 percent of all men over the age of 75 deal with erectile dysfunction at least occasionally. However, it is rare that this is a consistent problem.

Over half of all men in their 80s continue to get erections and enjoy sex. Though staying healthy lowers your chance of getting erectile dysfunction as a senior, it happens to almost everyone at least occasionally.
How is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?


Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options

Erectile Dysfunction can be treated in a number of ways. The best method for determining which option might be best for you is speaking with a doctor who specialized in men’s reproductive health issues.


  • Therapy: In some cases, erectile dysfunction is the result of a psychological issue and can be treated with therapy or counseling.
  • Medicine: A doctor may prescribe certain medicine to help patients with erectile dysfunction get and keep an erection.
  • Vacuum Therapy  or Erectile Dysfunction Pumps: If an underlying health issue, such as Diabetes or prostate gland removal can cause erectile dysfunction in men, this can rule out prescription medication.  A penis pump may be the next best alternative. Speak with your doctor about this option.
  • Lifestyle Change: Sometime simply getting more exercise or changing your diet can help remedy erectile dysfunction.


About the Author

Tyson Drummer is a fitness advocate who is interested in all forms of natural healing. He enjoys writing writing about healthy living and exercise.


  1. Juan Pedro Moreno 04/18/2017
  2. Kevin Jones 01/05/2017
Men's Health Cures
Skip to content