What Causes Erectile Dysfunction In Your 20s?

Although erectile dysfunction has long been thought of an issue that only older men experience, that isn’t the case.

A significant percentage of the male population experience this health issue at some point in their lives, and there are a number of possible reasons as to why. 

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction In Your 20s

In this article, we are going to look at the common causes and contributors to erectile dysfunction, particularly for men in their 20s. 

If you suffer from erectile dysfunction and think you may be struggling with any of these things, it is highly recommended to talk to your general health provider for help (You might want to check out How To Conceive When Husband Has Erectile Dysfunction).  

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction In Your 20s?

There are a number of things that could be causing erectile dysfunction to people (Check out How Much SMC For Erectile Dysfunction?). In men within their 20s, it is common for the following things to be contributors to the health issue.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction in young men.

This is because it is common for damage to be done to the blood vessels that supply blood to parts of the body – namely the supply to the penis.

Individuals with high blood pressure are immediately at an elevated risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction. 

There has also been research that suggests that high blood pressure will reduce the body’s ability to naturally produce testosterone and other sex hormones.

Since testosterone plays a crucial role in regulating a person’s sex drive and their overall health, low levels will decrease a man’s ability to maintain an erection. 

Some studies have found that, when there are higher levels of bioavailable testosterone, individuals are likely to experience a higher sex drive. 

Obesity and Being Overweight

Recent studies have shown us that there is a clear link between obesity and erectile dysfunction. One of these links is that between individuals with cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction.

In the majority of cases with patients suffering from the disease, they are overweight or clinically obese.

On top of that, there is evidence to suggest that sexual performance can get boosted when an overweight individual loses some weight. In many of these cases, losing this weight has also resolved the issue of experiencing erectile dysfunction. 

A study was done looking at erectile dysfunction rates in overweight or obese Italian men. The results showed that the men who lost around 33 lbs over the next two years reported an improvement in their erectile dysfunction. 

Obesity has also been linked to lower levels of testosterone, which have a significant impact on erections and overall sexual health. 

Sexual Performance Anxiety

Unfortunately, sexual performance anxiety is a common problem for young men experiencing erectile dysfunction. This can be because you are either nervous about your sexual performance itself, or how you look. 

This is a problem that impacts everyone of all ages, so it isn’t exclusive to men. However, in the cases of men, it can show itself as erectile dysfunction. 

Condom-Associated Erection Problem (CAEP)

This can be the result of having difficulty putting condoms on correctly. While putting on a condom is simple in theory, we all know that things can get cloudy in the heat of the moment.

It is common for young men to have difficulties with erections if they are anxious about using a condom, or if the condom isn’t on correctly. 

CAEP is a relatively common issue in young men, and recent studies have shown that up to 13.8% of men between 18 and 25 experience this issue.


It’s important to note that drinking in moderation is not likely to cause any health issues in otherwise healthy individuals. However, abusing alcohol has a negative long term and short term impact on erections and sexual health. 

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction In Your 20s (1)

Studies done in 2007 showed that men had a much higher rate of erectile or sexual dysfunction if they have alcohol dependence syndrome.

The study looked at 100 men, and it was found that 72 of them had one or more types of sexual dysfunction. In this case, erectile dysfunction was the most widespread issue. 

A similar study done in Hong Kong found that erectile dysfunction is more common in men who drink more than three alcoholic beverages per week compared to their non-drinking counterparts. 


Blood vessels can be damaged due to diabetes. When this happens, blood flow is reduced. As such, this can make it more difficult to get an erection, since the penis requires blood flow to become erect. This can easily lead to erectile dysfunction. 

Erectile dysfunction is relatively common in individuals who have diabetes compared to their non-diabetic counterparts. 


Smoking has been proven to have a close link to erectile dysfunction. When compared to non-smokers, men who do smoke have been found to have an elevated risk of experiencing or developing erectile dysfunction.

All forms of tobacco products can harm sexual performance and erectile health. This can happen via damage to the cardiovascular system as well as causing arteries to narrow. 


Clinical reports have shown us that the use of illicit drugs are linked to erectile dysfunction. However, some other drugs, such as cannabis, have also been found to have a connection to erectile dysfunction in the male population. 

How Common is Erectile Dysfunction in Younger Men?

While there are no hard numbers to lean on right now, there is a growing concern that erectile dysfunction is becoming more prevalent.

A study published in 1999 found that, by 2025, around 332 million men would be experiencing erectile dysfunction. This is an increase of around 170 million, which was reported in the mid 90s. 

Currently, the number of young men seeking help for their erectile dysfunction is growing exponentially. 

Final Thoughts

Erectile dysfunction is more common than you may initially think. While the number of sufferers does increase with age, it is still a major issue for men in their 20s. The above list are some common causes and contributors for erectile dysfunction. 

If you think that you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, be sure to talk to your healthcare professional to find the cause and treat it.

Amelia Martin
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