In their mid-20s, most men expect to be in the prime of their sexual lives. But two young men in the WebMD Erectile Dysfunction Community report that they’re having trouble maintaining erections.
One 23-year-old man says that he’s having trouble maintaining an erection when he's with his fiancée. He’s deeply in love with her, and they have frequent sex, but he’s anxious because his erection often fails. A 26-year-old man who’s been dating his girlfriend for just a few months has a similar problem. The women in their lives both understand, but these men are worried. “What happened to me not being able to get enough sex?” one asks.
Sheldon Marks, MD, observes that at their age, it’s probably not a medical issue. Their ED problems are more likely due to a mental block caused by factors such as stress, performance anxiety, fear of pregnancy, work pressures, issues with past relationships, or a host of other possibilities, Marks says.
Other men reassure them that they’re not alone. And although it’s hard to do, they recommend not focusing on the need to get an erection. Making a big deal out of erection problems can just make them worse, one man says.
Several other men ask them to think about what’s happening when they lose their erections. Is it during foreplay or actual intercourse? Has he been masturbating frequently? Does he drink, smoke, use recreational drugs, or prescription medications? What might be causing them to feel upset or stressed?
Some of the men advise eliminating masturbation, and lessening the frequency of intercourse to 2 to 3 times per week. “If this helps you to get and keep an erection to climax, then continue taking it slow till you have your confidence back,” one says. Another advises incorporating oral and manual sex into lovemaking instead of just intercourse.
If these approaches don’t work, Marks says that it’s important to see a doctor for a general medical evaluation that may include tests of blood sugar, thyroid, liver, kidney, and hormonal function.