Houston, We Have a Problem
Erectile dysfunction affects 30 million American men—and they're not all Hef's age
Every guy loses an erection sometime. It may be during sex. It may be before. The bottom line is, at some point in your life you're going to want sex and your equipment's not going to cooperate. But that doesn't mean you (sex) life is over.
"There are a number of reasons guys can have problems performing," says Irwin Goldstein, M.D., director of San Diego Sexual Medicine at Alvarado Hospital. "And none of them necessarily means you have a chronic condition like erectile dysfunction."
We asked Goldstein to point out the most common bedroom spoilers, especially for younger guys.
It's All in Your Head
Whether you're stressed from work or personal issues like finances or family problems, anxiety can affect sexual performance, says Goldstein. Since depression, and the antidepressants used to treat it, can also cause E.D., you need to find another way to deal with your emotions — such as diet and exercise.
It's on Top of Your Head
Lots of guys take the drug Propecia to fight baldness, but it's a hormone inhibitor — and a common cause of erectile problems. "Propecia actually stops the synthesis of a critical hormone involved in sexual function," says Goldstein. Our advice: Suck it up and shave it off. Your penis may thank you.
It's All That Partying
Even though it can leave you feeling incredibly frisky, being drunk (or high) can distract your brain and nerves from performing properly in the bedroom. Your only option in this case is to sleep it off — and plan better next time.
The Next Step
If your performance has been off repeatedly, skip the trip to your general practitioner. According to Goldstein, many of them can be skeptical about prescribing Viagra to a young, healthy guy, and they may assume you're looking for the drug for recreational use. Instead, he says, see a doctor who specializes in sexual medicine and you'll be "up" and running in no time.