Causes of Erectile Dysfunction in 20s: All you need to know

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction in 20s and If you’re in your 20s and struggling with Erectile Dysfunction (ED), you’re not alone. ED, the inability to get or sustain an erection, can affect people at any age.

ED usually occurs due to other health issues or psychological causes. As people are more likely to develop health issues with age, ED is more common in older males.

But people in their twenties may also experience ED. This article discusses the prevalence and causes of Erectile Dysfunction in the 20s.

Prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction in 20s

Is it normal to experience ED in your twenties? The simple answer is yes. 

Most people think ED only affects older adult males. But many younger adult men also struggle with it.

A worldwide study showed that 8% of men aged 20 to 29 experience ED. The data also showed an ED prevalence of 11% among males between 30 and 39.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction in the 20s

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction in the 20sSource: Getty-images
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction in the 20s

Over the years, there has been a rise in the prevalence of ED among young males. Researchers cannot pinpoint a specific cause of this increase. 

Erectile issues can occur at any age due to various factors. These may be physical, like heart problems, or psychological, like anxiety, stress, or over-consumption of pornography.

Below are some common causes of Erectile Dysfunction in young males.

High blood pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of ED. It is not common among young people. 

But some men in their 20s can develop Hypertension due to genetic factors. 

Erections occur when there is healthy blood flow in the penis. High blood pressure may cause damage to the blood vessels in your penis.

Due to this, high blood pressure can obstruct the smooth flow of blood in the penis. It can, thus, make it difficult for the penis to get erect during arousal.


The risk of Erectile Dysfunction increases in young males with a high body mass index (BMI). Obese people are at a greater risk for heart disease. 

Heart issues may lead to ED as the heart regulates blood circulation. Thus, Obesity increases your chance of developing erectile problems.


A major cause of ED is Diabetes. ED is more commonly associated with Type 2 Diabetes. 

But type 2 Diabetes affects less than 5% of Americans between 18 and 44. Thus, it is a less likely cause of ED among men in their 20s. 

Type 1 Diabetes has an earlier onset and may affect people in their twenties. Type 1 and type 2 Diabetes may damage the blood vessels.

It can restrict penile blood flow, making it difficult for the penis to erect. It can also damage the nerves in the penis, affecting the sexual stimulation needed for erections.

Alcohol use

We know that excessive alcohol intake can lead to several health issues. It may also lead to sexual health issues like Erectile Dysfunction.

In 2007, the Indian Journal of Psychiatry studied 100 men with alcohol dependence. They found that 71 of those men also had a high rate of sexual dysfunction. 

Another study revealed that frequent drinking people were more likely to experience ED.

Excessive alcohol usage in your twenties can increase the likelihood of ED.


Not only can smoking impact the lungs, but also sexual function. Research states that smokers are more likely to develop Erectile Dysfunction. 

Nicotine can cause arteries to constrict, restricting the blood flow necessary for erections. Due to this, smoking can lead to ED in young males.

Sexual performance anxiety

Sexual performance anxiety is a common psychological problem that affects young males.

It occurs when you feel anxious or insecure about your sexual performance or appearance during sex.

Sexual performance anxiety can induce stress and prevent arousal needed for erections. It may affect people of all ages and is a common cause of ED among men in their 20s.

Over-consumption of pornography

Over-consumption of porn may result in a syndrome known as porn-induced ED. Although research on the topic is limited, it may be a probable cause of ED in young males.

Porn affects the way your brain responds to sexual stimulation. Research states that porn addiction may cause ill effects, including ED. 

The consumption of porn causes insecurity and unrealistic expectations. It may affect your sexual desire for your partner. 

You may not find your lover as attractive as pornographic actors. It may inhibit arousal and make it difficult to achieve erections.

Condom-associated erection problems

Condoms are necessary for practicing safe sex. But some men may experience Condom-Associated Erection Problems (CAEP). 

Ill-fitting condoms can affect the sensation in your penis and prevent stimulation. It could cause difficulty achieving an erection. CAEP goes away if you use condoms of the correct size. 

How to treat ED in younger men

How to treat ED in younger menSource: Getty-images-pro
How to treat ED in younger men

We discussed the causes of Erectile Dysfunction in the 20s. ED can affect young men due to several physical and psychological factors. But it is normal and treatable

ED can occur due to several factors, so there are many ways to control it. You may try maintaining a healthy lifestyle and adopting healthy habits. 

Regular exercise and a controlled diet may help control your symptoms. Try quitting harmful habits like smoking, drinking, and excessive pornographic usage. 

If your ED symptoms persist, you should consult a healthcare professional. They may prescribe you medications like Sildenafil (Viagra) and Tadalafil (Cialis). 

These medications help increase the blood flow in the penis. They work for most men who take it exactly as prescribed.

In this article, ‘men’ and ‘males’ refer to those whose chromosomes indicate them as male at birth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix Erectile Dysfunction in your 20s?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet may help you fix Erectile Dysfunction in your 20s. It will help if you avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. 
Exercising regularly and managing stress may also help improve your erectile function.

Can a 27 year old have ED?

Yes, a 27 year old can have ED. Erectile Dysfunction does not just affect older males. Estimates suggest that 8% of males between 20 and 29 experience ED.

Is it normal to get ED in your 20s?

Yes, it is normal to get ED in your 20s. ED can develop due to many lifestyle factors, psychological issues, and medications.
But there are many ways to manage ED, such as lifestyle changes and medications.

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Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.