Are you seeing more younger patients presenting with erectile dysfunction?
“I’m not seeing any change in the age of men coming in for erectile dysfunction issues, but I’ve always had a pretty good number of young men asking about erectile dysfunction.
There has been an increase in men questioning their testosterone levels, but that’s just because of marketing. Testosterone manufacturers are creating a question in the mind of the public, so men of any age who are experiencing things like not remembering names like they used to, or who have other non-specific symptoms, can blame them on low testosterone.
I’ve always tested testosterone levels in men with ED issues, but I’m not finding any higher percentage of men experiencing low testosterone. A small percentage of younger men have low testosterone levels, but it’s not any different than over the last 25 years. Because more men are coming in, we may actually see more men with low testosterone, but it’s not a dramatic change.”
Ira D. Sharlip, MD
“I would say I see more younger men now than in the past. The reasons are multifactorial: the obesity epidemic; a heightened awareness of the link between heart disease and ED; medications for things like depression, hypertension, or obesity; and the constant media attention on sexual enhancement products.
There is also a pretty consistent rate of performance anxiety-induced visits.
When a young man comes in, I ask about a family history of cardiac problems or chest pains upon exertion. Typically, I give them a sample of Viagra or Cialis and tell them to try it for a month, then try without it. The vast majority does fine, but some need to keep using the pills. Because of the connection to heart disease, I will do a Doppler study and look at the flow into the area. Then I ship him off to the cardiologist, noting he’s at high risk for cardiac disease.
There’s also no question that the media sets up unrealistic expectations about overall performance and the efficacy of these snake oils that they’re offering.”
Tobias S. Kohler, MD
“I am seeing younger men, even in their 30s, coming in, not that they have significant erectile dysfunction. With the proliferation of direct-to-consumer advertising, there’s not a big stigma associated with erectile dysfunction. Younger guys are realizing that, ‘It’s not as good as it used to be. It’s still pretty good, but I know there are medicines that can make it better.’
In the past, these guys would probably have come in 10 years later complaining of relatively significant erectile dysfunction. Now, they come in earlier, understanding that it can be better. We get a lot of the, ‘I tried my buddy’s pill and it worked.’
There are two categories of people complaining of erectile dysfunction: guys who want it for a better quality of life and guys who have absolutely no quality of life because they can’t get an erection. Those are the guys who would’ve come in years ago.
Now, because of advertising or because they tried friends’ pills, younger men realize that there’s better living through pharmaceuticals and if they have to go see their urologist for that they will.
Erectile dysfunction isn’t increasing amongst younger men; they are now coming in for mild problems. Everybody and his brother uses Viagra or Cialis, so it’s no big deal.”
Carmin Kalorin, MD
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