'Internet Porn and Erectile Dysfunction' by Urologist James Elist, F.A.C.S., F.I.C.S.

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Dr. Elist - urologist“Being in private practice for more than 30 years now, I have seen, diagnosed, and treated many men with erectile dysfunction. While erectile dysfunction (ED) used to be an “old guy’s issue”, in the recent times it seems as if more and more younger men are complaining of erectile issues and seek treatment for the problem”, says James Elist, MD, FACS, a Beverly Hills urologist.

I had been approached by a local paper asking for reasons of ED and treatment options (the above is an outtake of the interview). Indeed, more younger men than before visit us asking for solutions, and I have noticed that more men in their early and late 30′s are using supplements for better erections. Now, why is that so?

Internet Porn and Erectile Dysfunction Correlation in Reports:

A recent study measuring the severity of ED in men seeking help revealed that 48 percent of young Italians had severe ED as compared with only 40 percent of those over 40. The younger guys were healthier, thinner and had higher testosterone. Another study from 2012 found that 30 percent of young men were experiencing some degree of ED.

The data is very alarming when compared to the Kinsey study published in 1949: based on the detailed interview of 12,000 males, stratified for age, education and occupation indicated an increasing rate of impotence with age. Its prevalence was cited as less than 1 percent in men under 19 years of age, 3 percent of men less than 45 years, 7 percent less than 55 years and 25 percent by the age of 75 years. Based on this study, ED in younger than 40 year olds was not even a real issue back then.
The data rang the bell to ask the question why? What has changed when comparing now and then?

Raising Alarm on Porn and Erectile Dysfunction:

One main reason seems to be the easy access to streaming Internet porn, but how could we relate porn and erectile dysfunction? Indeed, many US based urologists and psychologist raised the alarm about addiction to interned and erectile dysfunction in young men. In fact, the number of 20 and 30 year old using Viagra and co. has increased over the last few years, observed in my office but also in the many internet forums with guys reporting their problems and their dependency on erectile dysfunction drugs.

Some would probably say: What’s the problem if it works? Well, if it was that easy of a solution, nobody would be concerned at all, right? Fact is that the early use of erectile dysfunction drugs does not only cause a psychological dependency, but also a habitual response from the body with overtime decreased response and no effects at all over time. Young guys using erectile dysfunction drugs do not only harm their sexual behavior psychologically, but also negatively affect their bodies physiologically. The solution seems to be again in preventative measures rather than treatment. And a behavioral change seems to be the first and most appropriate step towards recovery. The good news is that when men give up Internet porn use, their sexual dysfunctions generally reverse themselves. Some need months, however young men require more time to achieve normal sexual functioning than older men.

Addiction to Internet Porn and Erectile Dysfunction:

In order to stress the severity of porn consumption and its effects on early onset ED we need to consider all possible factors causing ED.

Another possible cause for early onset ED seems to be recreational activities young men engage in like smoking, drug and alcohol abuse. However, such habits cause cumulative problems over many years. These elements seem to be another reasonable explanation as young men generally lack all the risk factors for ED such as vascular deterioration or other diseases that tend to cause ED in older men. However, smoking in young men is at an all time low, and drug use and binge drinking have also dropped in young adults.

One other factor affecting early onset ED might be mental health problems which include substance abuse and addiction. Addiction can sometimes cause symptoms that mimic other mental health disorders: concentration trouble, mood swings, anxiety, sleep disorders, depression, decreased pleasure response, etc.

Addiction to Internet Porn and Erectile Dysfunction Treatment:

As observed in the above statement, recreational drugs, smoking, and mental health seem, compared to internet porn consumption, to be making up rather the smaller portion of elements being responsible for early onset ED.

Last but not least, what is the solution for porn induced ED in young male population?

Withdrawal and cutting porn consumption seems to be the most effective way for regaining the proper sexual function. If you or your partner is able to achieve an erection and ejaculate when watching a porn, but is not able to do so when having sex, you should be concerned about porn induced young onset ED. Cutting porn is the best way, but may take months and sometimes even more to show effects. Regardless of age and duration, if you have noticed any of the above, it is time for you to turn off the PC and possibly think about seeing a counselor for evaluation and advice.

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