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How Common is ED for Men?

by Darci Daneshvari November 09, 2021

How Common is ED for Men?

Erectile dysfunction is a common occurrence that affects men all over the world; and all too often it can make having a normal sex life difficult.

However, understanding what erectile dysfunction is - and knowing just how common it really is - can be a great first step toward seeking treatment for it. Here is a quick breakdown of everything you need to know about ED, and what might help with symptoms once you’ve been diagnosed.

Is ED really that common?

ED is incredibly common – it potentially affects up to one in five men (4.3 million men) across the UK, although it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact number due to the wide range of different measures used in studies to evaluate ED*. Not only that, but there are a variety of reasons that can cause short-term and long-term erectile dysfunction, including:

  • Physical and health conditions: Issues like heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. can all affect nerve signals or blood flow to the penis.
  • Side effects from medication: Some medications, including antidepressants, medication to manage blood pressure, tranquilizers, sedatives, ulcer medication, and prostate cancer therapy can cause ED
  • Psychological or emotional causes: Such as depression, anxiety, fear associated with sexual performance, general stress, or low self-esteem
  • Lifestyle behaviors and health-related factors: There are many that are associated with ED, including smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise, and substance (alcohol or drug) use

What are some of the main symptoms of ED?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get and maintain an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse. Men who experience ED have decreased blood flow to the penis, which could be caused by a variety of different things - from drug side effects to stress or high blood pressure.

Here are the most common symptoms of ED:

  • Difficulty getting an erection
  • Difficulty maintaining an erection
  • Reduced interest in sexual activity
  • Low self-esteem

The treatment for ED starts with taking care of your heart and vascular health, if that is determined to be a factor. Your doctor may point out ‘risk factors' that can be changed or improved, or you may be asked to change certain food habits, stop smoking, increase workouts, or stop using drugs or alcohol.

The best way to prevent erectile dysfunction is to make healthy lifestyle choices and to manage any existing health conditions.

What can help with my symptoms?

First and foremost, it’s important to check with your healthcare provider. More often than not, he or she will recommend a noninvasive course of action. It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor about the different potential side effects that could result. A few common ed treatment options include:

  • Oral medications (phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors)
  • Vacuum pumps
  • Testosterone therapy
  • Penile injections
  • Intraurethral medication

Additionally, taking up healthy habits such as exercise (particularly aerobic exercise) have been shown to help with erectile issues and overall cardiovascular health. To learn more about Vaxaid’s vacuum pump options, visit our shop or our FAQ section.



*King's College London. (2019, July 3). The global prevalence of erectile dysfunction. King's College London. (resource link).

Darci Daneshvari
Darci Daneshvari

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