It’s the one thing concerning the penis that men don’t like to talk about: erectile dysfunction. Probably the single biggest reason that men pay extra special attention to their penis health is to keep erectile dysfunction at bay. Yet it’s a far from uncommon issue, with the National Institutes of Health stating that as many as 30,000,000 men in America suffer from it. And while it’s true that it tends to affect older men more readily, plenty of young males are known to have functional problems.

What it is

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual activity.

In older men, erectile dysfunction tends to be treated as either "just one of those things" that happens with aging or as a result of a specific physical cause. In younger men, doctors tend to assume the problem results from emotional or psychological issues, or from lifestyle factors, rather than physical ones. While it’s true that erectile dysfunction in a young man is less likely to be due to physical factors, that doesn’t mean that the physical should be dismissed out of hand. It’s important that a doctor is open to looking at all causes of erectile difficulties in order to pinpoint the most likely cause - and therefore determine the best course of action to take.

Chronic or occasional

One of the first issues to explore is whether this is a chronic or occasional problem. Almost every man, even those who typically sport an impressively firm penis, will every now and then have an episode in which the penis simply doesn’t behave in its desired manner. Often, there’s an easily identifiable culprit: fatigue, disinterest, too much to drink, etc. This is rarely cause for any real concern.

But with chronic erectile dysfunction, determining the cause is essential.

Among the causes that should be explored are:

- A sedentary lifestyle. Holding down a desk job, eating far too much junk food and spending spare time in front of the TV or computer screen instead of exercising is one of the primary causes of erectile dysfunction. Developing a sizable gut is bad for the blood vessels necessary for allowing the penis to become engorged when aroused. In addition, lack of exercise tends to dampen testosterone production, which in turn decreases sex drive.

- Physical conditions. There are a number of physical conditions typically linked to erectile dysfunction, including diabetes, hypertension and cardiac disease. Again, the blood vessels are negatively impacted by all these, making erections more difficult to obtain and maintain.

- Emotional or psychological issues. Sometimes a man has difficulty with his penis because of feelings he has. Some people feel guilty about engaging in sex. Sometimes a person may feel he has been pressured into a "deeper" relationship than he wants, or he may feel angry at his partner but not be able to express it verbally. And sometimes the feelings may be so deep-rooted that the man is unaware he even has them. In cases like these, erectile dysfunction may be a possible manifestation of what he is feeling.

- Trauma. In the heat of exciting sex, many men aren’t aware of how rough their equipment is being handled. Over time, this can lead to peripheral nerve damage and a subsequent loss of sensitivity in the penis - and without that sensitivity, an erection may not be as firm or as long lasting as it was in the past.

Working with a doctor to determine the best course of action is important for resolving erectile dysfunction issues.

Young men with erectile dysfunction are well advised to keep their penis is good overall health, so that treatments will be more effective. Using a first rate penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) is good for the manhood. Be sure it contains acetyl L carnitine, a neuroprotective ingredient that helps restore lost sensitivity. It’s also key to use a crème with vitamin D, the miracle vitamin that helps fight disease and supports penile cellular function.