Men ages 40 and younger who are enlisted in the U.S. military are at an increased risk of having erectile dysfunction when compared to men of similar ages who are not enrolled in the military, according to a new study. The study notes that despite this increased risk for ED in men enlisted in the military, which is three times higher than civilian men, few report receiving treatment.
The study was one of the first to focus on problems with sexual function among male military personnel, and involved 367 enlisted men with ages ranging from 21 to 40. Study participants responded to an online sexual functioning survey over a period of eight weeks in October and November 2013.
The researchers noted that ED was common, and was present in over 30 percent of the study participants, most of whom were generally healthy young servicemen. The study’s goal was to estimate how widespread sexual problems are among men in the military, as well as how it affects their quality of life and to determine any possible barriers for seeking treatment.
Sherrie Wilcox, one of the study’s authors and research assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work in Los Angeles, noted that while the presence of ED is generally higher among younger men in the military in comparison to civilian men of the same age, the rate of ED in military men ages 36 to 40 is almost double the rate of civilian men over the age of 40. Wilcox found a distinctive relationship between problems with quality of life and happiness. Additionally, just 12 percent of men affected with ED reported receiving treatment.
According to Wilcox, reasons for study participants to avoid seeking treatment include social factors and concerns over what other individuals might think. Wilcox suggests that the high rate of sexual problems among men may be related to traumatic events experienced during employment as well as mental and physical health issues. Other problems included problems with relationships, including spouses and significant others. Military men with exposure to traumatic events and physical injuries are at an increased risk of developing sexual problems despite their age.
Men who suffer from ED and sexual dysfunction problems often feel embarrassed and ashamed. Many times, they are also unsure of where to go or who to turn to for help. Finding a compassionate and caring erectile dysfunction doctor is a big first step towards solving the problem.