Erectile Dysfunction at Age 30: Causes & Treatments
Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
When it comes to sexual health, little worries men more than erectile dysfunction (ED.)
ED is often seen as an “older man’s problem,” so it’s reasonable to be a little caught off guard if it hits you earlier than expected. At age 30, you’re probably not thrilled to experience sexual performance problems — but it can happen. And it’s totally okay.
Are you having performance issues but not sure if it’s ED? Erectile dysfunction, formerly known as impotence, is the inability to get or maintain an erect penis necessary for sexual intercourse.
In your 30s, ED can be caused by certain medications, mental health challenges, an imbalance of testosterone levels or physical causes.
If you have erectile dysfunction in your 30s, don’t worry. You’re not the only person going through it, and many treatments are available to help you overcome ED. Let’s get into it.
Is Erectile Dysfunction in Your 30s Normal?
Yes and no. ED is more common in older men, but men in their 30s can experience sexual function issues for a variety of reasons.
While it’s easy to assume erectile dysfunction only happens to men 40 and older, that’s simply not the case. Though being older is the primary risk factor for erectile dysfunction, the condition also affects younger guys.
Younger men are often overlooked in studies involving erectile dysfunction, but an international study involving more than 27,000 men found that this sexual dysfunction problem affects 11 percent of men between 30 and 39 years old.
That’s no small number. If all of your friends are around age 30, it means roughly one in ten is dealing with impotence.
The study also revealed that eight percent of men ages 20 to 29 had an erectile function issue. That’s right, ED in your 20s is possible, too.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of studies surrounding young men and ED, this age group is more likely to be dismissed by healthcare providers when seeking treatment.
What Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction at 30?
Sudden ED at 30 can be caused by numerous things.
This includes obesity, high blood pressure, hardening of arteries, physical deformities, smoking, alcohol use, low testosterone, antidepressants or other medications. It could also be a result of mental health issues like stress, anxiety or depression.
Most Common Causes of ED in Your 30s
ED is a multifactorial condition, meaning there may not be one specific cause.
That said, there are two primary types of ED young men in their 30s are susceptible to. Understanding each might help you figure out the underlying cause (or causes) of your ED.
In younger adults, lifestyle and psychological issues can be a larger factor than physiological issues. Psychogenic erectile dysfunction involves psychological or interpersonal factors that affect performance in the bedroom. Among young men, psychogenic ED is the most common type of erectile dysfunction at 30.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Within the psychological factors causing ED for men in their 30s, there’s neurological ED. Neurological ED is when you can’t get or maintain a hard-on during sexual activity due to a neurological disorder. Examples of neurological disorders include autism, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
Men in their 30s may also be susceptible to organic ED. Within the previously mentioned international study, at least 15 to 20 percent of young men under 40 may have experienced organic erectile dysfunction as a result of aging, illness or injury.
It’s worth mentioning that erectile dysfunction is a key predictor of cardiovascular events. This is particularly true for young men.
Research has shown that when ED happens in younger men (under age 40), it’s associated with an increased risk of a cardiac event — but the same is less true for older men. Some experts think this is because both heart disease and ED can result from vascular (blood flow) problems.
Other Causes of ED for Men in Their 30s
It’s not always easy to pinpoint the cause of sexual dysfunction in your 30s. Sometimes, there’s no straightforward answer for why younger men develop ED.
One study looked at roughly 28,000 men ages 20 to 75 in eight countries. Among participants, a higher prevalence of ED was associated with having more than one medical condition, like depression and diabetes.
To better understand erectile dysfunction at age 30, another study looked at 790 sexually active men. It revealed that younger patients with ED concerns shared the following conditions or behaviors:
Other factors for erection problems at 30 may include:
Type 2 diabetes
Heart and blood vessel diseases
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Chronic kidney disease
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Certain medical procedures or treatments, like bladder cancer surgery and radiation therapy
Certain medications, such as blood pressure medicines, antidepressants and antiandrogens
Frequent, heavy alcohol consumption
Being overweight or obese
Not being physically active
Keep reading to learn how to treat ED in your 30s.
How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction at 30
The ultimate question is: Can ED be reversed?
You’re in luck. You can reduce ED symptoms with the right treatment plan and lifestyle habits.
Several treatments have been developed to help men of all ages manage ED and enjoy a healthy sex life. But before diving into treatments, you should talk with your healthcare provider or a urologist to fully assess your ED and understand the cause.
Once the cause is identified, you and your provider can create a personalized treatment plan, which may include weight loss, medications, stopping smoking, counseling and PDE5 inhibitor medication.
Many men opt for ED medications to improve their sexual performance..
PDE5 inhibitors include drugs like sildenafil (generic Viagra), tadalafil (generic Cialis), vardenafil (generic Levitra) and Stendra (brand-name avanafil). If taking pills gives you the ick, your healthcare provider may prescribe hard mints, a chewable form of ED medication.
Erectile dysfunction medications have varying doses and timing, but all have been tested rigorously for safety and effectiveness.
ED treatments, delivered
No matter the treatment plan, the best place to start is somewhere.
Healthy Habits and Lifestyle Changes for ED
Preventing ED can be just as crucial as treating an existing issue. Regardless of the cause of your sexual dysfunction, some lifestyle changes may help you achieve and maintain an erection while preventing ED from returning.
Below are some examples of how you can reduce or improve your ED symptoms at 30:
Limit or stop drinking alcohol
Avoid illegal drugs
Adopt a healthy diet for ED
Increase physical activity levels
Maintain a healthy body weight, which can increase blood flow to the penis
Monitor and control diabetes, hypertension or hyperlipidemia
Kicking unhealthy habits can be challenging, so don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider for support and advice.
Other ED Treatments
Since psychogenic ED is more common among men in their 30s, your healthcare provider may recommend antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications or therapy to treat the underlying mental disorder causing your ED.
In some instances, surgery may be required to treat ED in your 30s. It’s usually a last resort when other treatments are unsuccessful.
Surgical treatments for ED include penile prosthesis and vascular surgery. Vascular surgery is sometimes recommended for healthy young men who’ve developed ED due to an injury to their penis.
Here are other examples of potential treatments for erectile dysfunction in your 30s:
Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
Vacuum erection devices (VEDs)
Intracavernosal injections (ICIs)
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
Your daily habits matter too. Learn what lifestyle changes can help with sexual function issues below.
Erectile Dysfunction at 30: The Big Picture
Listen, you’re not alone. Though dealing with ED is not super common for your age group, it’s not unheard of, either. If you have ED, discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider.
Here’s what to keep in mind:
Psychogenic ED is more common among men in their 30s. Mental health conditions, sexual performance anxiety and relationship problems can cause this sexual dysfunction condition.
Other potential causes of ED in your 30s can include unhealthy lifestyle habits, certain medical conditions and medications.
While there may be no simple trick to cure ED, there are solutions. And since ED can be a warning sign of bigger health problems, getting it solved is vital.
Finding the right solution for your ED treatment first involves chatting with a healthcare provider. They can help rule out serious medical conditions and determine what erectile dysfunction treatments might work for you.
Want to learn more about erectile dysfunction? Find out which drugs are safe for ED, and read our guide to the symptoms, causes and treatments of this sexual dysfunction problem.