More and more Singaporeans in their 30s are getting erectile dysfunction, studies show.

Doctors in Singapore are observing a growing proportion of men under the age of 40 suffering from ED.

A local survey published in 2003 reported that 47% of young Singaporean men between the ages of 30-39 have some form of ED.

Unlike what was commonly thought to be an affliction of older men, ED is more common among young Singaporeans than we think and it is not something to be ashamed of.

ED occurs when it is difficult to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual activity.

This is usually due to insufficient blood flow into the penis, which can be a result of many different physical or lifestyle factors.

What causes ED at 30

Psychological factors

In young men, ED is mainly attributed with psychological rather than physical causes.

For many young Singaporean men in their 30s, the pressures of work and starting a family weigh heavily on our shoulders.

At work, many of us find ourselves sandwiched between bosses and subordinates – a recent local survey revealed – burnout was the top cause of deteriorating mental health chosen by survey respondents in Singapore between the ages of 18 and 39.

As of 2021, the median age at the time of first marriage in Singapore was 30.5 years old for men. As we embark on starting a family, the stress from relationship issues, the pressures of conceiving adds to the multiple challenges we already face.  

Psychological causes of ED include issues such as stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship problems, fatigue, depression, and fear of sexual failure (i.e “performance anxiety”) can affect the ability to hold an erection.

We explored how overworking and lack of sleep can contribute to ED. Even pornography addiction can contribute to ED.

Physical factors

Physical factors that can contribute to poor blood flow to the penis include heart disease, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, kidney disease, obesity, low testosterone levels and nerve disease.

While older men tend to suffer from ED because of underlying health issues, chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressures and obesity are now affecting more younger men with the increasing stressors of life and unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Medication-related factors

It is estimated that 25% of ED cases are due to medications. Common examples of medications that disrupt normal male sexual function include antidepressants and blood pressure medications.

Although illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin and excessive alcohol can initially stimulate libido and sexual arousal, they ultimately exert a negative impact on the ability to get erect and sustain erectile function.

Young men should not ignore ED

Having ED may not only mean there’s something wrong with your penis. It can actually be a sign that you may be having other underlying health conditions as well.

In fact, suffering from ED may be the first sign that you also have diabetes or heart disease. Research has found that men with ED have a 59% higher risk of developing heart disease than men without the condition.

This is because the common causes of ED are often vascular-related problems that cause obstruction of the blood flow to different parts of the body, including the penis.

Other causes of ED are hormonal factors such as low testosterone and thyroid disease, as well as trauma or injury to the brain and spinal cord. It can also be due to psychological aspects such as anxiety, depression and stress.

If you have been experiencing difficulties in getting and maintaining an erection for some time, it is recommended that you consult a doctor. That way, the doctor will be able to screen for other possible underlying diseases and provide the right treatment early.

ED treatment options in Singapore

The good news is ED is curable.

Depending on the cause of your ED, there are several options available for treatment. They can range from psychological counselling, lifestyle changes, medications or surgery.

Read our Ultimate Guide to ED Treatment in Singapore (6 Solutions).

More choices, cheaper and more affordable treatments

ED longest known treatment, Viagra, or “the blue pill”, has many alternatives now.

Sildenafil, or “the blue pill generic”, contains the same active ingredient, as branded Viagra. This makes the blue pill a lot more affordable for use on multiple occasions.

Apart from Viagra and Sildenafil, there are many new kids on the block depending on your lifestyle needs.

Convenient and discreet

It is estimated that the overall number of men coming forward for help is 30-50% more than 10 years ago. A local study published in 2021 by the Society of Men Health’s Singapore (SMHS) found that 9 in 10 men would seek medical treatment for ED.

Virtual clinics like SIRE have been making ED treatment accessible from the comfort and privacy of your own room. SIRE is a MOH-registered telemedicine clinic specialising in men’s health issues.

Psychological and physical assistance in-house

Studies have shown that effective results are more commonly seen when medications are combined with psychological therapy.

At SIRE, we focus on close collaboration between doctors and counselling. If a doctor or counsellor feels you need physical or mental health assistance, we can refer you in-house for further help. Find out more about when to visit a sex therapist in Singapore (and how they help your relationships).

In addition, our doctors can also provide a medical consultation and then you can buy erectile dysfunction medication that can help you reverse your ED. From simple concerns about sexual performance to just wanting to talk about basic relationship issues, or just to find out if you have a problem – book an appointment with us today.


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