Around 5 million men have erection problems (EPs) and yet the majority of those have never spoken to anyone about the issue. And don’t for one minute think it’s just an older mans problem, it also affects those in their 20s-30s.

There are links between anxiety, stress, depression and the ability to achieve an erection, and of course it soon becomes a vicious circle.

EPs are having a negative impact on men’s self-esteem, causing 31% to feel ‘inadequate’ and over a quarter (27%) to feel ‘like a failure’. EPs are about so much more than sex.

The importance of intimacy goes beyond the physical for most people. It can benefit almost every part of a relationship in particular:

Sex and relationship expert and professional matchmaker, Sarah Louise Ryan, says……….

“The myth that men are always ‘raring to go’ is extremely problematic, particularly when viewed in the lens of erection problems. This viewpoint creates the perception that to not be able to get an erection means you are less of a man, which ultimately is causing men to remain silent on the issue”.

Martin Tod is the Chief Executive of the Mens Health Forum, he said……

“On the surface the reality of EPs for many men is bleak. Not only can EPs be a sign of underlying conditions which if left unchecked can cause further problems such as heart disease and diabetes, but the sense of failure and perceived loss of masculinity that many men feel as a result of EPs can also cause them to retreat from themselves, their partners and life.”

“EPs can have a negative impact on men’s self-esteem, which if left unspoken can have a big impact on their mental health causing depression and anxiety. And men are not the only ones left feeling isolated, anxious or under pressure. Partners can assume the worst: “he’s having an affair,” “he doesn’t love me anymore,” or “he has a chronic health illness.” For too many men, EPs are unnecessarily damaging self-esteem, relationships, sex, love and intimacy.”

With Valentine’s weekend looming, there’s even more pressure for intimacy, perhaps this year, with a different feel to the occasion, this would be a good opportunity to talk about any issues with your loved one.

Here in South Wales we are sexually active around six times a month, that’s 73 times a year. Millennials (25 – 34-year olds) who have grown up with fairly liberal attitudes around sex are having it the most – averaging around 131 times a year, while Gen Z (18 – 24-year olds), are intimate on average 91 times a year.

We spoke to Sarah Louise and Martin recently about the problems facing men, and more importantly the need to talk and seek help, than bottling it up and avoiding the concerns.

  • Most men will experience an erection problem at least once. This could be due to stress, exhaustion, too much alcohol or simply not feeling like sex.
  • Persistent erectile dysfunction (ED) is estimated to affect about 10% of men at any one time.
  • Although age itself isn’t a cause of erectile dysfunction (ED), the risk nevertheless increases as you get older: 18% of 50—59 year olds have trouble with their erections compared with 7% of 18—29 year olds. 

As Sarah Louise and Martin mentioned, there is help available right now. If you find it difficult to discuss the issue with someone, let us direct you to a couple of places.

And if you’d like to read through the Time To Raise It report, just clock on the link below and it’ll download directly onto your device.


You can also take a look at our other Valentine’s feature below…….