Erectile dysfunction statistics 2020: How common is ED? (2023)

Erectile dysfunction statistics show that ED in young men is less common but increasing

What is erectile dysfunction? | How common is ED? | ED stats by age | ED stats by severity | ED stats by cause | Common complications | Costs | Treatment | FAQs | Research

Erectile dysfunction affects the sexual health of many men around the world and can make having a good sex life difficult. Understanding what erectile dysfunction is can be a great first step toward seeking treatment for it. Let’s take a look at some erectile dysfunction statistics and some of the most frequently asked questions about the condition.

What is erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get and maintain an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse. Men who experience ED have decreased blood flow to the penis, which could be caused by many things from drug side effects to stress or high blood pressure.

Here are the most common symptoms of ED:

  • Difficulty getting an erection
  • Difficulty maintaining an erection
  • Reduced interest in sexual activity
  • Low self-esteem

If these symptoms are present, a doctor may diagnose someone with ED. A doctor might also perform a physical exam and ask for a complete medical history. ED may be a warning sign of more serious underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, so a doctor might order blood tests to check for other medical problems.

(Video) Mayo Men's Health Moment: Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Risk Factors

RELATED: Diagnosing erectile dysfunction

How common is ED?

  • The worldwide prevalence of erectile dysfunction is expected to increase to 322 million men by 2025. (International Journal of Impotence Research, 2000)
  • ED affects about 30 million men in the United States. (Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension, 2012)
  • 1 in 10 men is estimated to have ED at some point in his lifetime. (Cleveland Clinic, 2019)
  • In one study of eight countries, the U.S. has the highest rate of self-reported ED (22%). (Current Medical Research and Opinion, 2004)
  • Spain has the lowest rate of self-reported ED (10%). (Current Medical Research and Opinion, 2004)

Erectile dysfunction statistics by age

  • ED affects about 10% of men per decade of life. For example, 50% of men in their 50s are affected by ED. (University of Wisconsin Health, 2019)
  • Men older than 40 are three times as likely to experience complete ED than younger men. (The Journal of Urology, 1994)
  • ED is less common but increasing in young men. It was previously believed that only 5% to 10% of men younger than 40 experienced ED. But a more recent study showed that ED was prevalent in 26% of men younger than 40. (Boston University School of Medicine, 2002) (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2013)
  • Premature ejaculation is more common in younger men than older men. (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2013)

Erectile dysfunction statistics by severity

You can’t research ED statistics without reading about the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS) of 1987-1989. Including 1,290 people, MMAS was the most extensive study of ED since 1948. One measurement of ED in the study was the severity of impotence. Here are the results:

  • Any degree of impotence: 52% of subjects
  • Minimally impotent: 17% of subjects
  • Moderately impotent: 25% of subjects
  • Completely impotent: 10% of subjects

(The Journal of Urology, 1994)

Note: In a more recent study, severe ED was more common in younger men (49%) than in older men (40%). (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2013)

Erectile dysfunction statistics by cause

  • ED is medication-related in 25% of patients in outpatient clinics. Blood pressure medications are the most common culprit in medication-induced ED. (Boston University School of Medicine, 2002)
  • Vascular disease is the most common cause of natural ED, with 64% of erectile difficulties associated with heart attacks and 57% associated with bypass surgery. (Boston University School of Medicine, 2002)
  • 35% to 75% of men who have diabetes will also experience ED. (Boston University School of Medicine, 2002)
  • Up to 40% of men with renal failure have some degree of ED. (Boston University School of Medicine, 2002)
  • 30% of men with COPD have impotence. (Boston University School of Medicine, 2002)
  • Smoking cigarettes and using illicit drugs were more common in younger ED patients. (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2013)
  • Obesity and diabetes are responsible for 8 million cases of ED. (Polski Merkuriusz Lekarski, 2014)
  • The majority (79%) of men with ED are overweight (BMI of 25kg/m2 or higher). (Polski Merkuriusz Lekarski, 2014)
Underweight< 18.5 kg/m2
Normal weight18.5-24.9 kg/m2
Overweight25-29.9 kg/m2
Obese≥ 30 kg/m2

You can calculate your BMI here.

RELATED: Overweight and obesity statistics 2020

(Video) Understanding Erectile Dysfunction: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options

Common erectile dysfunction complications

Sexual function can affect a person’s overall health and quality of life. Many men with ED may experience depression or low self-esteem at some point in time and ED can put stress on relationships. Many men with ED will complain that their sex lives are less than satisfactory, which is often the main reason they seek medical treatment.

  • Men with ED experience twice as many heart attacks and strokes (6.3%) in comparison to men who don’t have ED (2.6%). (American Heart Association, 2018)
  • People with depression have a 39% higher chance of developing ED than those without depression. (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2018)
  • Having ED also increases the risk of depression by 192%. (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2018)
  • People with ED are nearly three times more likely to experience depression than those without ED. (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2018)
  • Sexual dysfunction is present for 20% to 25% of infertile couples. (Reproductive Partners Medical Group, 2020)
  • 1 in 6 infertile men is affected by ED or premature ejaculation. (Nature Reviews Urology, 2018)

The cost of erectile dysfunction

Phosphodiesterase5-inhibitors (PDE5-Is) like Viagra are the recommended treatment for ED, but these medications won’t be effective in 40% of patients, according to The Journal of Urology. Alternative treatments include injections, vacuum devices, and penile implants.

  • Only a quarter of men with ED actually receive treatment. (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2014)
  • 1 in 4 men who seek ED treatment is younger than 40. (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2013)
  • Spending for the three most popular ED drugs (Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis) is over $1 billion worldwide every year. (Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2011)
  • While PDE5-Is only make up 37% of the total annual costs of all ED related services. Additional costs include doctor’s appointments, diagnostic procedures, hormone therapy, etc. (Journal of Urology, 2005)
  • ED pills like Viagra (PDE-5 inhibitors) had the lowest annual cost per patient. Each patient with ED spent about $120 per year in 2001 on treatment. (Journal of Urology, 2005)
  • If ED medications fail, penile prosthesis surgery is the most cost-effective treatment for ED in the long-term. Although they can cost upward of $20,000, insurance and Medicare generally cover penile implants. (Coloplast) (The Journal of Urology, 2018)

RELATED: Does insurance cover viagra?

Treating erectile dysfunction

Prescription medication is usually the first type of treatment option for ED. Here are some of the most common drugs that can increase erectile function:

However, the efficacy of these medications depends on the root cause of ED. “Sildenafil and tadalafil work, in the same way, to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to the penis,” says Leann Poston, MD, a contributor for Ikon Health. “If the cause of ED is not due to a lack of blood flow to the penis, neither drug will be helpful.”

Additionally, a physical cause of ED (i.e., hypertension) can damage blood vessels enough to the point that ED medications won’t work. “If small blood vessels are damaged due to high blood pressure, elevated LDL cholesterol, or diabetes, the vessels will not respond well to these medications and men will report no benefit,” Dr. Poston says.

(Video) Mayo Men's Health Moment: Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Condition Overview

Dr. Poston adds that “over time, these medications may lose their effectiveness due to progressive damage to small blood vessels.” She pointed to two studies to support this:

In a four-year study of sildenafil versus a placebo:

  • Nearly 4% of men discontinued treatment due to an adverse event (side effect).
  • Approximately 6% discontinued treatment over the four-year study because the medication was ineffective.

(Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, 2007)

In another study:

  • About three-quarters (74%) of men reported Viagra worked for them.
  • Three years later, more than half of the men who were reinterviewed were still taking the drug.
  • Almost 40% of the men still taking the drug had to increase their dose by 50 mg to achieve an erection.
  • It took between one and 18 months for treatments to lose their effects.

(BMJ, 2001)

Doctors and researchers are always looking for new ways to treat ED. Here are some of the latest treatments options for ED that may work for some men:

(Video) Mayo Men's Health Moment: Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Treatment Overview

  • Shockwave therapy may help treat ED caused by vascular disease. Low-intensity shock waves pass through erectile tissue to help encourage blood flow and blood vessel growth.
  • Stem cell therapy is the injection of stem cells into the penis. Some minor studies have been done on this, but more research is needed before the treatment becomes mainstream.
  • Platelet-rich plasma can help grow new blood vessels and heal wounds, and platelet-rich plasma treatment may help treat ED because of the healing ability of platelets.

Erectile dysfunction questions and answers

At what age do men have trouble getting an erection?

Men can have trouble getting an erection at younger and older ages, but older men have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction. About 45% of men aged 65 to 74 develop ED.

How common is erectile dysfunction in your 20s?

Erectile dysfunction is not as common for younger men to experience; it affects about a quarter (26%) of men under the age of 40. Some studies have shown the prevalence of ED to be only 8% for men aged 20 to 29.

What is the main cause of erectile dysfunction?

While ED itself is primarily a result of a lack of blood flow to the penis, there are multiple causes of the condition. Heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, low testosterone levels, kidney disease, and prostate cancer are the most common risk factors of ED.

How does a man with erectile dysfunction feel?

A man with erectile dysfunction may feel many different things. The condition often leads to low self-esteem, feelings of undesirableness, unattractiveness, embarrassment, or unworthiness. Speaking with a mental health professional, health care professional, or being honest with your sexual partner can sometimes help these feelings go away.

Does erectile dysfunction last forever?

ED is treatable and even reversible. A 2014 study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found a 29% remission rate in men with ED. Ask a men’s health specialist or urologist about medications and lifestyle changes that can improve sexual function.

Erectile dysfunction research


How common is ED percentage? ›

This study found that around 52 percent of men experience some form of ED, and that total ED increases from about 5 to 15 percent between ages 40 and 70. Though the risk of ED increases with age, it's still possible for young men to experience ED.

Is erectile dysfunction very common? ›

It's been reported that more than half of men between the ages of 40 and 70 experience some form of ED. So take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Experiencing difficulty with erections from time to time is usually no cause for concern.

What is the chance of getting ED? ›

Erectile dysfunction is a significant and common medical problem. Recent epidemiologic studies suggest that approximately 10% of men aged 40-70 have severe or complete erectile dysfunction, defined as the total inability to achieve or maintain erections sufficient for sexual performance.

Is ED more common now? ›

Erectile dysfunction becomes more and more common as you age, but it can also affect the younger male population. However, this can be a sensitive subject to talk about for many people, so they tend to deal with it silently. Let's check out things you need to know about ED in young men.

Can you still get hard if you have erectile dysfunction? ›

People with erectile dysfunction can still get hard and experience orgasm. However, it may not be as frequent as a person previously experienced. Underlying conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, can contribute to a person's ED.

What percentage of men over 65 have ED? ›

The study demonstrated that ED is increasingly prevalent with age: approximately 40% of men are affected at age 40 and nearly 70% of men are affected at age 70.

How common is it for men to have ED? ›

How common is erectile dysfunction? ED is very common. It affects about 30 million men in the United States. Although erectile dysfunction (ED) is very common, it is not a normal part of aging; talk with your health care professional about treatment.

Why do so many men have ED? ›

ED can happen: Most often when blood flow in the penis is limited or nerves are harmed. With stress or emotional reasons. As an early warning of a more serious illness, like: atherosclerosis (hardening or blocked arteries), heart disease, high blood pressure or high blood sugar from Diabetes.

Does ED always happen? ›

Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to get and maintain an erection. Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition, particularly in older men. It is estimated that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will have it to some degree.

How long can the average man stay erect? ›

A penile erection can normally last anywhere from a few minutes to about half an hour. On average, men have five erections a night while they're sleeping, each lasting about 25 to 35 minutes (Youn, 2017).

How long is male refractory by age? ›

According to some studies, 18-year-old males have a refractory period of about 15 minutes, while those in their 70s take about 20 hours, with the average for all men being approximately half an hour. Although rarer, some males exhibit no refractory period or a refractory period lasting less than 10 seconds.

Why is morning wood bigger? ›

Your testosterone level is at its highest in the morning after you wake up. It is highest immediately after waking up from the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage. The increase in this hormone alone may be enough to cause an erection, even in the absence of any physical stimulation.

Is it common for guys not to get hard sometimes? ›

Most men occasionally fail to get or keep an erection. This is usually caused by stress, tiredness or drinking too much alcohol, and it's nothing to worry about. It can also be a side effect of some medicines.

How long to wait for round 2? ›

Women need only wait a few seconds before the second round, with many even achieving multiple orgasms in one session. In comparison, the male refractory period varies post ejaculation, with some men ready after a few minutes and some men needing several hours to days.

What percentage of 60 year old men are impotent? ›

The likelihood of erectile dysfunction does increase with age (22 percent of men over the age of 60 and 30 percent of men over the age of 70 suffer from impotence), but it's not an inevitable part of growing older. Instead, the cause is more likely related to an underlying physical or psychological condition.

What percentage of 80 year old men have erectile dysfunction? ›

Fifty percent to 80% of men age 60-70 years engage in any sexual activity, a prevalence rate that declines to 15-25% among those age 80 years and older.

Is erectile dysfunction normal at 65 years old? ›

ED is frequently found in the elderly because it is associated with the same underlying risk factors as vascular disease and includes hypertension, diabetes mellitus (DM), hyperlipidemia, smoking, and obesity which are common during aging.

Can a man with ED come? ›

Results: Ninety-two percent of the men with ED were able to ejaculate at least a few times during sexual stimulation or intercourse. Conclusion: Men with even severe ED claim they can ejaculate during sexual stimulation or intercourse.

What is the biggest cause of erectile dysfunction? ›

Organic ED involves abnormalities the penile arteries, veins, or both and is the most common cause of ED, especially in older men. When the problem is arterial, it is usually caused by arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, although trauma to the arteries may be the cause.

Is most erectile dysfunction mental? ›

Although most causes of erectile dysfunction are physical in nature, many cases of ED develop as a result of emotional or psychological issues. When erectile dysfunction is related to a psychological problem, it's referred to as psychological ED, or psychological impotence.

Can ED just be temporary? ›

ED can be caused by certain lifestyle factors. In these cases, ED is usually temporary and improves once lifestyle changes are made. Temporary ED can be caused by the following: Smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, and being overweight or having obesity.

Can ED come out of nowhere? ›

Erectile dysfunction is a problem that typically develops over time, but it can occur suddenly and unexpectedly as well. In cases that develop gradually, it is often a circulatory or nervous system issue.

How many times must a man erect in a day? ›

How many times does a man get erect in a day? The average man has 11 erections each day, as well as many more when they are asleep. On average, a healthy man has three to five erections during a full night's sleep.

How often do guys get hard a day? ›

People with penises have an average of 11 erections per day and three to five more each night, but everyone is different. There are numerous factors that can affect how often you get hard, like your age, hormone levels, and lifestyle.

How many times do men erect at night? ›

Since there are several sleep cycles per night, men can have as many as five erections per night and these can last up to 20 or 30 minutes. But this is very dependent on sleep quality and so they may not occur daily.

How long should a man last per round? ›

During sexual intercourse, most men ejaculate between 5-10 minutes and research has shown the average time to ejaculate after penetration is 5 1/2 minutes. Usually, ejaculation less than 1 to 1 1/2 minutes after penetration is regarded as premature ejaculation.

How often does a guy need to release? ›

Ultimately, there is no right number of times a man should ejaculate. While frequent ejaculation may offer several health benefits, no evidence proves that never or infrequently ejaculating causes specific health issues.

How long do men get morning wood? ›

"Morning wood" is when the penis engorges with blood and you wake up with an erection. This is a perfectly normal occurrence. Most morning erections tend to last for a few minutes after awakening but can persist for longer.

How common is ED at 25? ›

Many people think of erectile problems as an older adult's issue, but they can affect younger males, as well. According to some estimates, ED affects 8% of males aged 20–29 years and 11% of those aged 30–39 years.

Is erectile dysfunction normal at 21? ›

You can experience erectile dysfunction in your 20s; it is normal and common. Many things could be causing your ED, including lifestyle factors, medications, or psychological stress. Overall, there is no need to worry, as there are many changes you can make and medications you can take to help manage your ED.

What is the average for ED? ›

Doctor's Response. The most common sexual problem in men as they age is erectile dysfunction (ED). In general, the younger a man is, the better his sexual function will be. About 40% of men are affected by erectile dysfunction at age 40, and nearly 70% of men are affected by ED by the time they turn 70.

How common is ED under 30? ›

However, approximately 20% of men in their 20s and 30% of men in the 30s suffer from at least mild to moderate symptoms of ED.

How common is ED in men? ›

ED is very common. It affects about 30 million men in the United States. Although erectile dysfunction (ED) is very common, it is not a normal part of aging; talk with your health care professional about treatment.

Is erectile dysfunction normal at 50? ›

If you have erectile dysfunction (ED) and are over 50, you are not alone. It's the most common sexual dysfunction for men. For some, it can be a sign of a more serious health problem. Read on to learn more about the causes of ED in men over 50 and what you can do about it.

At what age does erectile weakness? ›

About a quarter of men said that erection problems started between age 50 and 59, and 40% said they started between age 60 and 69. Having chronic diseases and other risk factors matter with respect to ED, too.

Is erectile dysfunction mental? ›

Although most causes of erectile dysfunction are physical in nature, many cases of ED develop as a result of emotional or psychological issues. When erectile dysfunction is related to a psychological problem, it's referred to as psychological ED, or psychological impotence.

Does ED go away? ›

In many cases, yes, erectile dysfunction can be reversed. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found a remission rate of 29 percent after 5 years. It is important to note that even when ED cannot be cured, the right treatment can reduce or eliminate symptoms.

How long does the average man last in ED? ›

Erections typically last a few minutes or, in some cases, up to about a half hour. If you have an erection that lasts more than a four hours (priapism) or one that's unrelated to sex, talk to your doctor right away or seek emergency care.

How long is too long for ED? ›

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can last a few months to years. Depending on the underlying cause, you may have ED for the rest of your life. According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), your erectile problems need to occur for at least six months to count as ED.


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