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Military man seeking help from a medical professional.

Is There a Link Between Military Service and Erectile Dysfunction?

Young men in the military have a disproportionately high level of erectile dysfunction (ED), roughly three times the level of ED observed in civilian males of the same age. Here’s a look at some of the factors involved.

The final Monday of May is Memorial Day, a federal holiday honoring the men and women who lost their lives while serving our country. For many Americans, it also marks the unofficial start of summer. All too often, that secondary celebration tends to overshadow the real meaning of Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is also the ideal time to think of those who’ve served our country in its armed services and suffered significant injuries, both physical and psychological. A lesser known potential consequence of military service is that, as a result of injuries and traumatic experiences, young men in the military experience disproportionate levels of sexual dysfunction.

This article explores the relationship between military service and sexual dysfunction, like erectile dysfunction (ED), in young men.

Three Key Factors

One study evaluated sexual function among 367 male military personnel who were age 40 or younger.

Researchers focused on three issues:

  1. Male genital self-image
  2. Sexual anxiety
  3. Issues with sexual functioning, like erectile dysfunction (ED)

Much to their surprise, researchers found that ED rates were 3x higher for their military sample compared to the ED rates in civilian males of similar ages.

How These Factors Intersect

The incidence of sexual dysfunction, particularly in the form of ED, was highest in men who had both a negative self-image of their genitals and higher levels of sexual anxiety. Men with a more positive self-image seemed to experience significantly lower levels of both sexual anxiety and sexual functioning problems.

Memorial Day

But isn’t ED typically an issue among older men? Researcher Sherrie Wilcox noted that men who’ve experienced traumatic events and physical injuries are at risk of developing sexual dysfunction, regardless of their age.

ED and PTSD

The views expressed by Wilcox are echoed by Afghanistan veteran Meaghan Mobbs. She points out that male combat veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience ED at 30x higher the rate than those without PTSD.

Concerned that a traumatic experience or physical injury may be affecting your sex life? Talk to your healthcare provider about help for PTSD and sexual dysfunction like ED.

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For men whose ED is caused primarily by insufficient blood flow to the penis, Viagra and the other ED drugs, known as PDE5 inhibitors, are the preferred treatment. These drugs can be ordered through eDrugstore.com, a longtime online medical facilitator based in Tempe, Arizona.

eDrugstore serves as a middleman between consumers, physicians, and pharmacies. Through its complimentary online consultation service, arrange a telemedicine encounter between yourself and a physician licensed to practice in your state. If the doctor decides that you’re an appropriate candidate for an ED drug, a prescription will be authorized. That prescription is then routed electronically by eDrugstore to one of its licensed U.S. pharmacy partners that will then fill the order and ship it off promptly to the destination of your choice. To learn more, visit eDrugstore’s Erectile Dysfunction page.

Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+