Young men using Viagra for fun may be more likely to develop ED

Young men who use drugs like Viagra and Cialis recreationally may be more likely to develop a psychological dependence on them, making erections without medication difficult, according to a new study.

"Among young, healthy men who used ED medicines recreationally, the more frequent ED medicine use was associated with lower confidence in achieving and maintaining erections, which in turn was associated with lower erectile function," lead study author Christopher Harte, a postdoctoral fellow at the VA Boston Healthcare System in the US, told WebMD.

For his study, Harte looked at data of more than 1,200 men whose average age was around 22. In the study, 72 were recreational users, reporting no diagnosis of ED from a doctor, while 1,111 didn't use ED drugs. Twenty-four were prescribed the drugs by their doctors for medical conditions. Men responded to an online survey about their erectile function, orgasms, sexual desire, and whether or not they used ED drugs and how often. They also reported their levels of confidence in their ability to get and maintain an erection.

Young men may have "unreasonable standards"

Compared to men who didn't use drugs, recreational users reported lower erectile confidence and overall satisfaction with their erections. Harte also noted that the decreased confidence was linked negatively with erectile functioning.

While the findings don't explain the connection, Harte suggested that using recreational ED medications may give users "unreasonable standards or expectations about their erectile performance," he told WebMD.

The findings are published in the latest issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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