Erectile dysfunction is normally associated with serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. However, according to a recent BBC Newsbeat report, there is a surge in the number of young men who suffer from the problem due to easy access to online porn.
Older men with diabetes, MS and cardiovascular disease traditionally suffered from erectile dysfunction. However, health professionals are now seeing more and more people in their late teens and early 20s experience the problem which they say is caused by online porn (see notes to editor for link to BBC article).
Men and women who experience the problem, including younger people, can get specialised support to help overcome the problem via the Sexual Health and Relationship Enhancement (SHARE) service which is offered in Blackburn with Darwen by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Zoe Hargreaves, a Psychosexual Therapist with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Many people experience some difficulty in their sexual lives at some point. Some people improve by themselves without help while others require more help. A lot of cases relating to erectile dysfunction relate to pornography addiction and use and there are increasing numbers of younger people who are affected by this. The majority of such referrals are younger people, but we also see older people as well. We offer various programmes to help people along and these are adapted on a case-by-case basis. If someone has such a problem then they need to see their GP who would refer them to SHARE.”
SHARE is a confidential specialist service. Referrals are accepted from GPs, nurses, contraceptive services, GUM services, mental health services and social care. People unable to approach a professional and discuss being referred into the service can contact the service directly on 07538 475987 or 01254 283333 or email SHARE@lancashirecare.nhs.uk.
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust also runs a Contraception and Sexual Health Service (CaSH) across Lancashire that includes contraception choices, and sexually transmitted infection screening and treatment. These services are free and confidential. For more information about sexual health services or help to access support telephone 01772 401140 or visit www.cashlancashirecare.nhs.uk.