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Erectile dysfunction: age 40

Written by Mojo, reviewed by Amanda Barge, Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist

40 year old man sitting at a table with his hands in his lap.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when you have difficulty getting or keeping an erection. It can happen when you’re masturbating (solo sex) or when you’re having sex with someone else (partnered sex). Erectile dysfunction is also known as impotence.

Due to a mixture of physical, psychological, and lifestyle reasons, you might not be sporting the erections you had in your 20s.

But, being in your 40s doesn’t mean that you have to wave goodbye to a fulfilling sex life. We’re here to help you get your erections back on track.

In this post, we’ll be looking at:

How common is erectile dysfunction in your 40s?

Is erectile dysfunction normal at 40? The answer is: yes, absolutely.

Erectile dysfunction in your 40s is very common, with studies showing that almost half (40%) of men experience ED at age 40

Signs of erectile dysfunction in your 40s

For most men, erections can’t be summoned on demand. So, if you sometimes have trouble getting hard, you have nothing to worry about.

But if you notice these symptoms more frequently, you could be experiencing erectile dysfunction:

Read more about the signs and symptoms of ED here.

Sudden erectile dysfunction at 40 years old

ED can be triggered suddenly – you may see a change overnight or following a one-off bad experience in the bedroom. However, ED can also begin to appear more gradually over time.

Read on to find out more about what can cause ED.

Causes of erectile dysfunction in 40-year-olds

Let’s take a look at some possible reasons behind erectile dysfunction in 40-year-old males.

Psychological causes of ED in your 40s

There’s a whole range of possible psychological causes for ED, but we’re going to focus on 3 of the most likely culprits for guys in their 40s:

1. Stress

Life can get intense in your 40s, and you might find yourself facing a lot of stress. 

To put it simply, stress can be a boner-killer. This is because if a stress response is sparked, your body may enter ‘fight or flight’ mode and direct blood away from your penis, which then makes it harder for you to get or keep an erection.

“ED can strike at anytime of life, so obviously we can think of many situations that might add to stress in your 40s. For some 40-something men, the stresses associated with this time will not make a difference, but for some, they may well affect their ED and sexual relationships.”

Amanda Barge, Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist

Some of the stresses you may be facing in your 40s are:

Let us know what else is stressing you out, if you’re in your 40s and have ED (it’s anonymous).

"Erections are better when I am alone, especially if under no pressure, so I know there is a strong psychological component. And lots of usual stress in work and relationships."

Anonymous 40 year old Mojo user

2. Mid-life crisis

You might be familiar with the concept of the mid-life crisis. The stereotype here is a man in his mid-40s buying a shiny red Porsche and dating a woman half his age.

A true mid-life crisis involves changing your entire life in a hurry, and it usually affects men in their 40s and early 50s. It can be triggered by: 

These feelings might spark feelings of anxiety or stress, which can then lead to erection issues.

3. Feeling down

Studies have suggested that there is a mid-life slump in the life cycle of human happiness and wellbeing.

Depression is directly linked to ED, so if you’re feeling a little low in your 40s and you’re experiencing erection issues, the two could be linked. 

Lifestyle factors that can cause ED in your 40s

Some of the lifestyle causes of erectile dysfunction in your 40s are:

Physical causes of ED in your 40s

There are many physical reasons for erectile dysfunction at 40, which may include:

Read about the other possible causes of ED here. 

How to fix erectile dysfunction at 40

Tackling psychological ED

If your ED is being caused by the stress of your 40s, a period of depression, or low self-esteem, it is psychological and can be treated by focusing on your psychological wellbeing.

“It is so important for men to take some time to observe themselves and have a look at what their life is looking like, and what might they do to help their sexual wellbeing.”

Amanda Barge, Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist

You can do this by:

Making erection-led lifestyle changes

These sound pretty obvious, but you can tackle some of the lifestyle causes of ED by:

These are all easier said than done, we know.

Treating the physical causes of ED

Physical causes of ED may be more common in older men than they are in younger men. If you think that your ED is a symptom of an underlying physical reason, we would recommend going to see a doctor to rule out whether your ED is caused by physical reasons.

They can carry out a few tests, provide a proper diagnosis, and give you medical advice on the next steps. These may include: 

Usually, physical ED can lead to psychological erection issues. If this is the case for you, we recommend incorporating Mojo into your treatment program alongside any physical treatment, for better sex in the long-term.

Back to the (morning) glory days

Good sex doesn’t have to stop at 40. Erection problems are treatable. Sign up for a trial today, to start learning more about how to overcome your erectile dysfunction.

And if you’re not ready to take that step yet, check out our community first, to hear from other guys with ED.


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overcoming ED helped in 2 weeks


  • Pill-free
  • Recommended by leading sex therapists


members in 36 countries


overcoming ED helped in 2 weeks

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If you’re in your 40s and struggling with ED, we’d love to hear from you. What do you think are the things that may be impacting your erections as a 40-something-year-old? What has helped you keep your erections on track?

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Mojo aims to provide useful wellbeing resources to its users; however, you should not solely rely on opinions or advice available on the Website or given by the Community. Always seek advice from a qualified medical doctor or other healthcare professional before acting.