As men age, they’re more likely to suffer from sexual issues. Sexual dysfunction covers many aspects which affect the success of sexual relations including the condition known as erectile disorder (ED). It is also a reference to a man’s desire to have sexual relations and the overall quality of his sexual erections.

Numerous studies of large scale that have been conducted, both in the U.S. and across the globe, have proven this. However, age doesn’t necessarily explain all of the causes. One thing you can learn from studies that have examined the reasons for ED is that, regardless of age, a lot of risk factors that contribute to ED are manageable to some degree. If you follow a healthy diet and do plenty of exercises, for instance, you will reduce the likelihood of suffering from erectile dysfunction. You also decrease the chance of having other health issues that could result in ED or cause it to get worse.

This guide will assist you in understanding the way that age and erectile dysfunction are connected and how other risk factors impact the likelihood of developing ED.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile disorder (ED) previously known as impotence is the inability of obtaining and maintaining an erection that is long enough to allow sexual intimacy. The term “ED” doesn’t necessarily mean a decreased desire to have sex.

As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Trusted Source, ED affects men of all ages. However, males are more likely to suffer it as they age.

The frequency of ED is as the following:

A normal aspect of aging?

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem at any time, but it occurs more often in older males. In general, minor or mild erectile disorders affect around 10% of men in the tenth decade of their lives. This means that some degree of erectile dysfunction impacts around 50% of males in their 50s and 60% of those in their 60s and so on.

The aging process can cause Erectile dysfunction because our bodies don’t perform as well in our 60s, as they do still in the 20s. Additional components can play a part, too.

For instance, older men have a higher likelihood than young men of having to be taking medication that may affect their ability to get and maintain an erection. Additionally, health issues that can cause erectile dysfunction like the high pressure of blood, cholesterol levels heart disease, diabetic issues, can be prevalent among older men.

What do the studies tell us about the aging process and ED?

There isn’t a specific time when the penis abruptly ceases to function and erections don’t anymore occur. Even though the occurrence of ED is widespread but not everyone will be affected by the issue. Although we cannot say the exact time when ED will be a reality but numerous massive studies offer an understanding of the ways that the sexual dysfunction-ED along with age, are connected. We’ll go through some of the major studies below.

In the study that included the largest number of male participants, researchers conducted a survey of 3174 male health professionals across the U.S. to understand how the age of men and other factors impact the prevalence of erectile dysfunction. (Men suffering from prostate cancer, which is a cause of ED weren’t included as part of the research.) Results of those surveys, which will be discussed in the next section, have been published in 2003 by the Annals of Internal Medicine. Here’s a breakdown of respondents’ ages:

Physical the causes for Erectile Dysfunction

It is normal to experience occasional ED and typically not a sign of a health issue, however more frequent episodes could disrupt your daily life. ED that develops due to an underlying physical issue usually occurs due to one of the following reasons:

You’re becoming more Old. Some individuals lose the capacity to maintain an erection due to testosterone levels diminishing as they age.

You suffer from an illness that prevents blood from getting into the penis in the form of atherosclerosis or high blood pressure, diabetes, or tobacco use (smoking).

The damage of the penis (such as pelvic surgery or trauma) doesn’t allow it to hold blood during an erection.

Nerve damage in the spinal cord and brain as well as nerve damage caused by strokes or autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, block nerve signals and prevent them from reaching in the penis.

Injuries to the penis after treatment and radiation particularly when treating prostate cancer colon-rectal, bladder, or cancer, affects your ability to achieve and keep the erection.

Effects of cancer chemotherapy or treatment in the pelvis may impact the functionality of the penis.

The side consequences of medicines that treat health conditions can negatively affect erections.

These risk elements place certain people who have penises at the chance of developing ED throughout their lives:

The following risk factors put some people with penises at a higher risk of developing ED in their lifetime:

The disease of diabetes: determined that between 35% and 50 percent of diabetics who suffer from penises have ED. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels harm arterial walls, causing them to become harder (a process known as atherosclerosis) which reduces blood flow and causes interference with the nerves that create and sustain erections.

Hypertension: High blood pressure affects blood vessels. One study showed the following: 61% of males suffering from high blood pressure have been diagnosed with ED.

Kidney disease: Kidneys that aren’t functioning properly could affect nerve function as well as energy levels and the hormones that circulate through our bodies. When these things fail then erections could be affected.

Heart disease A single of the first symptoms that heart problems are the lack of blood vessels within the penis to grow to allow blood flow to obtain and sustain an erection.7 One study revealed that men who were over 69 who suffered from ED experienced more than double the rate of cardiovascular arrests, heart attacks, and strokes than people who did not have ED. Due to this, everyone suffering from ED should undergo a cardio exam with their doctor.

Prostate disease The prostate is a small gland located between the penis as well as the bladder. Certain medications and surgeries that treat an overly large prostate or cancer of the prostate may result in ED.

Obesity can cause inflammation in the entire body that can affect the blood vessels which provide the penis. A study revealed the following: 73% of males suffering from abdominal obesity showed some degree of ED.8 Obesity can also be a factor in low testosterone levels, which may impact erectile dysfunction.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition that causes blockage of the upper airways during sleep restricting airflow and, consequently, blood flow, which increases the chance of ED. It’s been reported to be 69% of males suffering from OSA suffer from ED.

Additional causes for ED

ED isn’t always related to chronic illness or age.

Other causes that are common include:

Alcohol can slow nerve communication in the brain and throughout the body. This may affect arousal signals as well as physical co-ordination.

Tobacco is not just a blocker of blood flow, it may also result in serious illnesses that can also affect sexual functions.

The effects of medications can affect individuals differently. One drug that can reduce sexual performance for one person may not be the same for another.

Treating Erectile Dysfunction

The effectiveness of treating ED is largely dependent on finding the source of the condition. Certain doctors use questionnaires to support their physical and medical histories. The questionnaires can assess your capacity to start and maintain an erection, measure your satisfaction when you have sex, and assist in identifying any issues with your gastric.

Your physician may request blood tests and take samples of your urine to check for any health issues that could be causing ED. This information can assist your physician in determining the most appropriate and effective treatment options for your erectile disorder.

If the source for the cause of your ED is physical then your doctor or another health professional may suggest specific risk factors related to your lifestyle, like smoking cigarettes or eating a poor diet which you could change. They can also alter the medicines you’re using to treat another health condition that could be the cause of your ED like antidepressants or high blood pressure medication.

The most commonly used solution for ED is an oral prescription medication that can assist you in getting and keeping your erection, for example:

The medications work in the same manner, aiding the penis muscles to ease and relax. They also fill up with blood before and during sexual having sex.

The medications vary in how fast they take effect. For instance, Viagra, the most popular of these supplements generally begins working in 30 to 60 minutes following the time the dosage is taken, however, Cialis is effective between 16 and 45 minutes consumption.

Remember to keep this in mind

Although there’s no exact date at which erectile dysfunction occurs, one thing study has confirmed is that regardless of your the age of your body, there’s some simple ways to improve sexual performance and avoid ED.

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