Is erectile dysfunction a routine part of aging?
There are many things that are generally accepted as part of the aging process: gray hair, aches and pains and men’s sexual health problems. But is erectile dysfunction really a routine part of aging?
Fortunately the answer is no. While it’s common for men as they age to have the occasional difficulty getting or maintaining an erection for a variety of reasons erectile dysfunction is not a typical part of the aging process.
Erectile dysfunction is more common that you probably think
If you have erectile dysfunction you are not alone. In fact, it’s reported to affect up to 30 million men in the United States alone. It can happen at any age but statistics indicate it’s usually experienced by older men and rarely occurs in men younger than 40.
According to the National Institutes of Health between 15% and 25% of 65-year-old men experience erectile dysfunction on a long-term basis, while only approximately 5% of 40-year-old men do.
While those statistics may seem to prove that aging is the culprit it’s not exactly the case. Erectile dysfunction doesn’t just come with age. The fact of the matter is other diseases can cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction. These diseases also typically happen to affect older men. They include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Diabetes (between 35% and 50% of men with diabetes experience erectile dysfunction according to the National Institutes of Health)
- Nerve problems
Lifestyle matters when it comes to sexual health
Those aren’t the only factors that cause erectile dysfunction though. Some preventable and treatable issues can also lead to temporary dysfunction.
Other factors that can affect a man’s ability to achieve an erection include:
- Chronic illness
- Certain medications
- Scar tissue in the penis (Peyronie’s disease)
- Nerve disorders
Sadly, sometimes there is no easily identifiable cause. Though it’s not normal for erectile dysfunction to happen as a part of aging, sometimes age and subsequent lifestyle influences actually do contribute. For instance, if joint pain has caused you to ditch your exercise routine or if pending retirement is causing you anxiety.
There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening:
Get active. Exercise makes you strong, boosts your immunity and helps maintain a healthy weight.
Loose weight. If you are already overweight, get on a program to drop some of that extra weight. Even a small weight loss can improve your health.
Reduce stress. Stress can adversely affect a variety of your body’s systems, including your ability to get an erection.
When erectile dysfunction/impotence does happen there is help
In some situations changing lifestyle choices can improve erectile dysfunction but for other situations that can’t be prevented or changed there are still a variety of options. Suppositories and vacuum pumps, and procedures such as penile injections and surgery can all help improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
While aging may bring with it a variety of unwanted affects on our bodies, impotency shouldn’t be one of them. Erectile dysfunction is not a normal part of the aging process get the treatment you need now to live your life to the fullest.