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Men: Should you be worried about erectile dysfunction as you get older?

14th December 2021 Print

Erectile dysfunction is a very common complication that impacts men, and yet it is also rarely discussed and infrequently treated.

This leaves millions of people suffering unnecessarily from a condition that has a number of tried and tested solutions.

The stereotype is that older men are most susceptible to being unable to perform in the bedroom, but does this reflect reality, or is it a myth?

The effects of aging on sexual performance

First of all, let’s clear up one misconception; erectile dysfunction (ED) is not something that only afflicts older men, and in fact you can get it at any age after reaching sexual maturity. In fact, almost a tenth of under-30s experienced ED.

Of course it is also the case that the older you get, the more likely you are to encounter performance problems. This is just a fact of life, and it is usually exacerbated by other health issues that are more frequently found among the over-40s.

For example, in the comparison of tadalafil and sildenafil on this page, it is noted that both of these medicines are effective at treating ED in men who have an enlarged prostate, which is typically found in more mature males.

In short, your chances of being encumbered by ED do rise the older you are, but whether or not you should be actively worried about it is a different matter. Indeed, as there are drugs which combat the effects of ED, it is no longer the relationship-disrupting threat it once was.

The other exacerbating factors

Regardless of your age, you need to be aware that there are certain health conditions and lifestyle choices which will increase the prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men, many of which are in your control.

Obesity and the associated issues it brings about, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, is one of the major contributors to ED. Getting more exercise and reducing your intake of unhealthy foods, namely those that are high in fats and sugars, will be better for your sex life whether you are 25 or 65.

Excessive use of illegal substances and even overindulging in alcohol too regularly is also linked to ED. Smokers can furthermore expect that indulging in their chosen vice will put them higher up the list of at-risk individuals where ED is concerned.

Another point to keep in mind is that if you are taking certain prescription medicines, erectile dysfunction may be one of the listed side effects. This is obviously not something you can do anything about in the short term, but it should clear up once your course of medication is completed.

The importance of openness

If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction as a young man or an older man, talking about it with your partner and also speaking to a healthcare professional is the best option.

From the point of view of your personal relationship, ED can lead to all sorts of feelings of anxiety, frustration and anger on both sides, so honesty is the best policy.

Also, if you do have ED then it could be a sign that you are suffering from some other, more serious health condition, of which it is merely a symptom.

This is why getting in touch with a physician makes sense, as it may be an early warning sign that saves you from the worse effects of things like heart disease.

So there you have it; erectile dysfunction is not solely associated with age, but older men should be more aware of what to look out for, and what they can do to address it.

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