What Is Age Appropriate Sexual Dysfunction?
January 2, 2020
It makes sense that there is a link between a man's age and the onset of erectile dysfunction. Research studies have shown that men over the age of 70 experience problems with having sex more often than men under the age of 50. Unfortunately, age does not explain everything when it comes to diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction. After all, ED is still are very real possibility for men in their 30's. So, when someone is having difficulty getting or maintaining an erection that it strong enough to have satisfying sex, it may or may not be age-related. However, it might be caused by an "age-appropriate" event in your life.
Most men remember when sexual arousal seemed to be such a simple thing. In fact, some may have experienced an embarrassing moment at a younger age when almost anything could be a sexual trigger. Nonetheless, male sexual performance and arousal depend upon a complex sequence of events that are both mental and physical. It starts in the brain. Although it may seem a bit contrary, the brain sends signals to nerves located in the penis to RELAX. Once the penal muscles relax, blood flow can fill open spaces in the spongy tissue and the increased blood pressure expands the penis.
So, When Does Erectile Dysfunction Occur?
Erectile dysfunction can occur at any age when anything interrupts the sequence that allows membranes in the spongy tissue of the penis to sustain an erection to the point of sexual satisfaction. Although the frequency of ED can increase with age, it can have many causes, most of which may be related to aging issues, such as:
- Lifestyle Causes of ED - Since ED has known links to a man's general health status, lifestyle modifications can improve erectile dysfunction and decrease the rate of decline regardless of age. For example, many patients cite dramatic improvements in erectile quality after stopping smoking or losing weight. In fact, a simple increase in exercise can improve one's chances of getting it up at any age.
- Hormonal Causes of ED - Hypogonadism due to testosterone deficiency can be a primary or secondary cause of ED. However, hormone deficiencies are less frequently the cause than medical issues like diabetes or vascular disease. Moreover, hypogonadism can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy, as testosterone levels peak about age 20 and then slowly decline.
- Medical Causes of ED - Although medical conditions like diabetes or multiple sclerosis can occur at any age, most medical causes of ED have an onset later in life. Increased ED risks like obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease or even alcoholism are somewhat age-related and, for the most part, age appropriate.
- Traumatic Causes of ED - Similar to medical causes, traumatic injuries involving neurological and genital damage can occur at any age. Nonetheless, the results of nerve damage and physical injuries, such as penal curvature related to Peyronnie's disease often worsen over time.
- Psychogenic Causes of ED - Certain feelings or thoughts can interfere with a man's sexual experience. Psychogenic impotence occurs when an erection or penetration fails due to psychological factors like stress, depression, guilt, poor self-image, relationship issues or anxiety about having sex, which also can occur at any age.
An erection is a complex event involving psychological, neurological and vascular responses to signals from the body's local endocrine and anatomic systems. Since your body is more likely to experience such events at certain ages, age-appropriate ED does not mean erectile dysfunction is a natural result of aging. This explains why so many men are dissatisfied with taking ED medications like Viagra. Even though the drugs allow them to raise an erection, ED meds have no effect on sexual desire or arousal.
Maybe You've Reached the Age of Erection Dissatisfaction?
It is important to understand that erectile dysfunction is not inevitable and more than half of older men never develop it. Nonetheless, post-50 changes to erection frequency and quality are normal and do seem somewhat inevitable. After all, it is difficult to fall madly in love every day and numerous fight-or-flight responses can cause blood to flow away from the central body and out of the penis. Unfortunately, these changes can be alarming to many men leading them to a self-diagnosis of ED. What most men don't understand is that they do not need an erection to enjoy "Hot" sex and still have orgasms.
Although intercourse can become problematic for older couples, many have great sex without them. Moreover, as a man's arousal process slows, it may actually more closely match their partner's erotic pace with additional time spent kissing, touching, cuddling and fondling. Whether you think your erectile problems are related to lower testosterone levels or loss of desire, it is important to avoid self-diagnosis and self-prescribed treatment plans. Instead, contact the men's sexual health professionals at NJ GAINSWave. Whether you are 25 or 75, an accurate diagnosis can be established through a medical history, physical examination, lab work, and a private discussion about any sexual misfires. NJ GAINSWave can help you improve your sexual health at any age.