Is Erectile Dysfunction an Inevitable Part of Aging?

The ability to consistently achieve and sustain an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse is an important element of a fulfilling sex life. Yet an estimated 30 million American men are living with erectile dysfunction (ED): a condition that affects your ability to get and keep an erection.

If you have ED, you either can’t get an erection or it isn’t stiff enough for penetrative sex. It’s an embarrassing problem for many men, and it can affect their self-confidence and their relationship with their partner. 

ED gets more common with age, but it isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. There are many different causes behind ED — and many of them are treatable.

At the Center for Female and Male Sexual Medicine, Eric Seaman, MD, and our team understand the impact that ED can have on your life. We’re here to help you understand the links between aging and ED and find treatment that restores your confidence in the bedroom.

The link between aging and ED

Sexual arousal stimulates increased blood flow to your penis. Spongy tissue inside your penis traps the blood, which creates an erection. Arousal and erections rely on complex interactions of mental, emotional, and physical factors.

ED can be caused by an issue with any number of these factors. Anything from a high stress level to a pre-existing health condition can contribute to ED. However, there is a link between aging and ED. 

About 5% of men in their 40s have severe ED, while about 15% of men have severe ED at age 70. The increase in cases of ED with age is linked largely to changing testosterone levels. Testosterone is a male hormone that plays an important role in sexual function, and it naturally declines with age. 

But suffering from ED that interferes with your quality of life isn’t an inevitable part of aging. Abnormally low testosterone is a medical condition that can cause other symptoms, like hair loss and weight gain, along with ED. It’s treatable, and it can improve your ED, no matter your age.

You don’t have to live with ED

Having trouble achieving an erection once in a while is normal for every man. But when it becomes a consistent problem, it’s time to talk to a doctor. Dr. Seaman and our team offer comprehensive evaluations to determine what’s causing your ED.

Pre-existing health conditions may also affect your ability to achieve and maintain an erection. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol — to name a few — are comorbidities that often come along with growing older and are linked to increased risk of ED.

Managing your overall health and getting chronic health issues under control can improve the symptoms of ED. If you’re diagnosed with low testosterone, Dr. Seaman may recommend hormone replacement therapy to minimize ED symptoms.

You deserve to have a fulfilling sex life no matter your age. Find out more about treatment for ED by scheduling a consultation at the Center for Female and Male Sexual Medicine. Call our office in Millburn, New Jersey, or use the online booking tool.

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