A lot of changes come with getting older. You may notice you’ve slowed down in your physical activities or find it harder to do things that were once easy. These changes can also affect your life in the bedroom, making the way that you’re intimate with a partner a bit different.
Even if you’ve never experienced difficulty getting or maintaining an erection before, it’s possible that you now have a new challenge facing you and your partner. ED can be a frustrating and mood-dampening phenomenon, and if it’s happening more than half of the time you try to be sexually active, it could be time to consult a medical professional for help.
While erectile dysfunction can affect men of any age, many men start to experience ED after age 50. Is ED an inevitable part of getting older or potentially a side effect of other aspects of aging?
Underlying Health Conditions
Generally speaking, men start to notice ED occurring more commonly after age 40, and even more so as they pass 50. Erectile dysfunction becomes more common as we get older, but it isn’t necessarily tied to just increasing in age. Getting older comes with the potential for other health conditions and medications that can directly cause ED.
Health conditions that are known to cause erectile dysfunction are obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, sleep disorders, enlarged prostate, low testosterone, and many more. These conditions are more common amongst aging men, which makes ED as a side effect of these conditions also more common.
As we get older and develop conditions or ailments, treatment, unfortunately, can contribute to ED. Many medications used to treat high blood pressure and diabetes are also known to cause erectile dysfunction themselves.
Causes Unrelated to Age
Though it may be common to experience ED as you get older, it’s not unheard of that men who have not yet reached middle age also experience erectile dysfunction. This is due to the fact that ED can occur from psychological factors completed unrelated to physical health. Psychological factors, in fact, are responsible for 10 to 20 percent of all ED cases.
A common psychological factor that can contribute to, or cause, erectile dysfunction is stress. Issues in your professional life or in your relationship can result in stress and ED. Similarly, anxiety in general and anxiety surrounding experiencing ED again after it’s happened once can also, unfortunately, contribute to it happening again.
General indifference to sex or in a relationship can also cause erectile dysfunction. Indifference towards a partner and sex combines both age and psychological factors. Growing old with a partner can mean that your sex life has grown cold, or other issues outside of the bedroom affect your desire to be intimate with them. Couples counseling or talking with a sex therapist can help address the problems contributing to your indifference towards sexual activities and even work to treat your ED if it is stemming from psychological factors.
Treatable Condition - Doctor Knows Best
If ED can happen at any age but is more common in men above the age of 50, how can men manage their ED and still enjoy a healthy sex life? The key is finding out what exactly is causing the inability to achieve or maintain an erection.
Instead of playing a guessing game of what could be to blame for your ED, treating it could be as simple as having an honest conversation with your doctor or a urologist. A medical professional will work with you to rule out potential causes or offer solutions for treatment. If the cause may be psychological, a sex therapist can offer solutions to working through PTSD, depression, stress, or anxiety.
Whatever is causing your ED, there is no reason to simply accept ED as a normal part of getting older. There are solutions to help manage ED at any age, so it’s important to hold on to hope and seek the guidance you need. Getting your sex life back can be as simple as asking for some help.
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