Is your sex life satisfying? If you struggle to achieve and maintain firm erections, the answer might be no. Difficulty maintaining erections can be embarrassing, and it can severely affect your confidence and your relationship with your partner. But are your symptoms just an inevitable part of aging?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition that affects the quality of your erections. As many as 30 million American men have it, and while it gets more common with age, it isn’t something you have to accept.
There are many different causes of ED, and Eric Seaman, MD, and our team specialize in finding men personalized treatment plans that work. Learn more about the the relationship between ED and aging, and book a confidential appointment to take control of your sex life again.
The science behind erections
Sexual arousal is a complex mental and physical phenomenon. When you’re aroused, blood flow to your genitals increases. The extra blood gets trapped in spongy tissue inside your penis, creating a firm erection.
If you’re healthy, your erection is firm enough for penetrative sex, and it remains so throughout the duration of your sexual encounter. While every man struggles to get or keep erections from time to time, ED is a condition that’s diagnosed when it becomes a consistent problem.
ED can be caused by an issue with any part of the sexual arousal process. High stress levels could impact the emotional element of arousal, while a preexisting health condition could restrict blood flow to your penis.
How age affects erections
Men of every age can experience ED, but there is a link between ED and the normal aging process. As you get older, your testosterone levels naturally decline. Testosterone is the male hormone that controls sexual function and other male characteristics.
Your risk of ED increases as testosterone wanes, making ED more common in older men. In fact, about 5% of men in their 40s have severe ED. That number increases to 15% for men in their 70s.
Although getting older increases your risk of ED, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do for your sex life. Abnormally low testosterone is a treatable medical condition, and treatment can improve symptoms from ED and low sex drive to hair loss and weight gain.
Finding an ED treatment for you
Declining testosterone is a natural part of getting older, but the symptoms of ED aren’t. If you’re bothered by difficulties achieving and maintaining erections, it’s time to see a doctor. Dr. Seaman and our team are here to diagnose the underlying cause of your ED and recommend treatment that fits your lifestyle.
Oral medication that you take before sexual activity can increase blood flow and help you overcome symptoms of ED. If you’re diagnosed with low testosterone, we might recommend hormone replacement therapy to balance hormone levels and minimize your symptoms.
Preexisting health issues, like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure can also contribute to ED. If you have preexisting health conditions, keeping them well-managed could improve your ED symptoms, too.
Your risk of ED increases as you get older, but you don’t have to let it affect your sex life. Call our office in Millburn, New Jersey, at 973-259-6695 or request an appointment online to find out if you could benefit from ED treatment.