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How Does Age Affect Erectile Dysfunction?

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All of us are aware of the well-known adage–“With age comes wisdom.” However, with age, a lot of other changes also occur in the human body. While females experience menopause, males suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), that leaves them disturbed and affects their sex life. While change is a natural part of ageing, it is important to devise ways to better deal with the situation so that it affects our life in a minimal way. Here, we talk about erectile dysfunction and how age affects it.

What is Erectile dysfunction?

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As the term suggests, erectile dysfunction is an inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse.. Erectile dysfunction is a medical term for impotence. Generally, males who are above the age of 75 years are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. However, it can occur at any age.

Testosterone levels as you age

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The blood mechanism and elasticity of tissue in penis goes through a lot of changes during the entire lifetime of a man. These changes are influenced by the levels of the testosterone hormone or various other medical problems. The body starts producing testosterone since birth but the level increases significantly around the age of puberty (teenage) and under its influence, male secondary sexual characteristics also develop. The hormone is at its peak during the late teens and early 20s. A slight negligible drop in the testosterone levels is seen in late 20s through your 40s. As the age advances beyond 40s, more of a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is produced by the body.

As testosterone levels fall, the nerves in your penis get less sensitive, resulting in trouble with arousal and reaching an orgasm. ED could be the direct result of fall in testosterone levels. The body loses its ability to hold blood in the penis and so, a man fails to keep an erection. With advancing age, a man may need more stimulation (stroking and touching) to get an erection or may require more time between erections.

Erectile dysfunction symptoms

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Persistence of any of the below symptoms is the characteristic feature of ED:

  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Problem maintaining an erection

Causes of ED

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There are several contributing factors to erectile dysfunction in man. Some of these are listed as under:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Atherosclerosis (Hardening of the arteries)
  • Alcohol and smoking
  • Anxiety, stress, or depression
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Certain medications e.g. antidepressants
  • Radiation therapy to the testicles
  • Some forms of prostate or bladder surgery
  • Excessive weight or obesity
  • Peyronie’s disease

Erectile dysfunction treatment

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Erectile dysfunction can adversely affect a man’s life if left untreated. However, the good news is that there are many options now available for treating this condition. 

  • Medications: Both oral and injectable medications are available to imrpove ED. While oral medicines are highly effective at improving sexual function, injectable medicines are more helpful for some men as they can be directly injected into the penis, causing an erection.
  • Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT): This therapy can be given in the form of an injection, a gel applied directly to the skin, or a wearable patch. This method is especially beneficial if you suffer from low testosterone levels and not planning to conceive.
  • Devices: Surgical placement of a penile implant for erectile dysfunction or use of a device such as a penis pump or cock ring is known to restore sexual function in males.

Erectile dysfunction self-care

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Self-care includes lifestyle modifications because erections are best achieved when you are healthy. Making simple changes in your daily life such as eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise, limiting your alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking, will go a long way in helping you remain fit and healthy. If you suffer from high blood sugar or high blood pressure, it is important to keep these under control through medications and regular monitoring.

Natural remedies to treat ED are also making a great impact on men. Some natural sources such as DHEA, ginseng, L-arginine, and L-carnitine, when taken as supplements, may be helpful in relieving erectile dysfunction but the data is not very convincing.

To conclude, erectile dysfunction can be a condition that may mar your confidence and reduce your sexual prowess. In order to overcome these difficulties, it is advisable to talk to your healthcare professional and discuss the possible causes of ED and ways to deal with it. Aging is an irreversible process but what remains within our reach is to control the changes that aging brings, including erectile dysfunction.

The best erectile dysfunction treatment hospital in Bangalore is AndroNeo @NU Hospitals. The andrologists who work here are specialized to treat ED and other problems related to male sexual health. Visit NU Hospitals without further delay to allay all your worries surrounding erectile dysfunction and find yourself on the road to recovery soon!

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