Does sexual function decline in men with aging?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If you walk the planet long enough, you're bound to experience some change in your sexual functioning. Most men notice at some point during middle age or beyond that they may need a little more stimulation to become aroused. Erections may not be as firm as they once were. If you're like one out of three men, after age 50 you may develop erectile dysfunction (ED), or the inability to have and sustain an erection.

Keep in mind, though, that these changes--especially erectile dysfunction--are not inevitable or natural. Problems relating to erections are usually caused by underlying health conditions. The most common: Poor blood flow to the penis, which can occur if your arteries are damaged by high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or other conditions. Eating a balanced diet, exercising, avoiding tobacco, and other healthy habits will help keep these conditions at bay. And help keep things interesting in the bedroom well into your retirement. 

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can happen to men of any age, but it is more common with aging. Men older than age 50 have a harder time getting an erection compared to men age 40. At age 60 to 65, men report even greater difficulty getting aroused and having a sustainable erection during sexual intercourse.

No matter what your age, findings show the drugs sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis) can help treat ED, so that men can sustain an erection and regain their enjoyment of sexual relationships.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.