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Is Erectile Dysfunction Just A Part Of Old Age? — an article on the Smart Living Network
November 23, 2007 at 4:42 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Is Erectile Dysfunction Just A Part Of Old Age?


A common joke in over-the-hill birthday cards, Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is often associated with old age. While it's true that ED is more likely in men over 65, younger men also suffer from ED.

What is ED?

ED is when a man is unable to achieve or maintain an erection for the purpose of sexual intercourse. This may or may not be associated with a lack of libido.

What causes ED?

ED can be caused by a variety of things, some of them mental and some of them purely physical. Emotional causes include:

  • Sexual anxiety
  • Relationship problems
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Feelings of self-consciousness
  • Guilt associated with sexuality

Physical causes include:

  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Surgery or injury to the pelvic region
  • Radiation
  • Brain or spinal-cord injuries
  • Fatigue
  • Diabetes
  • Poor blood flow

Is ED unavoidable as you age?

No one can expect a man whose over fifty to perform as well as he did when he was twenty years old. Partners of older men should understand that they may require more time between erections and may require more stimulation. However, an older man should be able to still get an erection and enjoy sex.

How Erections Work

Your penis has two areas of spongy tissue on either side. When you are aroused, the blood vessels here dilate and fill with blood. As your penis fills with blood, it becomes hard and rises, resulting in an erection. An erection is necessary to have intercourse. If for some reason blood flow is obstructed, an erection is impossible.

Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

If the cause of your ED is mental, seeing a therapist is your best bet. A therapist can help you pinpoint and then overcome your issues with your sexuality. If you are uncertain whether the root cause of your ED is physical or mental, it may be best to see a therapist to determine. If the cause of your ED is physical, it's important to see your health practitioner to make sure this isn't a symptom of a much more serious condition. When it finally comes to physically treating specifically ED, there are several options available to you. Prescription drugs may be helpful, but you should first consult with your doctor and make yourself aware of the side effects. Devices, called vacuum pumps, are sometimes used to treat erectile dysfunction. A vacuum works by forming a seal over the penis and then drawing blood into the penis to force an erection. A ring is then fitted around the base of the penis to prevent the blood from leaving until intercourse has been completed. Some men find this to be a time-consuming process. This device should not be confused with other pumps that are meant to increase penis size. This particular device is for medical treatment of ED only. Surgery is often a last resort alternative. This is an irreversible, expensive procedure that involves inserting implants into the penis. Alternative supplement treatments may also be helpful.

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1 Comment

  • Under causes of ED you failed to mention sleeping pills. Regular and prolonged use of sleeping pills containing diphenhydramine---at least in my experience---does produce definite erection problems. Fortunately, after one or two months of no longer taking them, the problem goes away.

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