Like everything in nature, your penis goes through a series of changes over your lifetime and these are not always something you look forward to. Here is what to expect from your ‘old fella’ as you age.
As time passes, the penis will shrink a little as a result of decreased blood flow and testosterone. By the time a man is in his 60s or 70s he could lose up to 1.5cm in total length. If you are carrying some extra weight around your stomach, the penis will also appear smaller without it actually being smaller. As your belly gets bigger, the fat pad pushes out and a larger penile percentage becomes buried under the skin.
The penis can curve with age. This can affect its length, girth, and function. The condition, called Peyronie’s disease, is caused by physical trauma – usually because the shaft gets bent during sex. The condition can often be corrected surgically or treated with medication.
The penis can receive less blood flow as you age. With less blood in the area, the penis can appear lighter in colour. Also, just as skin everywhere shows effects of ageing, so does the penis skin, which can appear more mottled as you age.
The nerves in your penis become less sensitive as you age. This can lead to trouble with arousal and having an orgasm. As testosterone levels drop, erectile dysfunction (ED) becomes more likely. ED develops in five percent of men at age 40, and up to 15 percent at age 70. You may lose rigidity, but not necessarily your ability to have intercourse. Perhaps the most common culprit is the body’s inability to hold blood in the penis. When this happens, you may be able to get an erection but not maintain it. Blood flows in, but the ageing muscle that surrounds your erectile tissue can’t hold it there. A good way to try and avoid ED in your later life is to try and have daily erections. This keeps the arteries in shape and keeps consistent blood flow to the area.
Around 20 per cent of men in their 40s, 50 to 60 per cent of men in their 60s, and 80 to 90 per cent of men in their 70s and 80s suffer from urinary issues. This can include problems with releasing water or holding back flow. Most of these issues relate to the prostate health and the best things you can do to avoid any issues are maintain a healthy weight and do regular pelvic floor exercises.
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