Is erectile dysfunction an inevitable part of ageing?

Erectile dysfunction: it’s many a man’s nightmare. But is it a certainty? Does ageing make it inevitable? Are there ways that you can avoid the dreaded droop?

For the lucky ones who don’t know what erectile dysfunction (ED) is; it’s the inability to get or keep an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse. The penis is not the only organ responsible for ED. It all begins with the brain, which activates nerves that relax the muscles in the spongy tissue in the penis. When the muscles relax, the arteries fill the empty space with blood, et voila – erection formed. Well, if all goes according to plan …

Anything that interrupts this process can lead to a let-down between the sheets.

The medical disruptions could include:

  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • low testosterone
  • enlarged prostate
  • sleep disorders (such as sleep apnoea)
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease.

But there are non-medical disruptions, too. Such as:

  • alcohol consumption
  • tobacco use
  • prescription medications (such as antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, high blood pressure medications, hormone therapy, depression medications)
  • anxiety
  • depression.

ED can happen to anyone at any age but, as you can see, ageing alone is not a definite cause of impotence. Let’s not sugar coat it though, ageing does raise the risk of ED, but there are ways it can be avoided.

That’s why it’s good to know the possible causes, because they can generally be countered by lifestyle changes. For example, if you’re overweight, then lose weight. If you smoke, then quit smoking. If it’s all in your head, then seek professional help.

Even naturally decreasing testosterone levels can be bumped up by eating the right foods. Same goes for getting your physical wellbeing in order – exercise has wider health benefits than just keeping you looking trim – it may even get you more trim (if you catch my meaning).

Unfortunately, there are some factors that may not be so easily countered, such as long term health conditions like Parkinson’s and MS.

But for the rest of you guys and gals, fear not, age does not a floppy phallus make – there are plenty of things you can do to keep the life in your ‘little fella’.

Read more at WebMD

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?
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