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Erectile Dysfunction in Older Males

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This article defines erectile dysfunction and discusses some potential causes for its more frequent occurrence in older men.

Erectile dysfunction refers to the inability to acquire and sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.

Having erection problems occasionally is normal and not always a sign of anything serious. However, if erectile dysfunction persists, it may be stressful, undermine self-confidence, and put a strain on relationships. 

Having trouble attaining or retaining an erection is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease and may be a symptom of a more serious health issue requiring medical attention. 

As simple as fixing the cause may seem, erectile dysfunction can sometimes be reversed. Medication or other direct treatments may be necessary for different situations.

Erectile Dysfunction Causes 

  1. Medical Cause 

Several medical issues cause ED, and they are more prevalent in older men. Some common medical causes are:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • obesity

Erections require adequate blood flow and feeling from the nerves, both of which can be compromised by certain diseases. Vascular insufficiency (a lack of blood supply) is a common cause of erectile dysfunction (ED).

  1. Medicinal Cause

Medication use to treat chronic diseases is more common among men of a certain age. Although many of these medications improve health in general. However, others have been shown to make ED symptoms much worse in certain men. Medication for conditions such as:

  • Reducing blood pressure, like:
  • Thiazides
  • Beta-blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Irregular heart rhythms and other cardiovascular disorders
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Drugs like codeine and morphine alleviate pain
  • Used during chemotherapy

If you have ED and think your medication could be to blame, talk to your doctor. A doctor might prescribe a lesser dose or recommend an alternative treatment if necessary. The only time it’s okay to stop taking a prescription is if your doctor says so.

  1. Testosterone Levels Cause

Testosterone is an essential hormone having several actions throughout the body. It aids in numerous facets of male sexual health, including:

  • Regulating sex drive
  • Maintaining the penis’s blood-supplying tissues

Typically, a man’s testosterone levels decline with age. It might result in a decrease in sexual desire, which could contribute to ED. Moreover, it may also induce scarring within the penis’ vein network, restricting blood flow to that part.

Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms & Screening 

Every man can have different symptoms & screening of erectile dysfunction. However, some common symptoms of ED might include: 

  • Unable to achieve an erection 
  • Getting an erection only a few time
  • Trouble in keeping an erection for long 
  • No sexual desire

In many cases, a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction and a prescription for treatment may be made with only a physical examination and a few inquiries (medical history). Chronic health problems, or the doctor’s suspicion that another ailment is at play, may necessitate more screening or a referral to a specialist.

Among the possible diagnostic procedures for underlying diseases are:

  • Health Checkup

Your penis and testicles may need to be examined, as well as your nerve endings.

  • Blood Tests

Heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels, and other diseases and disorders can be detected by sending a blood sample to a lab.

  • Urine Tests (urinalysis)

Diabetes and other diseases can be detected with a urine test in the same way that blood tests do.

  • Ultrasound

A wand-like instrument (a transducer) is used to be held over the penis’s supplying blood arteries. It generates a moving picture that your doctor may examine for signs of blood flow issues.

Medications are injected into the penis to increase blood flow and cause an erection as part of this test.

  • Test of Mental Health

To rule out depression and other mental health issues as potential reasons for erectile dysfunction, your doctor may ask you a series of questions.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment 

What works best for you and your partner in treating your ED will depend on the underlying cause of your ED. Therefore, one should consult a medical professional about available treatment alternatives.

  1. Medications

You can get rid of ED before sex by taking a tablet containing sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), or tadalafil (Cialis, Adcirca). Nowadays, you can order these eds meds online with instant delivery.

The increased blood supply to the penis is what makes them effective. When you’re feeling sexually aroused, this will assist you to acquire an erection. 

If your doctor determines that your testosterone levels are low, he may recommend supplementation. However, If issues with blood flow or nerves bring on your ED, this won’t help.

If you need an erection immediately, you can inject the ED drug alprostadil directly into your penis to increase blood flow and stimulate erection formation. 

Sometimes it’s taken with other medications. Alprostadil is also available as a suppository, which you can place in your urethra (the penile tube via which pee exits the body). That’s because the drug comes in a solid form that melts when exposed to your body temperature.

  1. Vacuum Device 

This tube is sometimes known as a penile pump which fits over the penis. It is equipped with a pump for sucking air from the tube. This draws blood into the penis to erect it. You attach an elastic ring around the base of your penis to maintain its erect position and then remove the vacuum tube. After sexual activity, the ring is removed to stop the erection.

  1. Surgery 

Even though most men don’t get surgery for ED. In certain cases, though, surgeons will rebuild your arteries to increase blood flow to the penis. Alternately, they can implant a flexible or inflatable rod into your penis that you can manipulate to erect it.

  1. Lifestyle Changes

The following lifestyle modifications may aid in the treatment or prevention of erectile dysfunction:

  • consuming a nutritious diet
  • doing frequent physical activity
  • improving sleep patterns
  • a person with overweight or obese should lose weight
  • quitting smoking
  • restricting or avoiding alcohol
  • addressing any underlying health issues, such as hypertension or diabetes

ED can also be influenced by a loss of sexual drive in elderly individuals. Seeing a sex therapist is one option for enhancing sexual desire and alleviating ED symptoms.

Erectile Dysfunction Prevention 

Making good lifestyle choices and keeping any preexisting health issues under control is the best approach to avoiding erectile dysfunction. Consider the following as an illustration for prevention:

  • Manage your diabetes, heart disease, or other chronic health condition with the help of your doctor.
  • Have frequent checkups and screening tests from your doctor.
  • Quit using tobacco products, cut down on your alcohol use, and stay away from illicit narcotics.
  • Getting in some regular exercise is essential.
  • Just do all you can to stay calm.


The risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) may be greater among the elderly compared to the younger population. In addition, they are more likely to have medical problems and to use drugs that raise the chance of the condition. A drop in testosterone levels with ageing may also lead to erectile dysfunction.

Anyone with concerns about ED should consult their doctor. A health care provider will strive to identify the reason and administer the right therapy.

When treating erectile dysfunction in older adults, a doctor may prescribe a mix of lifestyle modifications and medication therapies. A person can explore treatment choices with their physician to identify the best course of action.

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