Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man can not achieve an erection to have sex or can not keep an erection long enough to finish having sex. (Used to be called impotence). Erectile dysfunction can occur at any age but is most common in men over 75 years.
Is erectile dysfunction just part of being old?
Erectile dysfunction does not have to be part of aging. It is true that as you age, you may need more stimulation (such as stroking and touching) to achieve an erection. You may also need more time between erections and over. However, older men should still be able to achieve an erection and enjoy sex.
What is the cause of erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by:
- Diabetes (high blood sugar).
- Hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
- Stress, anxiety or depression.
- Alcohol and snuff.
- Some prescription medications such as antidepressants, analgesics and drugs for high blood pressure.
- Brain or spinal cord.
- Hypogonadism (which leads to lower testosterone levels).
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Parkinson's disease.
- Radiation therapy to the testicles.
- Some types of surgery for prostate or bladder.
If you can not maintain the level of blood sugar or blood pressure under control, you may have erectile dysfunction. It is important to take medications for these problems just the way your doctor tells you.
Sometimes, hormones become unbalanced and this causes erectile dysfunction. Your doctor will decide if you need blood tests to examine hormone levels. Some medications can cause erectile dysfunction. If this is your case, your doctor may stop the drug or give you a different one.
Drinking too much alcohol, smoking too much and abusing drugs can also cause erectile dysfunction.
Problems in your relationship with your sexual partner can also cause erectile dysfunction. Improving the relationship could help in the sexual life. If you decide to seek therapy, it is probably more effective if it includes the sexual partner.Couples can learn new ways to please each other and show affection. This can reduce anxiety about having erections.
Feelings that can lead to erectile dysfunction
- Feeling nervous about sex, perhaps because of a bad experience or a previous episode of impotence.
- Feeling stressed, including stress from work or family situations.
- Being troubled by problems in your relationship with your sexual partner.
- Feeling depressed.
- Feeling so shy he can not enjoy sex.
- Thinking that your partner is reacting negatively to you.