With age comes wisdom, and for some, erectile dysfunction (ED). But is it inevitable?
Some stats on erectile dysfunction and age
Although ED is associated with aging, there is good news. First, impotence is not inevitable as you get older. Second, even if it does occur, it’s usually treatable.
So how prevalent is ED?
The National Institutes of Health reports the following percentages of ED occurrence:
- Under age 60: 12%
- Ages 60-69: 22%
- Ages 70 and older: 30%
It’s also important to note that not all ED is age related.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
There are quite a few factors, many of which are controllable that can cause ED. Diseases, such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and heart disease, can lead to ED.
Likewise, diabetes can lead to ED. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, men with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to have low testosterone, which can affect energy levels and sex drive. Diabetic nerve damage can also decrease blood flow to the genitals.
In addition, conditions like high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate, sleep apnea, depression and anxiety can all affect a man’s ability to achieve an erection, as can certain medications.
Preventing and treating erectile dysfunction
Three things you could commit to changing that could help prevent ED:
- If you smoke, quit.
- If you drink, decrease your alcohol consumption.
- If you’re overweight or obese, lose weight.
Although it may be awkward to bring up the subject with your doctor, ask about ED treatments, like Viagra and Cialis. These types of prescription medications for ED work by relaxing the muscles found in the walls of the blood vessels and by increasing blood flow to the penis.
Your doctor can help you determine the correct dosage based on your health history, current conditions and potential interactions with other medications you are taking.
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