Many bodily functions typically slow down as men age. From a sexual standpoint, this might manifest as decreased erection firmness, shorter erection duration, or a longer "recovery time" between erections.
These changes might result from decreased testosterone production, reduced blood flow, or other disorders that affect men as they age. Most sexual changes linked with old age are caused by the combination of the factors listed below.
DECREASED BLOOD FLOW
Reduction in blood supply to the penis will affect erection quality. Erections will be weak and/or temporary. Arteriosclerosis (clogged arteries), excessive blood pressure, or pelvic trauma can all result in decreased blood flow.
Men with blocked arteries in their hearts sometimes have the same issue with the arteries that provide blood to their penis.
Diabetes can interfere with erections in various ways, and erectile dysfunction worsens as a man's diabetes progresses. Half of all diabetic males have some form of erectile dysfunction.
Diabetes can impair nerve impulse transmission and reception. This disorder, known as peripheral neuropathy, can damage diabetics' hands and feet.
Erections are more challenging to achieve when nerve function is impaired. Diabetes can also impair blood flow to the penis. Men with diabetes frequently have lower erection quality or quantity. Engorgement of penile tissue, which leads to an erection, requires healthy blood vessels.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION)
Erections can be affected by hypertension due to the changes it creates in the blood vessels or by the drugs used to treat it. Because hypertension causes the arteries to lose flexibility, they cannot handle the onrush of blood required for an erection.
The veins may be affected by hypertension, allowing the blood that does flow into the penis to escape just as rapidly. The consequences of hypertension on erectile function accumulate over time and may occur before a man is aware that he has hypertension.
PELVIC SURGERY (PROSTATE, BLADDER, RECTAL)
Injury to the nerves or blood vessels may result when surgery is performed in the pelvic area. Even with "nerve-sparing" procedures, the nerves may be temporarily or permanently altered. Extensive surgery for bladder or rectal cancers removes much tissue, and impotence may occur.
SPINAL CORD INJURY, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, AND NERVOUS SYSTEM DISORDERS
A spinal cord injury impacts the neural pathways needed to produce an erection. Reflex erections can occur in males who have had a spinal cord injury. These, however, are unexpected and frequently relatively brief. Multiple sclerosis disrupts nerve impulses in the body.
Furthermore, multiple sclerosis can cause generalized weakness and immobility, making it difficult to obtain an erection. Any other condition that disrupts the nervous system might make excellent erections difficult or impossible.
Hormones have an essential role in sexual function. They are in charge of the sexual urge (libido). Hormonal abnormalities, such as low testosterone or excessive prolactin, can cause libido disruption. A simple blood test can detect hormonal abnormalities, and subsequent testing and therapy depend on the underlying reason for the imbalance.
DEPRESSION AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS
Depression, as well as the drugs used to treat it, can cause erectile dysfunction. Premature ejaculation issues, as well as the worry that comes with them, can cause erectile dysfunction.
CIGARETTE SMOKING, EXCESSIVE USE OF ALCOHOL, DRUG ABUSE
Smoking, excessive alcohol, and recreational drug usage can all impair erectile function. The consequences might be either transient or permanent.
Drinking a lot of alcohol might cause temporary erectile dysfunction. Smoking and drinking can have long-term impacts on blood vessels and neurons. Substances included in recreational drugs can harm both the arteries and the nerves.
Medications used to treat this kind of condition might impair erectile function. Drugs used to treat high blood pressure and depression are two of the most prevalent.
Changing drugs may aid in the restoration of sexual function. Medical changes must always be authorized and monitored by a medical practitioner. Discuss with your doctor the idea of switching blood pressure drugs. Many hypertension drugs do not cause erection difficulties.
SICKLE CELL ANEMIA
Sickle cell anemia can cause priapism or prolonged, painful erections. These prolonged erections might harm the inner tissue of the penis, causing erectile dysfunction. Scar tissue may also cause an unpleasant bending or kinking of the penis.
Peyronie's disease is defined by a painful bending of the erect penis. The specific etiology of Peyronie's disease is unknown. However, there may be some link to trauma. Because of the curvature, this issue might cause impotence and/or inability to have intercourse.
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