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Is Erectile Dysfunction Normal After 60?

Is Erectile Dysfunction Normal After 60?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common disorder affecting millions of men. Because the prevalence of ED increases with age, many men wonder if the condition is normal after 60. 

The truth is that while age can be a factor, ED is not an inevitable side effect of growing older. At Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, our board-certified providers offer personalized erectile dysfunction treatment.

Keep reading to learn more about ED and how your age may be a factor. 

Erectile dysfunction 101

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that makes you unable to achieve and maintain an erection in order to have sex. It’s not unusual for men to occasionally struggle with erections, but if you have ongoing trouble, ED is likely the cause. 

Erections may seem straightforward, but the truth is that multiple body systems must work together from start through ejaculation, including:

Usually, ED has roots in a physical problem. However, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy, self-consciousness, and frustration. 

Why age can be a factor

Over 50% of all men struggle with ED at some point, but there’s no doubt that ED becomes more common with age. For example, 40% of men over 40 experience ED, while that number rises to over 70% by age 70. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why.

Hormone changes

Although it’s not as widely discussed as menopause, men can experience a drop in testosterone around the same time women enter perimenopause and menopause. This condition, called andropause (sometimes referred to as “male menopause”) can lead to erection problems.

Vascular changes

Achieving and maintaining an erection involves the blood vessels. As you get older, your risk of conditions that affect the health of your veins increases, like atherosclerosis and diabetes. In addition, veins can become dysfunctional with age, causing blood to leave the penis too quickly. 

Hypertension

Because of these vascular changes and other age-related factors, older men have an increased risk of developing hypertension. Men with chronically high blood pressure are twice as likely to have ED. 

Hypertension damages your blood vessels, making it harder for the arteries that supply your penis to function. As a result, your penis doesn’t receive enough blood to make or keep it erect. 

Effective ED treatments

Effective erectile dysfunction treatment begins with an accurate diagnosis. Your Urological Associates provider assesses your medical history and symptoms, and conducts different tests, like urinalysis, vasodilation, and blood tests, to rule out other issues and confirm ED. 

Based on your unique needs, your Urological Associates physician creates a personalized ED treatment plan, which may include:

You don’t have to live with ED as you age. Schedule a consultation with a provider at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia to learn more about the right ED treatment for you.

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