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Is Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Old Age?

Friday 17 December 2021
Erectile Dysfunction
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. Why is Erectile Dysfunction more Common in Older Men?

II. Age and Diabetes

III. Age and High Blood Pressure

IV. Does Old Age Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Why is Erectile Dysfunction more Common in Older Men?

You may associate erectile dysfunction symptoms with getting older, but ED is not a normal part of aging. Erectile dysfunction is more common in older men because you are more likely to develop health conditions that contribute to ED as you get older. ED is not inevitable and may be reversible.

Erectile dysfunction medications have made many advancements in recent times. For example, you can buy Cialis and take it daily or as needed. Erectile dysfunction is commonly caused by health conditions such as:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Enlarged prostate
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure   

Because the development of these conditions increases with age, ED is more common in older men. The good news is that staying active and healthy can prevent erectile dysfunction from affecting your sex life. Read on to learn more about the relationship between age and erectile dysfunction.

an older couple smiling

How do Age and Diabetes Contribute to Erectile Dysfunction?

An erection occurs when sexual stimulation triggers nerve impulses from the brain that signal the blood vessels and smooth muscles in the penis to relax. When this happens, blood flows into the open spaces and creates pressure, expanding the penis and creating an erection. Diabetes can prevent this process from completing successfully. Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Nervous system damage
  • Poor circulation due to fluctuating blood sugar levels
  • Damage to the small blood vessels throughout the body

These diabetic symptoms can cause complications such as hearing loss and amputations. These symptoms can also affect sexual organs.

Age does not directly cause reduced blood flow and nerve damage, but the risk of diabetes increases with age. Diabetes is also associated with obesity because excess fat around the waist can contribute to insulin resistance. Over time, insulin resistance can become more severe, and the pancreas may fail to produce insulin altogether.

If you have type 2 diabetes and erectile dysfunction, treating your diabetes may also improve your ED symptoms. Studies show that type 2 diabetes is reversible with the right treatment, diet, and lifestyle choices. [1] By managing blood sugar, it is possible to improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.  

an overweight man working at a desk

How does High Blood Pressure and Age cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Your risk of high blood pressure significantly increases with age. [2] Like diabetes, high blood pressure can damage your arteries. Healthy blood vessels are flexible and strong. High blood pressure can narrow the blood vessels and trap fats—the buildup of these fats can cause your blood vessel walls to lose elasticity.

Over time, your arteries can harden too much and drastically reduce blood flow throughout the body. Reduced blood flow to the penis can eventually lead to ED symptoms.

High cholesterol occurs when fatty deposits clog the blood vessels and develop into plaques. These plaques, combined with narrowed arteries, increase your risk of poor blood circulation and ED symptoms.

Plaques can also break suddenly and lead to a blood clot, which increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. The good news is that high blood pressure and cholesterol are not a normal part of aging, and healthy lifestyle choices can improve your vascular and sexual health.

Does Old Age Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

As the examples above show, erectile dysfunction is not caused by old age. Men who take care of their bodies have a good chance of preventing erectile dysfunction. Although old age may increase your risk of erectile dysfunction, it is only because staying active and healthy may become more difficult as a man gets older.

an older man buying oranges at a market

Older men are more likely than younger men to pick up long-term injuries because older men do not heal as quickly. Being injured may make it more challenging to stay active, leading to excess weight. The stresses of life can also take a toll on mental health, contributing to ED. But maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding alcohol and smoking will give you the best chance at preventing erectile problems in the bedroom. Talk to your doctor to learn more about prevention and treatment methods for erectile dysfunction.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.