Understanding Male Sexual Dysfunction and Aging

By Dr. James Taggart on May 16, 2023

Male sexual dysfunction is a medical condition that prevents men from achieving or maintaining an erection long enough to have satisfying sexual intercourse. Many men struggle with this disorder, yet most are reluctant to talk about it with their doctors. In fact, male sexual dysfunction and aging affect roughly 30 million men in America. But it doesn't have to define your life. Treatment in Redding, CA, is available that can help. 

Age-Related Changes in Male Sexual Function

Sexual dysfunction in men describes a whole category of disorders, including:

Male suffers from Sexual Dysfunction and Aging Concept.
  • Erectile dysfunction -- Inability to get or maintain an erection
  • Delayed ejaculation -- Ejaculation happens too late or not at all
  • Premature ejaculation -- Ejaculation happens too soon
  • Low libido -- Loss of interest in sex

As we grow older, changes take place in our bodies and in our minds that may make it difficult to perform sexually as we once did. For men, the changes may make traditional intercourse impossible. These types of changes include the following:

Physical Changes

  • Decreases in testosterone
  • Changes in the vascular system of the penis
  • Decreases in the sensitivity of the penis
  • Longer refractory period (time between erections)

Psychological Changes

Depressed man at night having trouble on sleeping.
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Unhappiness with body changes

There may be other reasons why you don't have the same interest in sex you once experienced or why you're unable to keep up arousal as you grow older. These include some medications, heavy alcohol use, and smoking. 

Causes of Male Sexual Dysfunction in Older Men

Whether male sexual dysfunction is caused by physical or psychological factors, help is available to manage this disorder and return life to normal. Often, something so simple as hormonal changes or other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, can contribute to sexual dysfunction in men. 

Inflammation of the prostate, premature ejaculation, erection problems.

If the cause of sexual dysfunction is psychological in nature, seeing a therapist and learning to manage high levels of stress and anxiety, may also be helpful. 

In some instances, medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and opioid pain relievers may cause problems with sex and aging male libido.

Addressing Male Sexual Dysfunction as You Age

Surprisingly, only 10 percent of men who are affected by erectile dysfunction ever seek treatment. And of those who do, roughly half will discontinue treatment after starting because of the stigmas surrounding this very common condition. This is unfortunate. Older people can have very active, healthy, and satisfying love lives. But sometimes, the way the body and mind age can get in the way. Happily, treatment options are available that include:

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Clipboard with medical form and sign Hormone Replacement Therapy.

As you age, your body may begin to produce lower levels of the hormones that affect sex drive and sexual performance, including testosterone and HGH (Human Growth Hormone). Medications that help boost these hormone levels can be very therapeutic in restoring your quality of life. Your provider may offer you a choice of topical gels, patches, injections, tablets, or time-release implants to help restore your hormones to sufficient levels. 

Shockwave Therapy

At Shasta Meadows Wellness Center, we offer an innovative treatment for sexual disorders in males called GentlePro. This state-of-the-art treatment uses painless and non-invasive shockwaves to stimulate blood flow to the penis. All you'll feel is a mild "tingling" sensation during the procedure, but you'll notice a big difference in your sexual performance for up to two years after the conclusion of treatment. 

Strategies for Maintaining Sexual Health in Older Age

Old man doing some outdoor physical exercise.

Lifestyle changes may also be effective for sex and aging male libido. Getting plenty of daily exercises, eating a healthy diet, and getting the required amount of sleep may be all that's required to improve your sex life. And if you have issues with stress or your mental health, talking with your doctor or therapist for management strategies can be very helpful. 

Lastly, talking with your partner about the changes taking place with your sexual function is vital. While it may be difficult to have this discussion, it's a necessary part of any healthy, loving relationship. 

Contact Shasta Meadows Wellness Center in Redding, CA

For help with male sexual dysfunction and aging in or near Redding, CA, contact Shasta Meadows Wellness Center today. Our friendly and professional medical team is happy to sit down with you to discuss your goals for a happy, satisfying future.

Article written by Dr. James Taggart
With over two decades of clinical expertise, Dr. James R. Taggart leads an innovative practice as the founder of Shasta Meadows Wellness Center. His vision is to provide proven treatment options addressing depression and pain with patients who have yet to find relief with traditional medical options.

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