Is Erectile Dysfunction Inevitable?

About 30 million American men live with some form of erectile dysfunction (ED). This is a medical condition that affects your ability to get and keep an erection. When you have ED,  you either can’t achieve an erection at all, your penis isn’t stiff enough for penetrative sex, or your erection goes away too soon. 

Erectile dysfunction affects men’s self-confidence and their relationship with their partner. Even though episodes of ED become more common with age, ED isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. There are many causes behind ED — and most of them can be treated.

At Gulf Coast Urology, our expert urologists John Bertini, MD, FACS, and James Harris, MD, understand the profound impact that ED can have on your life. That’s why we want to help you understand why you have ED and to find the treatment that restores your confidence and performance.

Why aging increases ED

When you’re sexually aroused, your brain signals your body to send more blood flow to your penis. The soft, spongy tissue inside your penis swells as it becomes engorged with blood and traps it, which creates an erection. Becoming aroused and forming an erection relies on numerous factors within the physical, mental, and emotional realms. 

If you have ED, it can be caused by an issue with one or a combination of those factors. Your feelings, your thoughts, and your biology. Anything from a high stress level to a pre-existing health condition can contribute to ED. However, ED does become more common as men age. 

Only 5% of men in their 40s have severe ED, while it affects about 15% of men in their 70s. An increase in cases of ED with age is largely linked to decreased testosterone levels. Testosterone is your primary male hormone that is vital to sexual function, and it naturally declines with age.  

But suffering from ED that interferes with your quality of life isn’t inevitable. Abnormally low T is a medical condition called hypogonadism that can cause other symptoms, like hair loss and weight gain, along with the ED. Low T is treatable, and treating it can improve your ED, no matter your age.

You don’t have to accept ED

Occasional erection difficulties are normal for any man. But when ED becomes a consistent problem, it’s time to talk to a doctor. Our team offers comprehensive evaluations to determine what’s causing your ED.

In addition to low T, pre-existing health conditions may affect your ability to achieve and maintain an erection. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol — to name a few — are other issues that come with aging. They’re all linked to increased risk of ED.

As a first step toward normalizing your sex life, we help you achieve optimal health and get chronic health issues under control. If we also diagnose you with low T, we may recommend hormone replacement therapy. In severe cases, you could benefit from a penile implant.

You deserve a fulfilling sex life, no matter how old you are. Find out more about treatment for erectile dysfunction by contacting our office nearest you. We serve the Houston, Nassau Bay, and Southeast Texas areas. 

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