A Few Thoughts About Erection Problems
In young men, just thinking about sex seems to cause erections all the time! This is generally not true for a man in his forties (as you may know only too well!)
And erection "difficulties" can be the result of normal ageing.
There are various effective ways to get aroused as you get older: for example, porn videos - perhaps because they provide longer lasting stimulation than porn mags - can be effective in stimulating arousal, but increased physical contact and foreplay between partners is usually needed.
Reduced libido, for example, can be the result of relationship difficulties, low testosterone levels due to getting older, the use of certain drugs, and so on. That's why I repeat the suggestion: see a good andrologist (that's a doctor who specializes in male sexuality).
Another age-related change is that the length of the refractory period (the time between an ejaculation and the next erection) increases as a man gets older. In young men it can be as little as thirty minutes or even less; in an eighty year old man, it can be as much as a week.
And once an older penis has got hard, it may not stay that way as it did in its owner's youth.
An older man's erection is all too easily lost if his mind starts to wander off the subject in hand (so to speak); worse yet, an older man's penis may occasionally go soft for no obvious reason whatsoever. Oh dear. Age does really wither us.
But then again, so do many other things, and one of the most important factors in keeping your pecker up, if you will forgive the expression, is the ability to keep a cheerful state of mind in which you believe you will overcome all obstacles, regardless of how serious they seem!
But these changes are not all bad, believe it or not.
My own experience has been that my reduced sense of sexual urgency has allowed me to be more attentive to arousing my lover, to making sure she has enough time to get really turned on.
And her arousal feeds back to me, making me much more aroused, so that when we make love, the result is often a much more powerful orgasm than those I enjoyed in my youth - and it goes on for longer too.
(One important aspect of this keeping my PC muscle well trained. A weak PC muscle means a weak orgasm and a weak ejaculation. If you want to shower her with your stuff in your forties, you gotta do those Kegel exercises. Baffled by this? This link may explain everything!)
OK. So now you've ruled out the age related factors, you're near despair? Don't be, because these problems can be fixed.
Sometimes erectile problems are caused by leaking valves in the base of the penis, so that even when the blood flow increases into the erectile chambers of the penis, the outlet valves remain open and so the blood pressure can't build up.
Another possibility is that the arterioles supplying blood to the penis are blocked with cholesterol deposits.
Then there isn't enough blood coming in to produce an erection. In either case, surgery is not recommended, in the way it once was - the results are too unpredictable.
But the good news is that new drugs like Viagra and Cialis (which has fewer side effects and lasts longer) can really help - they are well worth trying. I've used them myself, and I'd recommend Cialis - it avoids the stuffy nose and blue tinge to the vision that Viagra can induce.
And in fact there are plenty of other ways of enjoying sexual connection....
By the way, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and high cholesterol levels can produce sexual problems, so it's essential to get a complete check-up even if the problem seems to be located right in your genitals.
As much as a quarter of all erectile problems may be the side-effects of prescription medications - and even some over-the-counter products can affect erectile capacity. You can find a complete list here.
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists lists a number of factors that they believe must be taken into account when a patient comes for evaluation of sexual dysfunction:
Written by the same experts who constructed The-penis.com, there is text on ED treatments here. General guidance on sex and sexual relationships for couples can be found here: a sex guide for heterosexual couples.
There have been a whole variety of aids to overcome erectile dysfunction developed in the last few years, all designed to keep a man hard and erect, ranging from injections into the penis, through vacuum pumps with rubber rings around the base of the penis to keep the blood in it, through drugs inserted into the urethra, to the biggest one of all - the removal of the penis's natural internal erectile chambers and their replacement with steel or plastic rods.
I think a guy would have to be in a very bad way to have such drastic surgery, and the other treatments have pretty much been replaced by Viagra and Cialis.
But even with the assistance of these two excellent drugs, much can be done to reverse the process of erectile dysfunction by ensuring that you keep sexually active and follow some psychological principles about healthy relationships and sexual techniques.
The most common complaint about sexual dysfunction from men is only being able to achieve partial erections, or rapidly going soft after penetration.
But if erections occur during the night or early morning on awakening, the cause of your sexual difficulties may well be emotional or psychological. This may mean counseling or therapy can help address the psychological issues at work.
As a man gets older it is only natural for his erection is to become less firm and occasionally to disappear completely during sexual activity.
This change in erectile ability with age tends to be gradual and affects a man from his early 50s onwards. Statistics show that at least one third of people in their 60s have sexual intercourse once a week or more.
Many of these episodes of sexual intercourse will end without the man ejaculating - however, this can be seen as a normal age related change in sexual function, and not a sexual dysfunction.
The inability to get an erection - or full ED - can strike a man at any age from his 20s onwards. One episode of erectile failure is not unusual and can affect a man in many different circumstances; the usual cause of erectile failure is anxiety or stress, for example caused by the fear of being discovered having sexual relations, or the fear of getting the woman pregnant.
Another common cause of erectile dysfunction is some issue of conflict with one's sexual partner.
Particularly in young men erectile failure is often a good indication that they are not actually ready for sex or that they have an issue with their sexual partner usually that they don't want to be having intercourse with her) which is causing them stress and anxiety.
Even so, if a man fails to get an erection for the second time in sequence when he is having sexual intercourse he is likely to experience considerable anxiety around his impotence.
The problem is compounded by the fact that impotence or erectile dysfunction is very often seen as a shameful or secretive condition, which means that few men actually seek help for it; this is a shame since the cause of impotence is often completely curable.
Lack of sexual information, embarrassment, stress or anxiety are all possible candidates to provoke sexual dysfunction of one kind or another.
Even when erectile dysfunction is related to a physical problem such as diabetes, the emotional issues associated with this can be dealt with and this often significantly resolves the erectile difficulties.
Erectile dysfunction and YOU, the man!
Treatment for erectile dysfunction
Psychological issues that come up with erectile dysfunction
How does stress affect erectile dysfunction?
Stress is something you see as harmful or threatening, something which makes your flight or fight response kick off, and produce adrenaline - which is an erection inhibitor.
Continuing stress can cause the body to produce long-term stress hormones like cortisol, which are even more likely to inhibit erection.
If you have a medical condition which interferes with your erectile capacity, that is even more likely to make your erection disappear: drugs used to deal with high blood pressure, sedatives, anti-acid medications like ranitidine, anti-depressants, tranquilizers, and some pain pills will all have a role in inhibiting erections.
the side effect of impotence is reversible when the dosage is altered, or a
different medication is prescribed by the physician.
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