Despite the misconceptions surrounding erectile dysfunction (ED) being a condition predominantly affecting older men, studies continue to highlight the growing occurrence of ED in men under the age of 60. ED may be overlooked or dismissed without further follow-up in a clinical setting due to traditional beliefs of it being a self-limited condition in younger men. Alas, this isn’t always the case.
It has been shown that where the causes of ED in older males are more likely to be attributed to physiological properties, in younger men, experts believe the issues arise as a result of relationship and psychological conditions that may need to be evaluated and treated where necessary. However, societal attitudes towards ED have made it a relatively tricky topic to bring up (sorry) in conversation, meaning that fewer men with ED are opting to seek treatment. Need not worry, though. We’re going to go through the causes and treatments of ED in those aged 40-60 to help you understand your condition and seek appropriate treatment.
Erectile dysfunction at 40
Life can throw a whole bunch of obstacles our way as we age. However, not many men reaching the age of 40 will expect to face the challenges associated with ED alongside having to comprehend the fact that they’ve officially reached the “middle-aged” category.
While ED is more common in older age, statistics show that it does affect around 4 in 10 men aged in their 40s. That means that there’s a good chance 2 men out of the 5 forty-something-year-olds sitting around your office department will probably be going through it too. In other words – you’re not alone.
ED in your 40s can be attributed to a load of potential causes, some physiological, some psychological, and some to do with your sexual relationship(s). Problems in your ability to gain or maintain an erection can be an early sign of a heart condition.
As erections occur through increased blood flowing into the penis, conditions that interfere with the heart’s ability to pump blood sufficiently into the penis could result in ED. Likewise, ED at the age of 40 can be caused by endocrine disorders that cause you to have insufficient hormone levels, though these aren’t as prevalent as cardiovascular causes of ED.
Impotence can also be a side effect of a mental health condition. Mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression are attributed to sexual performance, in that they can both cause and be caused by sexual performance issues. This can inevitably lead to relationship issues which can further precipitate the issue, making ED a tough subject to tackle.
Thanks to the digital era we live in today, men who struggle with ED can alleviate the wrongly-perceived stresses associated with seeing a doctor about ED by visiting the helpful corners of the internet for advice regarding their symptoms. The fundamental symptom of ED is the inability to sustain an erection sufficient for the duration of sexual intercourse.
However, other symptoms can be caused by erectile dysfunction that can worsen the matter. These include:
- Mental health problems
- Sexual anxieties
- Reduced sex drive
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of confidence
Advancements in medicine and our understanding of human behavior have allowed for the formulation of a variety of treatments for ED, all of which are readily accessible from a doctor, pharmacist, or specialist clinic. Men in their 40s who are struggling with ED should, alongside talking about their issues with their partner(s) and people they’re close to, visit their doctor for a proper evaluation and treatment recommendation.
Erectile dysfunction at 50
Once men reach the age of 50, a whopping 67% of them start to experience troubles with their manhood, such as ED. This mean’s that ED at 50 is far more common than you think.
Where in most cases ED at 50 can just be a side effect of ageing, it can also be a sign of a more serious health condition. In addition to the causes of ED experienced by men in their 40s, one of the most common causes of ED in men over 50 is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a heart condition during which the blood vessels start to build up with plaque. This can also affect the blood vessels which supply blood to the penis, which goes to explain why over half of the men with heart disease have ED.
ED itself is a symptom of heart disease. As the most common reasons men in their 50s experience ED are attributed to the heart, they may experience the following symptoms in addition to those experienced by men in their 40s:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Men in their 50s experiencing ED should contact their doctor at their earliest convenience so that an appropriate assessment can be carried out and necessary treatment can be initiated. In some cases, treating the underlying cause can alleviate ED entirely, so ED-specific treatments may not be required.
Erectile dysfunction at 60 and beyond
ED is the most frequently diagnosed sexual health disorder in men aged 60 and over. Medical advancements have meant that as a population, we’re living longer. This also means that we’re reliant on medications to keep our health in check – medications whose side effects can include erectile dysfunction. When combined with the complex cluster of diseases commonly attributed to the elderly population, ED becomes a far more prevalent condition in the older cohort of humanity, affecting over half of all men aged 60 and over.
ED is commonly diagnosed in the elderly due to its association with similar risk factors for vascular diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, and high cholesterol levels – all conditions that are common during ageing. In addition to the other causes of ED highlighted in men aged in their 40s and 50s, older men typically have a poorer vascular network. This means that the blood supply to the penis becomes more compromised during ageing, making it more difficult for older men to achieve sustainable erections.
The percentage of smooth muscle we have also decreases with age. The smooth muscles found in the penile chambers lose function, impairing the expandability of erectile tissue and therefore the mechanisms responsible for erections to occur.
Other conditions that can cause ED in the elderly include:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Mood disorders
Vascular diseases such as dementia and mood disorders such as bipolar disease and depression occur more commonly in the elderly. The presence of these conditions can enhance the risk of ED, or alternatively, they may become more accentuated as a result of an elderly person developing ED. Managing ED, therefore, becomes more complicated, though the use of an alternative natural therapy such as acoustic wave therapy remains a reliable treatment modality.
Acoustic wave therapy: a natural remedy for all
Depending on your age and the condition of your health, your doctor may recommend you start medication that helps with erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil or tadalafil.
Additionally, they may suggest you implement some lifestyle modifications to help you improve your physical and psychological health. If your ED is attributed to psychological conditions, then you may be referred for counselling or psychotherapy treatments to help manage your condition.
Alternatively, if traditional ED treatments aren’t for you, you opt for newer ED treatments, such as acoustic wave therapy.
Acoustic wave therapy is a common procedure performed in the field of urology. Its purpose is to combat the obstacles to penile blood flow by promoting the natural formation of newer, healthier blood vessels. In turn, these new blood vessels encourage improved blood flow to the penis, helping men naturally achieve stronger erections that last for longer durations.
Acoustic wave therapy can be used to treat men of all ages despite the condition of their overall health. The procedure itself is minimally invasive, causes little to no discomfort, and is generally well tolerated by most men.
If you’re struggling with ED, don’t hold back. The world is becoming a safe space to voice our bodily concerns and we are privileged to have access to life-changing advice at our fingertips.
If traditional treatments aren’t for you, then look out for your nearest acoustic wave therapy center, the ED solution to quick, long-lasting results that go beyond expectations.