Erectile Dysfunction

Men with erectile dysfunction, once called impotence, have trouble getting or sustaining an erection long enough to have sex. It's a common condition, affecting as many as 30 million American men. Erectile dysfunction affects older men more than younger men. About 1% of men in their 40s, 17% of men in their 60s, and nearly 50% of men 75 or older aren't able to achieve an erection sufficient for intercourse.

Sometimes erectile dysfunction develops gradually. One night it may take longer or require more stimulation to get an erection. Another time, an erection may not be as firm as usual, or it may end before orgasm. When such difficulties occur regularly, it's time to talk to a doctor.

The culprit behind erectile dysfunction is often clogged arteries. In fact, in nearly one-third of men who see their doctors about trouble getting or keeping an erection, erectile dysfunction is the first hint that they have cardiovascular disease. Other possible causes of erectile dysfunction include medications and prostate surgery, as well as illnesses and accidents. Stress, relationship problems, or depression can also lead to it.

Regardless of the cause, erectile dysfunction often can be effectively treated. For some men, simply losing weight may help. Others may need medications. If these steps aren’t effective, a number of other options, including injections and vacuum devices, are available. Given the variety of options, the possibility of finding the right solution is now greater than ever before.

Erectile Dysfunction Articles

Get back in sexual sync

It’s common for longtime partners to fall into a romantic rut when intimacy and sex gets routine and less exciting. Couples can try many strategies help get back into sexual sync, such as scheduling sex, adopting new hobbies as a couple, and exploring and sharing personal desires. (Locked) More »

Speaking up about orgasms

Two sexual problems that can arise with age are anorgasmia (the inability to achieve an orgasm during sex) and delayed orgasm (in which it takes longer than usual to climax despite proper stimulation). While men may be reluctant to discuss an orgasm problem with their partner or doctor, there are ways to manage the conditions, such as medication, therapy, and mechanical stimulation. (Locked) More »

The no-drug approach to erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the more common health issues older men face. ED drugs often are a standard solution, but they have their downsides, like possible side effects and over-dependency. In many cases, lifestyle changes like exercise, diet, and weight loss may slow the progress of ED and help manage it. More »

The facts about testosterone and sex

Testosterone, the hormone that gives men their many masculine qualities, naturally declines with age. While increasing levels with testosterone replacement therapy may improve sex drive and performance, it is not for everyone and even may increase certain health risks. (Locked) More »

Prostate cancer and your sex life

Common treatments and management of prostate cancer, such as active surveillance, radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, and androgen deprivation therapy, also can affect a man’s sex life. Side effects may include poor sexual function, low libido, and erectile dysfunction. Understanding how these changes occur can help men in their choice of treatment. (Locked) More »

Straight talk about your new sex life

Men and women go through all kinds of physical and emotional changes as they age that can affect their sex life as well as their relationship. These changes are often embarrassing or difficult to talk about, but communicating about them to each other can help couples find solutions and common ground. (Locked) More »

Can blood pressure medications interfere with my sex drive?

Certain blood pressure medications may cause sexual side effects like erectile dysfunction and a low sex drive. If the problem persists, a man should speak with his doctor about changing medications, lowering dosages, or exploring other possible health reasons. (Locked) More »

Can supplements save your sex life?

Most dietary supplements for sexual function haven’t been studied scientifically and may be a waste of money or dangerous for health. The supplements often contain hidden pharmaceutical drugs—like traces of PDE5 inhibitors, medications in the same class that includes prescription erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, and smoking cessation can help boost sexual function without medication. If not, there are medical approaches that can help. More »

The hidden dangers of dietary supplements

Research suggests that many types of dietary supplements contain hidden pharmaceutical ingredients, including erectile dysfunction drugs, weight-loss medications, antidepressants, anabolic steroids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. More »

Straight talk about your sex life

A recent survey found that even though many older adults enjoy an active sex life, few talk about their sexual health with their doctor or other health care provider. It’s important to have an open line of communication because in general, sexuality changes over time, and many older men encounter problems that can interfere with performance, such as erectile dysfunction or problems with arousal, energy, and stamina. (Locked) More »