Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: “18 Million Men in the United States Affected by Erectile Dysfunction.”
This problem affects men of all ages, but as men get older, there is a greater chance of developing erection problems. Population studies show that nearly 20% of men over age 20 and about 50% of men over the age of 50 have ED. The primary cause of ED is poor circulation to the penis. Just as poor circulation to the heart may result in a heart attack, so too in ED, the penis often suffers from lack of adequate circulation which results in poor erections. Age High Blood Pressure Diabetes Smoking High cholesterol Cardiovascular disease such as previous heart attacks or strokes .
It's never too late to improve your sex life. Learn how older adults can overcome common health conditions affecting seniors over 50 such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis in order to have a healthy sex life.
Risk factors for ED and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are similar. The most cases of ED result from a vascular disturbance of the endothelium. Risk factors are such as: Diabetes Dyslipidemia Hypertension Low levels of testosterone Neurologic diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury) Nerve damage to the penis or the pelvic area Obesity Pelvic surgery Radiation therapy to the pelvic area Smoking
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A range of physical and psychological factors contribute to erectile dysfunction and this can occur at any age in men. However, the problem is more common in older men due to the aging process and the effect this process has on our circulatory systems, blood pressure and natural elasticity of our blood vessels.
Prostate cancer is a malignant tumour in the prostate gland. It is the most common form of cancer in older men. There are various treatment options for localised prostate cancer. Two of the most common ones are radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy. These treatment options can affect sexual health, and men frequently experience erectile dysfunction (ED) after treatment.
Injection therapy: The modern age of such drug therapies began in 1993 when the injection of papaverine (Pavabid), an alpha-blocker that produces vasodilatation (widening of the blood vessels), was shown to produce erections when injected directly into the penis. Soon afterward, other vasodilators, such as prostaglandin E1 (PGE 1) monotherapy (Caverject, Edex), PGE1 and phentolamine (Regitine), and Trimix (papaverine, phentolamine and prostaglandin E1), were demonstrated to be effective. The benefit of combination therapy is the decreased dosing of each with less side effects. Most important is the reduction of the prostaglandin PGE1 dosing, which is associated to the localized pain.
A vacuum constriction device (VCD) is an external pump with a band on it that a man with erectile dysfunction can use to get and maintain an erection.
As with most other organ system in the human body, changes and loss of function is normal consequence of the ageing process. This is also true of the endocrine system, specifically the levels of testosterone production from the Leydig cells of the testicle. Accompanying the decrease in testosterone is a decrease in erections which also has a component in decrease in the blood supply to the penis making erection not as frequent and not as rigid compared with a young man’s erectile function. Although these changes are in itself not life threatening, they can impact a man’s relationship with his partner, and also ED may be a harbinger of other undiagnosed conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD), hypercholesterolaemia or diabetes mellitus.6
When talking to your doctor, be as open and honest about your symptoms as possible. Tell your healthcare provider how often you have symptoms and how long you’ve had them.
Aetna considers ESWT experimental and investigational for Peyronie’s disease because of a lack of evidence from prospective randomized controlled clinical studies of the effectiveness of ESWT for this indication.
Patient can inject medications directly into the corpora cavernosa to help attain and maintain erections. Medications such as papaverine hydrochloride, phentolamine, and prostaglandin E1 (alprostadil) can be used alone or in combinations to attain erections. All of these medications are vasodilators and work by increasing blood flow into the penis. Prostaglandin E1 (Caverject, Edex) is easier to obtain; however, it is associated with penile pain in some individuals. The use of combinations of two or three of these medications can decrease the risk of having penile pain.
High blood pressure can damage blood vessels, and this damage may lead to cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of erectile dysfunction.
In sum, ED is a troubling condition that may be a sign of serious underlying health problems. It is appropriate to discuss ED with your physician. A variety of management options exist; men and their partners may decide which if any of these are appropriate for their specific circumstances.