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The Effects of Aging on the Male Erection

By Dan Zisko ; Updated July 18, 2017

Men are said to reach their sexual peak sometime in their early twenties. After they have reached this point, they can have various problems with their sexual performance. The penis, like any organ, is prone to having some difficulty as men age. While many of these issues can be resolved medically, there are a few which may require some psychological treatment to solve.

Erectile Dysfunction

The most common issue men can have is erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is classified as an inability for men to obtain or sustain an erection for a sufficient enough time for penetration or intercourse. This sexual dysfunction affects 50 percent of all men ages 40 to 69 and almost 70 percent of men who are past the age of 70. This can be caused by a variety of factors. There may not be enough circulating hormones in the body or there may be some damage to the nerves in the penis. Men who are affected by high blood pressure, diabetes, neurological disorders, heavy smoking or pelvic trauma may also affect a man’s ability to hold an erection.

Premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation can also affect men as they age. With this disorder, men can achieve an erection, but reach orgasm either before penetration or very soon thereafter. Often, premature ejaculation is caused by a psychological response to outside stimuli. If a man is stressed or emotionally upset, it may cause this to occur. Once it occurs, the man may become anxious about it reoccurring, which can cause it to happen again. There are several remedies, including more sexual intercourse, pelvic exercises, and seeking out treatment from a mental health professional.


Infertility can be a big factor as a man ages. This problem may be linked to erectile dysfunction or it may be an issue unto itself. If a man is unable to sustain an erection, it may be a biological response to infertility. As men age, there can be a decreased number of sperm which can make it hard to conceive a child. Also, blockages can occur which prevent the sperm from exiting the penis or the sperm may no longer be as effective as they once were. As men age, they have a higher chance to be affected by environmental pollutants, infections, trauma and prescription drugs which they may have come in contact with throughout their lives. All of these things can be a factor with infertility in older men. In order to combat this, a couple may need to look to fertilization drugs or alternative forms of conception.

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