Question: What percentage of older men have erectile dysfunction?
Answer: The incidence of ED increases with age. Between 15 percent and 25 percent of 65-year-old men experience this problem. In older men, ED usually has a physical cause, such as a drug side effect, disease or injury. Anything that damages the nerves or impairs blood flow in the penis can cause ED.
The following are some leading causes of erectile dysfunction: diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), prostate surgery, hormone imbalance, alcohol and drug abuse.
And, of course, there are your emotions. It should be no surprise that, if you’re having a relationship problem with your sex partner, you can suffer from ED. Here are some other psychological influences: anxiety over a previous failure, everyday stress, depression, and feeling unattractive to your partner. If you’re suffering from ED, you should see your doctor for a discussion and physical exam.
Monitoring erections that occur during sleep can help the diagnosis. Healthy men have involuntary erections during sleep. If nocturnal erections do not occur, then ED is likely to have a physical rather than psychological cause. Tests of nocturnal erections are not completely reliable, however.
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