Tips For Seniors Over 65 With ED


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Can an 80-year-old man get hard? The short answer is yes. But there are some reasons why it may be more difficult for older men to get aroused during stimulation than younger men.

Let’s face it: It’s common for older men to deal with (ED). According to one study, men in their 40s have a 40 percent chance of experiencing ED, and the rate increases by 10 percent each decade.

While ED is commonly associated with aging, it doesn’t mean men 65 and older have to suffer from dysfunction.

Although there’s no cure for ED, it’s crucial to make lifestyle changes and take science-based medications for ED to reverse symptoms and start getting hard again.

How Can Men Get Hard After 65?

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain an erection long enough for arousal. It’s a common problem affecting approximately 30 million men in the U.S. alone.

Older age and ED go hand-in-hand. So the older you get, the more likely you are to develop this sexual dysfunction problem.

Losing arousal can feel like a buzzkill, but know that it happens to all of us at some point or another. It often has multiple causes, and healthcare providers usually seek to pinpoint them before recommending a treatment.

Knowing the possible underlying causes of ED can guide ED treatment options. We’ll break these down below.

Common Cause of ED in Men 65+

Do you ever wonder what made you lose your erectile function? As noted, there’s not just one possible cause of ED — there could be multiple reasons you’ve lost your abilities.

Erectile dysfunction is linked to certain medical conditions, medications, mental health conditions and lifestyle choices.

Here’s a deeper look into the more common causes of ED after 65.Health Conditions

Health Conditions

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is often connected to ED. A review of multiple studies suggests that ED is commonly found in men with hypertension.

According to another review, about 30 percent of patients with hypertension complain about erectile dysfunction to their healthcare providers.

Another study looked at data from 108 patients between 2005 and 2011, prospectively. Researchers concluded that men with severe ED had a higher risk of developing hypertension and/or cardiovascular disease at 10 years than those with mild or moderate ED.

Overall, an estimated 15 percent of participants in the study had erectile dysfunction at a 10-year assessment. Whew — that’s quite a high rate for ED, right?

Diabetes has also been associated with erectile dysfunction. A review of multiple studies reveals that men with diabetes are three times more likely to develop ED than non-diabetic men. In addition to ED caused by hypertension, or vascular ED, another type of ED is neurological ED. For example, diabetes could be a cause of ED as it is a condition that can cause nerve damage and vascular issues.

Other diseases and medical conditions that can cause tissue damage in men above the age of 65 include:

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Atherosclerosis (clogged arteries)

  • Physical injuries affecting the penis, prostate, pelvis, bladder or spinal cord

  • Complications from surgical procedures, such as surgery for bladder or prostate cancer

Urogenital diseases and treatments that can cause ED include:

  • Peyronie’s disease. Also known as penile curvature, Peyronie’s disease can cause scar tissue to form underneath the skin, making curves and intercourse difficult and/or painful.

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). A common condition among aging men, BPH, is the noncancerous growth of prostate tissue. One risk factor for developing erectile dysfunction is having BPH or undergoing its accompanying treatment.

  • Prostatitis. Prostatitis is a painful condition that causes inflammation in the prostate. For some men, having it may induce erectile dysfunction and cause problems.

  • Radical prostatectomy. This is a surgery for prostate cancer where the prostate glands are removed. Several studies suggest up to an 85 percent increase in ED diagnoses after treatment. If you’re going under the knife, understand that ED after prostate surgery is possible.

On the contrary, ED can also be a risk factor for health problems like heart disease. ED could be one of the biggest warning signs you may develop certain diseases and disorders in the future.


Now, let’s dive into the medications that can cause ED.

Some medications can affect your nervous system, your level of interest in arousal or blood flow to your privates, potentially causing ED.

These medications include:

  • Antidepressants. Selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) might cause ED, an occurrence known as antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction. The likelihood of dysfunction is higher with SSRIs and SNRIs compared to TCAs.

  • Antipsychotics. Medications typically prescribed for mental health disorders may induce ED.

  • Benzodiazepines. Commonly sold as Xanax, these medications are known to cause dysfunction among users.

  • Beta-blockers. These are one of many antihypertensive drugs associated with ED.

  • Estrogen-containing medications. These medications may lower libido in men.

  • Finasteride. Long-term use of finasteride, which is used to treat BPH and male pattern hair loss, can worsen ED symptoms.

  • Opioids. Opioids, such as morphine and oxycodone, are strong pain medicines that can decrease a man’s drive.

If you’re taking any of the above medications, speak with your healthcare provider to see if there’s an alternative that doesn’t have ED as a side effect.

(RelatedED Cures for Seniors: How to Get Hard at 65+)

Daily Habits and Lifestyle Factors

Certain habits, behaviors and lifestyle factors can increase the risk of developing erectile dysfunction for men 65 and older.

These factors include:

  • Smoking. Is there a link between smoking and ED? Yes. Smoking cigarettes and cigars can lead to cardiovascular problems. Cardiovascular issues can be a cause of ED as well as an independent risk factor for this dysfunction problem.

  • Drinking lots of alcohol. Long-term alcohol users and those with alcohol liver disease may be more susceptible to developing ED.

  • Being overweight or obese. Yes, that hot dad bod you’ve been working on (or that beer belly) may lead to ED. Being overweight or obese is commonly associated with the development of ED.

  • Living a sedentary lifestyle with limited physical activity. Sedentary behaviors — like prolonged sitting and low levels of physical activity — can contribute to cardiovascular diseases. They’re also independent factors for ED.

  • Using illicit drugs or having a substance use disorder. Chronic use of illegal drugs can cause sexual dysfunction issues like ED, PE, delayed coming, and hypoactive desire disorder.

Psychological Causes

ED isn’t just physical. In fact, in many cases, it’s linked to psychological or emotional issues. Understanding how mental health is linked to sexual function can help you better navigate treatment and get back to your old self.

Here are some psychological ED conditions men 65 and up should be aware of:

  • Depression. In a meta-analysis of nearly 170,000 men across 48 studies, patients with depression had a 39 percent increased risk of ED.

  • Anxiety disorders. A review of 12 studies revealed a higher prevalence of ED among men with anxiety disorders. But more research is needed to confirm these mental health conditions as an independent factor for ED.

  • Chronic or severe stress. Dealing with chronic stress can worsen ED symptoms for some men.

  • Low self-esteem, fear of sexual failure or sexual performance anxiety. According to a review of multiple studies, performance anxiety can contribute to PE and ED.

  • Guilt about engaging in certain types of activity. Feeling guilty about letting down your partner, feeling like a failure or dealing with blame are all associated with ED.

ED Cures for Seniors

So how do you get hard as a member of the 65+ club?

Though you can’t entirely get rid of ED, you can work to treat your symptoms. Since this dysfunction problem can be multifactorial, multiple treatment methods might be necessary for managing it.

That said, here are some ways you can improve ED symptoms.

ED Medications for Seniors

In addition to addressing the root cause(s) of your dysfunction, your healthcare provider might recommend other solutions for ED.

One of the most effective ways to treat ED and maintain good sexual function is medication.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved four medications for ED. These prescription drugs are known as PDE5 inhibitors, and they work by increasing the level of blood that flows to your penis when you feel aroused.

PDE5 inhibitors are first-line drugs for treating erectile dysfunction symptoms so you can maintain a full one.

Here are the best ED drugs for seniors:

  • Sildenafil. Sildenafil is both the active ingredient and generic form of Viagra. It provides relief from ED for roughly four hours per dose. These ED pills are an effective treatment option for men 65 and older.

  • Tadalafil. Tadalafil is the active ingredient and generic version of Cialis. It’s a longer-lasting ED medication that can work for up to 36 hours per dose.

  • Vardenafil. Vardenafil is the active ingredient in Levitra. It typically provides relief from ED for four to six hours per dose.

  • Avanafil. Sold as Stendra, avanafil is a second-generation ED medication that’s fast to work and less likely to cause certain side effects associated with other ED drugs.

If you’re not the biggest fan of oral medications, consider our chewable ED hard mints.

Other medical treatments for ED at age 65+ include:

  • Vacuum devices or penis pumps

  • Penile injections

  • Surgery

There’s also the inflatable penile prosthesis, an implantation device healthcare providers may offer if other treatments are unsuccessful.

According to one study involving 56 patients aged 71 to 86 who got an inflatable penile prosthesis, 91 percent found the device easy to use and said they’d get the procedure again. Only about 4 percent of patients had complications with this ED treatment.

Treat Any Underlying Health Conditions

If an underlying condition is causing ED, such as diabetes, it’s important to get treatment. Your healthcare provider may prescribe certain medicines, treatments or devices to help reduce your diabetes and ED symptoms.

Discuss your ED concerns with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your needs and get back your quality of life.

Talk to a Therapist

ED is often psychological. Mental health issues — such as depression, anxiety and even guilt about performing — may contribute to poor performance.

If you’ve experienced depression symptoms or other signs of a mental health issue at the same time as ED, you may want to get in touch with a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or another mental health provider for guidance.

Unfortunately, dealing with sexual dysfunction may put a damper on your romantic relationships. Seeking marital or couples therapy can be an effective non-pharmacological (no medicine) approach to treating ED problems.

(RelatedWhat Foods Help You Get Hard: 8 Foods For Erectile Dysfunction)

Check Your Testosterone Levels

Testosterone levels can play a significant role in ED.

Male hypogonadism (low testosterone production) is a common age-related issue that can affect drive, physical strength and even sperm count.

Although the link between testosterone and ED is complicated, some research suggests low testosterone levels may cause or contribute to ED.

If your testosterone levels are lower than the expected range for your age, your healthcare provider might recommend testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT treats hypogonadism, a condition that causes dysfunction.

TRT is effective, but there are potential drawbacks. We’ve discussed the benefits, risks and other details in our guide to testosterone replacement therapy.

Focus on a Healthy Lifestyle

Medication and therapy can be effective for treating ED — but what lifestyle changes can you make to have the best performance at 65?

According to a review of studies, positive lifestyle changes can significantly improve men’s health. In other words, you can reduce your ED symptoms to improve your performance by adopting healthy habits and lifestyle.

Here are some ways you can limit the effects of ED:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Make sure you’re sustaining a healthy weight, as ED is connected to physical inactivity, cardiovascular diseases and obesity. It’s recommended that you do 40 minutes of aerobic exercises four times a week.

  • Get enough sleep. A review of studies revealed that irregular sleep, disrupted sleep and sleep disorders can affect function. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends adults 65 and older get seven to eight hours of sleep every night.

  • Limit alcohol consumption. You don’t have to stop drinking completely, but don’t make it a daily habit. Regular alcohol consumption can not only affect your health but also lead to alcohol-induced ED.

  • Quit smoking. Smoking can negatively impact your performance, which can worsen ED symptoms. The main culprit behind the negative effects of smoking on your health is nicotine, as it reduces blood flow to your privates, making it more difficult to maintain a hard-on. So consider quitting smoking to improve your ED symptoms.

In Summary: ED Cures for Seniors

You don’t have to give up on your private life because of ED. Once you know the causes of your ED, you can seek treatment and enjoy performing again after age 65.

Here’s what to remember:

  • As you age, erectile dysfunction is more likely to occur — and it may or may not be a sign of something else going on.

  • Physical and psychological problems — like certain medical conditions, medications and lifestyle factors — can cause ED.

  • ED treatment options include PDE5i medications, psychotherapy, testosterone replacement therapy and behavioral modifications.

  • It’s important to discuss any changes in functioning with your healthcare provider to figure out the root cause(s) and see what treatment options are available.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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12 Reasons Men May Experience ED (& What to Do About It)

12 Reasons Men May Experience ED (& What to Do About It)

Having ED is a common problem that both older men and younger men in the United States experience. In fact, some research indicates that 30 million American men experience symptoms of ED — and it’s not always clear why.

The causes of ED can be any number of things. Alcohol may cause temporary ED and medications may cause EDs. Health conditions like kidney disease, obesity, vascular health issues and medical conditions of the nervous system may all affect a man’s ability to maintain one. It might even be an issue that comes as a symptom of a mental health condition.

If you’re asking questions like “Why couldn’t I get hard the last time I had sex” or “Why can I only get a semi hard on” then the answers list could help you get a sense of where the issue might be.


Getting hard are about two things: blood flow in, and no blood flow out. Your genitals is essentially a balloon filled with blood. Actually, there are two main ones in the genitals, and together they’re called the corpora cavernosa (there’s also a third, softer one called the corpus spongiosum).

When you become aroused, these “balloons” fill with blood, and the increased pressure pushing against the surrounding fibrous tissue seals off the exit, trapping that blood inside your genitals. It fails to happen only when something interrupts this process, and there are a few things that can do that. 

Some of these things include: 

  • Weight

  • Age

  • General health 

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Drug dependency

  • Medication side effects

Those are just a few on a long list of physical and mental causes (which we’ve elaborated on below).

Physiological or psychological factors may impair a man’s ability to get hard, and they may also experience partial obe due to these factors.

FYI: partial ones are health issues, as well as warning signs for ED. While they’re not as severe as a complete lack of firmness, they represent a problem that needs to be tackled before it gets worse. 


variety of causes and mental health triggers might cause any man to experience sexual health issues. 

If you’ve experienced (or might currently be experiencing) any of the following conditions, issues or problems, you’re at risk for ED. 

Below, we’ve organized them into two primary categories: physiological reasons like those associated with heart health, and psychological reasons like those related to performance anxiety or depression.

Pornpak Khunatorn/istockphoto

Your health is not independent from the health of the rest of your body, so if something is going wrong in another area of the factory, so to speak, it could still shut down the production line elsewhere.

One form of ED — arteriogenic ED — is caused by inefficient arteries which are associated with heart disease. 

Common examples of conditions that can increase your risk of ED include:

  • Chronic inflammation associated with diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Metabolic syndrome

  • Cardiovascular and neurological diseases

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) 

  • Parkinson’s disease

There are even neurological causes of ED to consider, like nerve damage or similar traumas that reduce sensation and function in the genitals. 

Things like hormonal imbalances (which can be caused by age, weight or any number of factors) can throw off your libido.

It’s important not to rule out things like lifestyle choices and habits as potential causes of ED, too. The underlying cause of ED could be anything from poor diet and exercise habits to unknown medication side effects. 

If you’re experiencing partial ones or are unable to maintain a full one, you’re possibly suffering from one or more of these conditions. And if you suspect any of these health conditions may be holding you back in the bedroom, talk to a healthcare professional.

Wasan Tita/istockphoto

Even if your body may be causing some problems for your health, your mental health could be affecting things simultaneously. Gained some weight recently? It might be affecting your heart health, but it might also be making you self conscious in intimate scenarios.

Meanwhile, performance anxietydepression and low self-esteem can adversely affect your ability to get hard by distracting you from arousing thoughts or lowering your interest in sex.

Stress and anxiety might cause a loss of interest in sexual activity generally, so if things in the office or the relationship aren’t great, the problems may be following you all the way to bed. 

Some believe that pornography can also cause a form of ED, and while the jury is still out on that one, considering whether your porn habit feels like part of the problem has apparently led some men to see benefits from cutting back.

(Related: How Do PE Pills Work?)


There’s a very wide spectrum of severity that can affect different men to different degrees — your medications, underlying health issues, age and other factors may weigh on your firmness, so it’s best to ask a professional to assess these possible ED causes.

Your healthcare provider will check you out for things like: 

  • Blood pressure issues

  • High cholesterol 

  • Side effects or interactions of medications (particularly, medications for hypertension and antidepressants)

  • Low testosterone levels

  • Prostate cancer

They may also inquire about not-so-physiological things like relationship problems and habits like your smoking, drug, alcohol and eating habits — those are ED causes you can address yourself or with help.

They’ll be able to help you figure out the right treatment for you. In many cases, they’ll suggest one or more of the following:

  • Lifestyle-Based Treatments

  • Medications

  • Therapy

Ake Ngiamsanguan/istockphoto

When we discuss treatment options for sexual dysfunction, there’s one straightforward solution to ED that you should know about first: take better care of yourself. 

Before you run to the pharmacy, understand that ED is very treatable, with a variety of proven options available. Everything from diet and exercise, to medications and healthy lifestyle changes, can help you regain firmness. 


Your healthcare provider may also prescribe FDA-approved ED medications. There are currently four oral prescription ED pills available:

These drugs belong to a class of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5 inhibitors for short) and work to increase blood flow to the genitals to help you get and maintain one when you want one.

There are also other medications available for ED, such as alprostadil — an injectable medication.

(Related: Is Cialis Over the Counter?)


A word of advice: don’t assume the cause is physical. Low self-esteem, performance anxiety and a slew of other mental health disorders can cause ED, and those should be treated with the help of a therapy professional. 

There are various psychological treatments and approaches to dealing with the ED problem. 


“I can’t get rock hard anymore.” It’s a tough thing to admit, to type into a search bar or to say out loud to a healthcare professional. At least it feels that way. 

In reality, admitting the problem is a necessary first step to, well, being able to have a full one again. 

If you haven’t been achieving full liftoff recently, remember these key facts:

  • It’s a whole-body issue. Getting hard is about more than your genitals. Your whole body and your mind also contribute to the health of your genitals.

  • Your mind may be holding you back. Your body can be ready, but if you’re anxious, depressed or self-conscious, you may be left semi-hard.

  • This is a fixable problem. Like an electric crew doing pole work, medication and healthier living can restore your penile power, as can talking to a therapy professional if your problems are in your head.

This article originally appeared on Hims.comand was syndicated by MediaFeed.or



Featured Image Credit: Srdjanns74/Istockphoto.