Many men remain sexually active well into their 70s and 80s. Let’s take a look at what you can do to be one of them.
For men, getting older can have its perks.
However, a man's age can be directly correlated to his sex drive, at least that's the general consensus.
But the fact is, men can be sexually active at any age.
With a few simple tweaks in your lifestyle and habits, you can dramatically affect how long you'll be able to remain sexually active.
Let’s look at what you can do to stay in the game, no matter what age you are.
There is no set age; each person is different. Studies show that health will likely play a larger role in your sex life than your age will.
You’ll likely get two different answers to this question, depending on who you ask. People in their 20s obviously have more sex, but it is believed that older people have more enjoyable sex.
The primary thing you have working against your sexual activity is your health. Stay active, eat healthily, and make good lifestyle choices.
There are many benefits to remaining sexually active. Sexual activity reduces stress, helps build your immune system, and it’s believed to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
There is no deadline or age when a man can no longer have sex or simply loses interest in sex.
Physical health and sex drive vary substantially from one man to the next.
However, there can be a sort of sexual "life expectancy" that defines an age range when both men and women no longer partake in sexual activity.
This is usually between the ages of 75 and 85 years old.
In 2010, researchers from the University of Chicago conducted a large-scale study of data gathered from surveys of men and women in the US regarding their sex life.
The study found that nearly 40 percent of men in the age range of 75 to 85 years old were still sexually active.
Another interesting fact, researchers also noted that most men who were sexually active seemed to be happy with the quality of sex.
Just over 70 percent of men that were sexually active referred to their sex life as "good quality."
Not so surprisingly, the men that were in either excellent health or very good health reported a greater interest in sex.
So, bottom line, many men engage in sexual activity well into their senior years and later life, and they're also quite pleased with the quality of their sex lives.
It is true that sex drive does tend to decline with age among both men and women.
This has a lot to do with the fact that the production of reproductive hormones like testosterone and estrogen wanes.
Because of this natural decline in testosterone levels, men could experience natural changes in interest in sex as they grow older.
Here is a quick look at what those testosterone changes can look like as you get older.
Young men experience the highest testosterone levels and usually the most sexual arousal and interest in sex because of that fact.
However, everything is not always smooth-sailing in the sexual function department for younger men.
Inexperience and issues with premature ejaculation at this age are more likely to breed performance anxiety, which could be why at least 8 percent of men report erectile dysfunction in their 20s.
A lot of men turn to products like Promescent Delay Spray to help delay ejaculation and enhance sexual performance.
By around age 30, most men experience a decrease in testosterone.
The general drop in testosterone equates to about 1 percent per year, but all men can have their own physiological things happening and unique changes.
For the most part, men do continue to have a relatively good desire for sex and level of sexual activity throughout their 30s, even though there may be a slight dip in sex drive.
Men in their 40s are more likely to have sexual health or sexual performance issues if they are already dealing with health issues, such as heart disease or other general conditions that can come along with age, like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Men in their 50s and beyond can and do still enjoy being sexually active, but you are also more likely to experience things like erectile dysfunction or less frequent or less intense erections by this age.
The thing is, it is not your age but your physical health that causes these problems.
Just like older women may be less interested in sex, so can older men.
The natural decline in reproductive hormones, changes in health, and even changes in lifestyle can all have a part to play.
For example, as you get older, you may become less physically active.
Less physical activity may lead to weight gain or even depression, which can have an effect on sexual function, and potentially even contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Health issues are not the only contributing factor when it comes to sexual health as an older man.
Medications often prescribed during this time frame for common health conditions like high cholesterol or even depression can also affect sexual performance and sex drive.
Remember, there is no life expectancy when it comes to sexual activity.
In fact, one study by the University of Chicago shows that many men still enjoy sex well into their 70s and 80s.
There is a bit of confusion around the proverbial sexual peak among the general population.
The phrase "sexual peak" is often used in reference to the age at which people are most interested in sex.
However, the sexual peak could also be in reference to the period in life when women and men have the most satisfactory sex lives.
In general, women and men have sex more frequently in their 20s and 30s.
But, in terms of sexual satisfaction, the jury is still out.
With an understanding that testosterone can change as you get older, your lifestyle can look different, and your health can change.
That doesn't necessarily have to mean an end to your sex life, though.
You can take steps to support your sex drive and sexual health as you age.
Let’s take a look at some of them below.
Testosterone is a key player here, so you will want to do all you can to keep your levels at a healthy range.
A natural decline once you move out of your 20s and into your 30s and 40s is to be expected, but most men can still function sexually and have good sex even with this slight decline.
What you do need to be attentive to is testosterone levels that fall below the normal range for your age group.
Talk to your doctor, have your levels checked, and consider testosterone replacement therapy if necessary if you are experiencing signs of low testosterone.
Just about any study on male sexual function will mention the importance of a healthy way of life.
In short, the healthier you are, the better sex you can expect. So do what you can to avoid things like heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity.
Diet and exercise play huge roles in all of those conditions.
A few good food rules to remember as you grow older:
Physical activity boosts stamina, keeps serotonin levels high, deters weight gain, and helps and retains muscle mass, all of which are important for sexual function.
A few good exercises to keep in your regular routine:
If you talk to your doctor and are diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, you may be prescribed medications to help. Here is a look at the most common ED drugs and their side effects:
Sildenafil (Viagra) - Increases blood flow to the penis. Side effects may include bladder pain, nausea, stomach burning, and increased urination.
Avanafil (Stendra) - Increases blood flow to the penis. Side effects may include vision changes, ringing ears, leg swelling, and feeling lightheaded.
Tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis) - Relaxes blood vessels to encourage an erection. Side effects include arm and back pain, cold sweats, feeling lightheaded, and pounding in the ears.
As a side note, if you prefer to avoid ED meds, a good erectile function supplement like VitaFLUX can be a good alternative.
As you get older, your relationship with your doctor should only strengthen over time.
Sexual performance issues like erectile dysfunction are commonly related to undiagnosed underlying medical issues and even medications you may already take to treat those issues.
If you have problems with ED or a lack of sex drive, get your doctor on board and be honest about your issues your having.
The right medical advice could make all the difference regarding your sex life.
Many men will gladly tell you that sex is great—it's enjoyable, it makes you feel good emotionally, and it can even be a major confidence booster or way to connect with a partner.
However, remaining sexually active can also be good for your health.
Sex one or two times weekly may mean your immune system produces more antibodies to keep you healthy.
At least one study has found a link between immune system activity and sex, and your immune system is ever-valuable as you age.
Some research has proposed that men who ejaculate more have lower risks of prostate cancer.
While several factors can heighten the risk, more sex is one you may be able to control.
Sex lowers your systolic blood pressure, counts as exercise, and even lowers your risk of a heart attack.
One study found that men who enjoyed sex twice weekly had half the chance of dying of heart disease.
When the body releases oxytocin due to orgasm, this can also mean you are less perceptive to pain.
So, before you reach for over-the-counter pain meds, consider a round of sex with your partner instead.
Aging does not have to mean giving up sex in any regard.
Most men enjoy sex far into their older years, well beyond retirement.
The more vigilant you are about taking care of your health with diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices, the less likely it will be that you will experience problems with sexual function later on.
So stay healthy and sexually active for as long as you can; your penis will thank you.
Dr. Jed Kaminetsky M.D. is an American Board Certified Urologist and earned his Medical Degree at New York University. In his tenure he became a member of the American Urological Association and the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Kaminetsky pioneered the minimally invasive Rezum BPH treatment and is an expert in male and female dysfunction.
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