As men age physical changes can occur that impact their sexual performance. One of those changes is erectile dysfunction (ED), one major concern of men above 40 in Canada and elsewhere.
Your erections might not be as strong, you think about sex less often, and you might not get turned on as easily as when you were younger.
However, the good news is that there are several things you can do to keep your sexual health strong even as you age.
In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about men's sexual health after 40, including:
Let's dive in.
For men of any age, sexual health is a big part of life. It affects several other aspects of their health, whether physical, mental, emotional, or social. It's important to be educated about your sexuality and to understand the risks of sex, including:
It's perfectly normal to go through waves of high sexual intensity and apathy when it comes to your sex life, especially as you get older.
When it comes to a man's fluctuating hormones fighting against the everyday stressors of life, it becomes inevitable that men eventually experience a decrease in their libido as they grow up.
Testosterone plays a key role in men's sexual experiences. These levels vary widely among men. In your 20s, testosterone levels are typically quite high. However, they start to gradually decline as you age — around 1% every year after the age of 30.
For men over 40, this can make take longer for the penis to become erect, and it might not be as firm as it used to be. It could even take longer to ejaculate or have an orgasm.
Although it can happen to men at any age, erectile dysfunction becomes more common. ED refers to the difficulty of getting or maintaining an erection long enough for sexual intercourse. Approximately 1 in 10 male adults suffer from ED on a long-term basis.
Erectile dysfunction and men's sexual health, in general, are complex issues. At any age, it can happen for a variety of reasons, such as drinking too much, relationship problems, stress, cardiac issues, or just being tired. However, men with ED need to be aware of other underlying issues.
When aging, it could be a sign of bigger problems. For example, it could be a sign of heart trouble. It is often a red flag that you might have coronary artery disease. It's something to keep in mind once you hit your 40s.
If you suspect you might be dealing with any of these issues or erectile dysfunction itself, the best course of action is to see your healthcare provider to see if there are any serious underlying issues.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to keep your sexual health strong and under control as you grow older. Let's take a look at a few tips that you can apply to your daily routine.
If you're still smoking in your 40s, you should consider quitting. Not just for your sex drive but your overall health as well. Smoking can cause your libido to drop drastically. Stop smoking, and you might find yourself more frisky in the bedroom.
Excessive drinking is also another big cause of erectile dysfunction. If you know that you partake in these detrimental habits, do your best to quit.
It's important to be open with your partner about how and why your sex drive might not be as strong as it once was. Even if it's uncomfortable, communicating openly can create a stronger emotional connection and lead to better sex.
Many couples tend to do the same thing when it comes to sex after they've been with each other for a long time. If your sex life is getting stale, consider trying something new and communicating openly with your partner about something you'd like to try.
Stress is incredibly detrimental to the human body and can significantly affect sex drive as well. Find ways to cope with anxiety and stress to help get your sex life back on track.
A great way to keep stress low and boost your mood is to make sure you're getting enough sleep. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that more sleep directly correlated to higher levels of sexual desire.
If you're not feeling a strong sex drive, make sure you're not just rushing into sex. Spend time kissing and cuddling with your partner. Not only will it help create a stronger emotional bond, but it could also help relieve tension.
An interesting study published in 2018 found that couples that shared household work (particularly washing dishes) led to stronger sexual intimacy and a boost in sex drive. This happened because partners felt more like equals and didn't resent each other or feel stressed — leading to better sex.
Not feeling like you're on your sexual game? The change of scenery could be just what you need to get the juices pumping again.
Eating a well-rounded diet is important for every aspect of your health, including your sex life. One great example is avocado, which is rich in B6. This helps keep the heart healthy and pump blood to keep stronger erections in bed.
Research has shown that people who ate chocolate daily tended to have a higher libido and sexual function than those who didn't. Now you have an excuse to eat more chocolate!
It's perfectly normal for men to gain a bit of weight as they grow older, but it could be a reason why your sex drive has taken a hit. Try to shed a couple of pounds to gain more confidence and increase your libido.
A great way to help your sexual health improve is to meditate regularly. It's not only good for your brain, but it's also good for your sexual organs, as well. According to the Journal of Sex Research, undergoing mindfulness-based therapy can help improve your ability in the bedroom.
Keeping at peak performance is something that you need to be more aware of as you grow older. When it comes to men's sexual health after 40, there are several ways to stay healthy, but it all starts with awareness. After that, you can modify your lifestyle in a way that fits your daily routine.
If you want to check out other resources to maintain your sexual health as you grow older, check out this link: Sexuality and Intimacy in Older Adults.
Education is the first step towards better sexual health!
Still have questions? Here are a few more frequently asked questions about men's sexual health.
Some changes include a lower sex drive, discomfort during sex, erection changes, less strength and stamina, and lower fertility.
A sex therapist is a professional that can help you and your partner with specific issues. They are a great way to understand problems you may have and reignite your life in the bedroom.
You're never too old to worry about safe sex. At any age, it's important to be responsible for both you and your partner. Always be aware of STDs and use protection when necessary.
Sex can help release hormones that stimulate the brain and keep it active. It can help ease anxiety and depression while helping balance the emotions of couples. It is also great for reducing stress.
Yes, if you have any issues in the bedroom, it is always a good idea to seek advice from a healthcare professional. Seeking medical advice is key to keeping men's health at peak performance.