The 50th birthday is often a turning point for many individuals. For men, this may especially ring true. More gray hairs, muscle aches and pains, less energy, and more problems with sex. From low libido to erectile dysfunction, the older they get, suddenly sexual problems are throwing a wrench into their sex life.
Sexual issues after age 50 are not uncommon in men
Of course, bodily changes happen, but it doesn’t mean men should retreat and consider their sex life is over. That defeatist attitude will get men nowhere. But, men can open up to their doctor about how bedroom activities have come to a halt. So, guys, talk to your doctor if you want to ignite the spark back into your sexual relations. Besides, they’ve heard it all already, anyway.
In the meantime, it is possible men can reboot a lackluster sex life once past 50. Here’s how:
- Lose belly fat
Excess belly fat is a surefire end of a man’s sex life. Why? Fat that accumulates in the abdominal area triggers inflammation within the arteries. As a result, the arteries become clogged with plaque lining arterial walls, reducing blood flow to the penis. Men can only achieve an erection if the blood vessels to the penis are unobstructed. Unobstructed blood vessels, allow blood to fill the penis, helping men achieve an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Therefore, the health of a man’s vascular system plays a significant role in a man’s sex life.
Excess belly fat also harms the endothelium. The endothelium is made up of a thin layer of cells lining the interior surface of blood vessels. Damage to the endothelium will cause the inability to secrete the release of nitric oxide. This molecule signals surrounding muscles to relax, allowing blood vessels to dilate, making it easier for men to achieve an erection.
Low testosterone and excess belly fat go hand-in-hand. Men age 50 naturally experience declining testosterone levels. However, weight gain can speed up the process. An enzyme called aromatase, found in body fat, converts testosterone into estrogens. Men with higher estrogen levels have a lowered production of testosterone, which can lead to more belly fat. It’s a vicious circle. The result is men experiencing erectile dysfunction and low libido due to low testosterone levels.
To measure waist circumference accurately, use a cloth tape measure and place it around the largest belly diameter – where the elbow bends at the waist. Any man with a waist circumference of 40 inches or greater is carrying too much visceral fat putting his health at risk.
- Have a heart check
Men with high blood pressure or diabetes need their heart function checked out. Often, men experiencing erectile dysfunction could have significant heart disease.
- Check testosterone levels
Plummeting testosterone levels will also sink a man’s sex life. A significant sign of low testosterone is a reduced interest in sex. Most men blame it on aging since sex drive declines are associated with aging.
Another telltale sign of low testosterone is the inability of men to achieve and maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. Testosterone works in conjunction with nitric oxide, a molecule necessary for triggering chemical reactions necessary for an erection to occur. Therefore, when testosterone levels nosedive, erectile dysfunction will become more prevalent.
Feeling drained of energy can be another sign of low testosterone. No matter what their age is, men, who require an afternoon nap just to make it to dinnertime and crawl into bed too tired for sex, should have a frank discussion with their doctor about the possibility of declining testosterone levels. A simple blood test can detect testosterone levels, and if low, excellent treatment for low T is available, helping men restore their energy and sexual activities.
- Consider medication
If erectile dysfunction is a top concern, prescription medications, such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis, are considered first-line treatment. Each is effective for helping men perform in bed, gaining back their sex life. A man’s primary care physician or urologist will help determine which medication is best for a man to use.
- Relax and make time for sex
No doubt, life is stressful. It’s easy for men to feel overwhelmed – work responsibilities, family responsibilities, financial concerns, and relationship issues often leave little time or desire for sex. Now is the time for learning to relax and prioritize a healthy sexual relationship with their partner. Regain intimacy by removing barriers preventing nurturing a loving and meaningful relationship. Take it one day at a time. Slowly but surely, this will lead to a satisfying sex life.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.