With each decade of life, a man’s chance of having problems getting or maintaining an erection during sexual intercourse increases. Even after 24 years of the discovery of drugs for impotence, the fear of getting old is still a problem for some, as pointed out in the speech of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) this Wednesday, September 7th.
Also a candidate for the presidency, Bolsonaro sang a chorus of “imbrochable” after kissing the first lady in the presence of thousands of followers, as if not having an erectile dysfunction problem was an electoral and personality “advantage”.
At Bolsonaro’s age, 67, the rate of male individuals with erectile dysfunction is close to 70%, studies show.
The American article “Aging related erectile dysfunction”, published in the international publication “Andrology and Translational Urology” in 2017, in turn, states that “erectile dysfunction will visit every man in some moment of your life.”
According to the authors, doctors from academic institutions in Los Angeles, California (USA), what varies is the age at which this will happen, as it depends on genetic and external factors, such as quality of life. Once installed, the dysfunction “tends to stay forever,” according to the article.
The estimate pointed out in the study is that at age 40, a man has about a 40% chance of having some type of erectile dysfunction and this prevalence increases about 10% with each passing decade, linking the disorder to normal human aging and aging. of the vascular system.
A 1994 study carried out with 1290 men aged between 40 and 70 years showed that on average 52% of the participants evaluated suffered from some type of impotence.
Called the Massachusetts Study of Aging Males, the work was conducted by doctors in Boston in the late 1990s and became one of the foundations for future research on the topic.
The study shows that about 60% of men in their 40s will not experience impotence, and by age 70 approximately 33% will not experience erectile dysfunction problems. Initial symptoms include loss of sexual desire and difficulty getting or maintaining an erection during sex, among others.
In Turkey, a survey published in the Turkish Journal of Urology 2017 with 2,760 men with an average age of 54.2 years shows that the condition can be even more severe after the age of 70.
In this age group, 82.9% of respondents reported episodes of moderate to severe erectile dysfunction, says the article “Prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men over 40 years of age in Turkey”. in Turkey, in Portuguese).
The doctor and sexologist Gerson Lopes, co-author of the book “Sexuality and Aging”, says that over time the changes in the body become more and more clear and the individual should not feel bad about it, but seek treatment. .
“[Assim] like general aging, the sexual is also inexorable. In men, less testosterone is produced, penile muscle fibers decrease and adrenergic sensitivity increases, which is bad for an erection”, says the doctor.
Lopes recalls that with age, sex does not get worse or better, just different, since erections can take longer, be less firm or of reduced duration. There is also the possibility that the relationship ends without orgasm.
“The frequency of sex decreases. The condition of being aroused (vaginal lubrication in women and erection in men) and the orgasm response also change, but age does not desexualize people”, reinforces the sexologist.
For Lopes, erectile dysfunction should be seen as a public health problem, since about half of men in Brazil between 40 and 70 years old have the problem in mild, moderate, severe or total degrees.
In clinics, the professional notes that older patients – particularly those with a sexually active life – are the ones who have the most difficulty in dealing with the quantitative reduction in sexual function.
“Unfortunately, many men, instead of relating to the woman, relate to their penis. Qualitatively [o sexo] It might even be better if they understood that sex isn’t just genital encounters.”
The medical literature is extensive and also shows that sexual dysfunction in younger men is less common, but is growing in 2022 and may be associated with self-esteem and psychological factors, which need to be addressed with less pressure.
With the advent of Viagra in 1998 and, years after Tadalafil, which allowed a longer window for erection (about 36 hours) and more spontaneity in relationships, Lopes believes that men should no longer fear impotence as before.
“In terms of sex, there is no retirement. What desexualizes people are other things, such as diseases, medication, social issues, but not age in itself”, says the specialist.