It is estimated that 50% of men between 40 and 70 have erectile dysfunction (ED). The number of men with ED rises to 65% or greater over age 70. Despite the fact that men in this age range have significant medical comorbidities causing their ED, they have often cared for a spouse with a terminal illness. In search of companionship, they become acquainted with a woman who has just been through a similar circumstance. Therefore, it’s usual for men to have performance anxiety contributing to their ED. Proper diagnosis and assessment to determine the etiology of ED is usually done by the primary care physician, with possible follow-up by an urologist or psychiatrist if the main cause is deemed to be organic or psychological, respectively. In some cases, there is overlap as medications such as antidepressants may interfere with sexual function.
Primary care physicians, geriatricians, and allied health care professionals charged with the management of these older men should be empathetic towards their sexual health. Safe and effective treatments for ED are available to permit these couples to enjoy a healthy sexual experience in their elder years.
Key words: erectile dysfunction, diabetes, vardenafil, sildenafil, tadalafil.
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