sexual peak

Have You Hit Your Sexual Peak?

When do we hit our peak? Well that depends on how you define peak. Peak muscular strength in men occurs around age 26. In terms of smarts, Nobel Prize winners make their big discoveries at an average age of 40 years. And, as you might already know, men peak emotionally even later, at 50 years. But do erections also have a peak?

Climb Every Mountain

The hard data comes from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. It suggests that men peak quite early in adulthood. The study found that the proportion of men having any form of erectile dysfunction, ranging from mild to severe, is your age minus 10. So, 30% of 40-year-old U.S. men note some form of ED. When it comes to more serious ED (moderate to severe), it also occurs at all ages but at the rate of half of age. So, 20% of 40-year-olds and 40% of 80-year-olds. Unfortunately, it appears that the penis ages just like we do.

There is no precisely defined point when erections change with age, but typically men notice a difference between ages 40-50. In some men, the change is immediate and in others it’s gradual. It may take the form of fewer instances of morning wood, or taking more time to obtain a full erection when desired. Erections that previously occurred with fantasy alone may now require physical touch to achieve. And minor distractions such as voices, a siren or a telephone ringing can lead to a limp member when it never did before. With sex, more time and more stimulation may be needed to complete the act. Yep, along with age, there’s anxiety, alcohol, pot, relationship issues, a long day at work and a big dinner with wine that all come back to haunt you. Life just isn’t as simple in your 40s as it was in your 20s. And the penis is the first organ to let you know.

Ford Every Stream

As a doctor, when do I worry about a patient’s erections? At any age, it’s when it’s not possible to get a full erection either with a partner of by your lonesome. If you simply can’t get it up, then you have my complete attention. That’s because the science is clear that severe ED is correlated with heart disease and is linked to a higher risk of both heart attacks and strokes. The added risk is the same as being a smoker or having a family history of heart disease. When patients with severe ED walk through my door, they get a full-on metabolic and hormonal evaluation. My goal is twofold: to help the erection and extend their lives.

Young or old, what’s critical to normal erections is a healthy lifestyle. The penis, like any other organ, depends on blood flow. It’s just a little more sensitive than most other organs if blood flow is impaired. To maintain good erections in middle age, avoid smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, being overweight, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. And eat as healthy as you possibly can. The good news is that by staying healthy and fit, you can extend your peak sexual performance.

This article first appeared on Dr. Turek’s blog.

Photo by Paula May on Unsplash

Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor

View posts by Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor
Dr. Paul Turek is an internationally known thought leader in men’s reproductive and sexual health care and research. A fellowship trained, board-certified physician by the American Board of Urology (ABU), he has received numerous honors and awards for his work and is an active member in professional associations worldwide. His recent lectures, publications and book titles can be found in his curriculum vitae.

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