I am 44, what could be killing my erections? : Evewoman - The Standard

Between The Sheets

Help me:I'm 44, what could be killing my erections?

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Dr Eve,

I'm 44 years. Lately I have been having a problem sustaining an erection. Sometimes I might need a woman, but a few minutes into the act, the erection just dies. Even when it doesn't, I can rarely go beyond one shot. Help me and I will appreciate.


Hello sir, and thank you writing me about your erection concerns. As you don't mention anything that would give me greater insight into what could be contributing to your troubles with your erections, let's look at some of the possible reasons for your challenges.

The first thing I would want to mention is your age. In reality, 44 years isn't "old" per se but it's important to remember that as we get older, our sex lives change. In men, this can manifest as an inability to go beyond "one shot", longer rest period between rounds, even an erection that is (perceived to be) weaker than before and greater fatigue during sex.

In addition to natural wear and tear of our human bodies, disease can cause some of the problems that you're experiencing. It is not uncommon for a man your age to develop conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or depression. In fact, sometimes a man's sexual performance is the first clue that there is a medical condition so in a sense, it's a blessing disguised as an erectile problem.

It is also not uncommon for men your age to be a little heavier than they were in their youth. Depending on the level of your physical activity, you may also be less fit and therefore have less stamina in and out of bed. Let me also mention medications because some medications can negatively impact the length and strength of your erection.

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Stress is probably the #1 erection killer. The brain is your biggest and best sex organ; it's the key to your erection, pleasure and all the things you enjoy about sex. As you can imagine, if the biggest contributor to your sex life is under duress, it is unlikely to produce the kinds of results that you would like in the bedroom.

Additionally, because anatomically-speaking, a man's sexual excitement is external and visible to anyone, that means that unless a man cannot pretend away the effects of a stressed mind. Your mind is the fertile soil in which your sex life thrives so anything that contaminates that soil will have a detrimental effect on it.

Diet and exercise also play a big role in how a man's sexual anatomy works. Have you heard the phrase "you are what you eat"? Well, in some ways, so is your penis. What you eat can contribute to your pleasure or your pain. An erection works by increasing blood flow to the penis so eating foods that are heavy in fat, sugar, salt or chemicals is unlikely to serve your sexual agenda, directly and indirectly.

This is also a good time to mention alcohol, tobacco products, drugs or mood-altering substances. None of the above are your friend when it comes to sex. They can all interfere with the quantity or quality of blood being send south when you need it. They would therefore directly impact your ability to begin or complete a penetrative sex act.

What now?

Well, my first recommendation is that you see a doctor – a GP (General Practitioner, who assesses your whole being) or a Urologist (a specialist doctor who is trained to address male sexual function and dysfunction from a medical standpoint). Either of these will be in a position to test you for diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression or whatever else they determine to be appropriate, given your medical history.

As always, be open and honest with your doctor so they can have the information they need to treat you.

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Pay attention to your lifestyle. Pay close attention to what you eat, drink or ingest in any way. Pay attention also to the quantity and quality of your physical exercise. Assuming that you get clean bill of health, understand that sex is exercise and if you can't walk a flight of stairs without getting winder, you will be unlikely to climb to the ninth cloud along with your partner; at least not to your satisfaction. Make it a point, therefore to increase your exercise.

In addition, watch out for those people, places or things that could be stressing you and tampering with your big, sexy organ called your brain. Anyone or anything that is tampering with your self-esteem, self-concept, confidence, etc should be assessed and managed accordingly.

I would also like to point out that sometimes the problem is us i.e. you could be the one harassing yourself based on unrealistic sexual expectations. If so, please stop it immediately; it's simply not useful and does not serve your purposes.

Finally, I know I started by suggesting that age could be a contributing factor to some of what you're experiencing now but you can turn it around so that it contributes positively.

A good place to begin is to understand that as we get older, sex becomes more about quality and less about quantity, and that is a good thing! Here's to a greater, higher quality sex life!

Maggie Gitu is a Marriage, Family & Sex Therapist. She can be reached at [email protected] and via her Facebook page: Maggie Gitu

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