Whether you’re a man who wants to maintain your sex drive, prevent erectile dysfunction, or stay fertile, you need to pay attention to your reproductive health while you age. Since aging can have several effects on a man’s fertility, libido, and erectile strength, it’s critical you know how to combat the negative health effects of aging. As you try to stay healthy as you age, learn more about what reproductive health is, how age can affect it, and the top three tips for maintaining your sexual and reproductive health while you get older.
What Is Reproductive Health?
A man’s reproductive health refers to the condition of his reproductive system throughout his life. As you’d expect, the scrotum, testes, and penis are all a part of the male reproductive system. Besides the external genitals, the male reproductive system includes the epididymis, vas deferens, urethra, seminal vesicles, and prostate gland. Some common issues associated with poor reproductive health include:
- Prostate disease
- Loss of sex drive
- Hormone deficiency
- Testicular cancer
- Difficulty urinating
- Erectile dysfunction
How Age Affects a Man’s Sexual and Reproductive Health
Since all the issues listed above can occur due to issues in a man’s reproductive system, it’s important you maintain your reproductive health as you age. Below you can find some of the most common ways age affects a man’s sexual and reproductive health:
- Higher risk of erectile dysfunction: As you age, your risk of developing erectile dysfunction will increase. For example, only 5% to 10% of men below age 40 are affected by ED, while approximately 22% of 40-year-old men have moderate or complete ED. The risk of ED only continues to go up with age, with around 49% of men at age 70 suffering from it.
- Greater chance of prostate cancer: Like the higher risk of ED, men have a greater chance of receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis as they age. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, about 1 in 456 men under 50 receive a diagnosis, while 1 in 54 men between 50 and 59 receive a diagnosis. These numbers continue to rise with age, as 1 in 19 men between 60 and 69 receive a diagnosis, and 1 in 11 men who are 70 or older receive one.
- Potential decrease in sex drive: You might also notice that your sex drive decreases with age. This decrease in sex drive and other symptoms of sexual dysfunction can be due to lower testosterone levels, “male menopause,” declining physical fitness, mental health struggles, or other underlying health issues.
- Reduced testosterone levels: At around 35 years old, a man’s testosterone will start to decrease by about 1% annually. While this reduction is normal, low testosterone in men can cause decreases in muscle mass, energy, and libido. As a result, it’s important to monitor your testosterone levels as you age. You may also want to consult a doctor if you believe you might need testosterone-replacement therapy.
- Lower fertility: Reduced fertility is another common effect of aging, as a man’s semen quality and quantity will decrease over time. For example, men’s sperm quantity peaks between 30 and 35, with the semen quantity reaching its lowest levels after 55. Besides quantity, sperm quality goes down while men age. For instance, sperm “swim” at their worst after a man turns 55, with their ability to swim declining after they reach their peak performance at age 25. Older men also have a higher risk of their sperm containing genetic defects.
3 Tips for Combatting Age and Maintaining Your Reproductive Health
While aging can have multiple effects on your sexual and reproductive health, you can take steps to combat the effects. Learn more about the top three tips for maintaining your reproductive health and sex life as you age:
1. Regularly Consult With Your Primary Care Physician
One of the easiest and best ways to maintain your sexual and reproductive health as you age is to consult with your doctor regularly. By attending your annual physical, receiving cancer check-ups, and letting your physician know about any potentially worrying changes, you’ll raise the chances of catching health issues like prostate cancer early. Your primary care physician can also provide recommendations for any lifestyle changes, medications, or other types of care you might try to keep your reproductive health in great shape.
2. Make Lifestyle Changes
Another way you can take action to combat the effects of aging on your sexual and reproductive health is to make lifestyle changes. Some common lifestyles changes that are often associated with increased fertility and better reproductive health outcomes include:
- Stopping smoking
- Losing weight
- Eliminating or cutting back on alcohol consumption
- Engaging in a more active lifestyle
- Receiving regular checks up and screenings
- Wearing a condom to prevent sexually transmitted infections
- Managing stress effectively
3. Try Shockwave Therapy
If you’re suffering from ED or want to stay ahead of the condition as you age, you might want to consider shockwave therapy. This non-invasive treatment option uses low-intensity sound waves to break up plaque formation in the penis that can clog blood flow and cause ED. Shockwave therapy’s ability to break up plaque formation is especially helpful for aging men, as plaque naturally builds up in men’s blood vessels (and reduces blood flow!) over time.
Alongside eliminating plaque formation in the penis’s blood vessels, shockwave therapy stimulates dormant growth factors and stem cells. As a result, the treatment causes your penis to generate new blood vessels that allow more blood to flow into your penis. Additionally, the stem cells help to repair scar tissue to improve sensitivity. Since shockwave therapy goes after the main physical causes of ED in men, it has an over 75% success rate in treating ED.
Find a GAINSWave®-Certified Shockwave Therapy Provider Near You
If you’re interested in shockwave therapy for ED or sexual enhancement, GAINSWave can help. As the leader in sexual wellness, GAINSWave operates a nationwide network of shockwave therapy providers, ensuring men struggling with sexual dysfunction have a clinic they can turn to near them. Even better, GAINSWave makes sure patients receive high-quality care by only allowing providers to join our network after they’ve met our rigorous standards for protocols and equipment.
Find out more about shockwave therapy for ED today. If you’re interested in receiving shockwave therapy to improve your erections and heighten your confidence in bed, take our short candidacy questionnaire. Once your candidacy is determined, use our directory to find a GAINSWave-certified provider near you.