Health problems that can cause sexual performance problems in seniors

Jan 19, 2012, 6 a.m.

Health related sexual performance problems are much more common than you think. Often times, age is blamed as one of the primary causes of poor sexual performance. But the fact of the matter is, healthy people can continue to be sexually vibrant well into their sunset years. Sure, it may not always be like it was when you were 25. Bodily changes are unavoidable and that can alter the sexual dynamic for both men and women. But that doesn't mean once you hit a certain age, sex has to stop.

Some of the most common causes of poor sexual performance in folks over 50 include the following:

Diabetes: While it's not always a guarantee that diabetes will lead to health related sexual performance problems, it is possible that without medical treatment a man may experience the inability to get an erection. This is fortunately a treatable condition.

Heart Disease: Decreased blood flow can have an adverse effect on a man's ability to get an erection, but that's not the only reason heart disease is a common cause of poor sexual performance. Often times, the fear of having a heart attack during sex is something that can put the kibosh on anyone's plans for a rambunctious Saturday night. If this describes you, talking to your doctor can help greatly, especially if he or she gives you the green light for sexual activity.

Stroke: People who have suffered strokes are also often concerned about setting off another through sexual intercourse, but this is a rare occurrence. If you're worried about it, talk to your doctor. The partial body paralysis that can also accompany strokes can present a fair amount of difficulties having sex and is one of the more common causes of poor sexual performance among stroke survivors. But there are certain things that can be done to alter sexual positions to facilitate post-stroke sex.

Doctors agree that one of the biggest causes of poor sexual performance among seniors actually has nothing to do with health related sexual performance problems, and everything to do with psychology. People who feel self-conscious about their ability (or lack thereof) to perform, or who feel insecure about the effects of age on their bodies, are more likely to not even want to try to have sex. If this statement hits close to home, consider talking it over with your partner. You might discover that a little bit of openness can lead to a big increase in sexual confidence. And as anyone can tell you, that's the most important element of a good sex life.

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