You would like to think that at least some areas of our bodies will be spared by the indignities of ageing, but one day you realise your penis gets older too. “You don’t wake up one morning and realise it is different. It’s a gradual process, but starting around age 40, the changes become more noticeable,” says Madeline Castellanos, M.D., author of “Penis Problems: A Man’s Guide.” So what does it mean when a penis looks and acts different?
Atherosclerosis, a common problem of ageing, restricts blood flow, affecting the heart, brain, and penis. With less blood in the area, the penis appears lighter in colour, says Dr Castellanos, who is also a sex therapist with a private practice in New York. This is nothing to worry about as long as you have regular checkups that show that everything else is in working order. Also, just as skin everywhere shows the effects of ageing, so does the penis skin. It may appear more mottled.
Touchy subject. The truth is the penis will shrink a little as time goes on as a result of decreased blood flow and testosterone. “By the time a guy is in his 60s and 70s, he may lose a centimetre and a half in length,” explains Dr Castellanos. She adds, if a guy carries belly weight, the penis will appear smaller without it actually being smaller. “The penis starts inside the body. If you have belly fat, it comes down and extends over the base of the penis. The belly covers the base of the penis, making it appear shorter.”
Testosterone helps support nervous tissue. When its levels start to drop, there will be an accompanying decrease in sensitivity, making it more difficult to reach orgasm. Also, the erection won’t be as hard. “This is a case of using it or lose it,” says Dr Castellanos. She explains that guys can protect their penile health by having erections every day. They don’t have to be the point of orgasm, but daily erections keep the arteries in shape and bring blood flow to the area. “It is just like if you don’t go to the gym, your muscles will get thinner and your arteries will close up. The same thing happens with a penis,” she adds.
Decline in Urinary Function
Urinary problems – issues with being able to “go” or with being able to hold backflow – have to do with prostate health. It affects 20% of men in their 40s, 50 to 60% of men in their 60s, and 80 to 90% of men in their 70s and 80s. Preventive actions include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Get on your feet. Sitting all day puts a lot of pressure on the prostate
- Do moderate exercise several times a week to maintain the tone of the pelvic floor muscles
- Take zinc and selenium
- Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol increases the conversion of testosterone to estrogen and increases inflammation in the area
- Ejaculate several times a week to flush out the area
ED develops in 5% of men at age 40, and up to 15% at age 70. It can be the result of a variety of intertwined causes:
- Biology – illness, medications, poor health habits of the male partner
- Psychological – anxiety, depression, stress in either partner
- Relationship – lack of trust and intimacy, or emotional conflict between the couple
- Psychosexual skills – lovemaking skills of either partner or the interplay between the two
If you suffer from any of these penis problems, then make sure you get in touch with us here at Moorgate Andrology on 0330 808 1968 to book a consultation with a Urologist.