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SEX AND GITTING OLDER: CHRONIC MEDICAL PROBLEM

As you get older, developing a chronic medical problem gets more likely. Some of these conditions can interfere with sexuality, particularly untreated diabetes in men. (Diabetes doesn’t seem to affect women’s sexual responses, except that women with diabetes are more likely to get recurrent vaginal thrush.) In men, blood vessel disease from any cause might first show itself in the small blood vessels of the penis.

Jim and his wife had never had any difficulties with sex. At fifty-three he started to notice it was taking longer to get an erection. When he couldn’t get it up at all he knew there was something wrong. T was worried sick. The problem deteriorated very quickly so that after about twelve months my penis was limp and totally useless. The funny thing was that I still felt very turned on, so I knew there must be something wrong with my plumbing. I had never had a problem before; in fact quite the opposite. When I was a youngster at times I wished it would just stay down for a while. At first I didn’t want to tell anyone about it. My wife encouraged me to go and see our family doctor. He checked me over and sent me for some tests. He also talked to me about giving up the smokes and getting my weight down a bit. The specialist said I might need to think about an implant but I thought I’d wait and see how things went. When my penis was still doing dead snake impressions after another couple of months I figured it was the only solution. The operation wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and although the implant isn’t quite as good as the brochure made out, it does the job. Well my wife still has a smile on her face!’

That’s not to say that surgery is the only option for a man with erectile difficulties. Some men use injections of prostaglandin directly into the penis to chemically induce an erection and this suits some men quite well.

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