As we age our bodies go through a lot of changes. This includes changes in our sexual health. It’s important for men to understand these changes and how they can impact their overall sexual health.
Here are some changes that happen to men after 50 and what they can do to keep their sexual health in check:
Decline In Testosterone Levels
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for many of the physical changes that occur during puberty. It also plays a role in sexual arousal and desire. As men age, their testosterone levels decline (6). With this decrease there also tends to be a decrease in libido, muscle mass, and bone density.
Erectile dysfunction is a common problem among men over 50 (3). This is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. This condition can be caused by a number of factors, including age, health conditions, and medications.
One of the side effects of aging is a decline in circulation. This is often caused by a narrowing of the arteries (2). This can lead to problems getting and maintaining an erection, as well as a decrease in the amount of semen produced.
Medications And Their Side Effects
After 50, one may develop some health conditions that can affect one’s sexual health. Conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and prostate cancer can all have an impact on how men experience sex. In some cases, these conditions may require medication in order to be treated.
While many medications come with helpful side effects, others can have undesirable consequences when it comes to sex (4).
Some medications can cause a man to become impotent, meaning he is unable to have an erection. This can be a frustrating and embarrassing side effect for many men. Other medications may cause a man to ejaculate prematurely, or may make it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection.
Difficulty Maintaining Healthy Weight
As you age it’s easy to become more inactive, which often results in weight gain. Obesity is a known risk factor for heart disease and other health conditions that can impact your sexual health.
Read More: What Can You Do For Sexual Wellness?
How To Improve Your Sexual Health After 50
There are ways to combat these changes and maintain a healthy sexual life after 50. Here are a few tips:
Eat Testosterone Boosting Foods
- Shellfish – oysters, clams, and mussels
- Beef – Grass-fed beef is high in healthy fats and minerals, including zinc, which is essential for testosterone production.
- Poultry – Dark meat poultry, like duck and turkey, are high in zinc.
- Eggs – Eggs are a complete protein source, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs.
- Legumes – Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are all high in zinc.
- Nuts – Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are all good sources of zinc.
- Seeds – Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and squash seeds are all rich in minerals like zinc.
Include Plenty Of Healthy Omega-3s
Some evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may help increase testosterone levels. Good sources of omega-3s include:
- Fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, and trout
- Fish oils
- Hempseed oil
- Chia seeds
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Limit Processed Foods
In general, processed foods are bad for your health, and can also be bad for your testosterone levels.
This negative effect is because they contain unhealthy ingredients like added sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives that can disrupt your hormone balance (7).
Avoid the following:
- Processed meats, like hot dogs, bacon, and sausage
- Fried foods
- Sugary drinks
- Artificial sweeteners
- Chemically laden snacks, like potato chips and candy bars
Exercise is another important lifestyle factor for overall health and well-being. Exercise also has benefits for testosterone levels and blood circulation—two important aspects of sexual health.
Studies have shown that men who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels than those who don’t (5).
Some good exercises for boosting testosterone include:
- Strength training
- High-intensity interval training
- Low-impact aerobics
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough quality sleep is important for overall health and well-being. It’s also important for healthy hormone levels.
Studies have shown that men who sleep less than 7 hours per night have lower testosterone levels than those who sleep more. This might be because getting enough sleep helps manage cortisol levels (1).
Make sure you’re getting enough high-quality sleep every night to keep your testosterone levels up.
Manage Stress Levels
High stress levels can have negative impacts on your sexual health. This is because stress can disrupt your hormone balance and lead to lower testosterone levels (1).
There are many ways to manage stress, including:
- Breathing exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Talking to a therapist
- Spending time with friends and family
- Listening to calming music
- Taking walks in nature
The Bottom Line
Maintaining a healthy sexual life after 50 can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. By following these tips, you can combat the changes that come with age and keep your sex life going strong.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Acute suppression of circulating testosterone levels by cortisol in men (1983, nih.gov)
- Aging changes in the heart and blood vessels (2022, medlineplus.gov)
- Aging related erectile dysfunction—potential mechanism to halt or delay its onset (2017, nih.gov)
- Drug-induced sexual dysfunction in men and women (2013, nps.org.au)
- Physically active men show better semen parameters and hormone values than sedentary men (2012, nih.gov)
- Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice (2008, nih.gov)
- The effect of nutritional factors on sex hormone levels in male twins (1988, nih.gov)