Common causes of erectile dysfunction in older men

All serious disease impacts sexual function adversely, and this is especially true in the elderly. In contempo­rary culture, sexual function is considered to be the province of the young. This cultural attitude denies the geriatric patient the right to sexual self-expression. When illness or infirmity interferes, the spouse may not be able to cope with a partner’s disease and the change in sexual behavior caused by the condition. After sur­gery, there may be a direct relationship between the development of sexual problems and lack of discus­sion about sexuality prior to discharge from the hospi­tal. Finally, fear of death during intercourse may lead a couple to sleep apart. A lack of communication about sexual concerns is common between physician and patient when both are concerned about the pri­mary disease. In Western culture, both patient and phy­sician are generally inhibited from speaking about sex­ual function.