Do most men have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection (impotence) as they grow older?
Getting older does not mean you will experience impotence, although in many men, sexual responses may become slower and less intense. For example, it may take longer to achieve an erection than it did when you were younger. On the other hand, you may maintain an erection for a longer period of time. However, the opposite may also be true.
If you have difficulties with sexual function, it is important to have a medical evaluation. This can help diagnose any possible disorders needing treatment and may also lead to improved sexual function.
Kaiser FE. Sexuality. In: Duthie EH, Katz PR, Malone ML, eds. Practice of Geriatrics. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 3.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.