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You are 60 years of age and you note that your erections are not as strong as there were at 40 years of age. It takes longer to get an erection than a decade ago and once you ejaculate it takes longer to get the next erection. Welcome, guys to the middle ages. These are normal consequences of aging for men. This doesn’t mean that you pack up your penis and never use it again. It means that you will use it differently than years ago.
What are the normal, expected changes in a man’s penis as he ages?
Appearance. There are two major changes. The head of the penis (glans) gradually loses its purplish color, the result of reduced blood flow. And there is a slow loss of pubic hair. You don’t have to worry about your manscape as nature will take care of your pubic hair for you.
Weight gain is common as men grow older. As fat accumulates on the lower abdomen, the apparent size of the penis changes. A large clump of fat in the lower abdomen makes the penile shaft look shorter. If you want a bigger penis, check out your core and trim it down and your penis will grow larger….or at least it will appear to be longer.
In addition to this apparent shrinkage (which is reversible) the penis tends to undergo an actual (and irreversible) reduction in size. The reduction — in both length and thickness — typically isn’t dramatic but may be noticeable. “If a man’s erect penis is 6 inches long when he is in his 30s, it might be 5 or 5-and-a-half inches when he reaches his 60s or 70s.
What causes the penis to shrink? At least two mechanisms are involved, experts say. One is the slow deposition of fatty substances (plaques) inside tiny arteries in the penis, which impairs blood flow to the organ. This process, known as atherosclerosis, is the same one that contributes to blockages inside the coronary arteries — a leading cause of heart attack.
Another mechanism involves the gradual buildup of relatively inelastic collagen (scar tissue) within the stretchy fibrous sheath that surrounds the erection chambers. Erections occur when these chambers fill with blood. Blockages within the penile arteries — and increasingly inelastic chambers — mean smaller erections.
As penis size changes, so do the testicles. Starting around age 40, the testicles definitely begin to shrink. The testicles of a 30-year-old man might measure 2 inches in diameter, he says; those of a 60-year-old, perhaps only 1.5 inches.
Curvature. If penile scar tissue accumulates unevenly, the penis can become curved. This condition, known as Peyronie’s disease, occurs most commonly in middle age. It can cause painful erections and make intercourse difficult. The condition may require surgery.
Sensitivity. Numerous studies have shown that the penis becomes less sensitive over time. This can make it hard to achieve an erection and to have an orgasm.
Libido or sex drive
As men get older the testosterone level falls. Testosterone is the hormone produced in the testicles that is responsible for the sex drive. It reaches a peak in the 20’s and early 30’s and slowly declines at a rate of 2% a year. Men who have this problem can obtain a blood test, a serum testosterone test, and if it is low and there is no history of prostate cancer, then the man can receive testosterone supplements in the form of an injection every two weeks, the application of a daily gel to the lower abdomen or shoulders, or the insertion of a pellet under the skin which lasts for 4-6 months.
Bottom Line: Yes, there are changes that are going to occur as a man ages just as there are changes in muscle mass, bone density, memory, hearing, and vision. But this doesn’t mean the end of a man’s sex life. With good health, a willing partner, and a desire to pleasure your partner, you, too, can enjoy sexual intimacy in your silver years.