Aging & Health A to Z
Lifestyle & Management
Diet and Exercise
Keeping fit is one of the best ways to stay healthy in every way, including sexually healthy. Eating well and getting regular vigorous exercise will help keep your energy levels high, your blood flowing, and your body more flexible, responsive, and pain-free. Frequent exercise is also linked to a lower risk of depression, which is a risk factor for sexual problems.
Management and Monitoring
If you are taking medications or receiving treatment for sexual problems, make sure you understand what kind of follow-up you may need. For example, if you are taking testosterone replacement treatment, you will need to have liver function and blood count tests performed at regular intervals and your prostate should also be monitored. Make sure that your healthcare provider explains what care is required and whether you should be alert for any particular side effects. Make note of your appointments, visit your healthcare professional when needed, and tell your doctor if you have noticed any adverse reactions, since some may be serious.
It is rare to have complications from treatments for sexual problems, but since some can be very serious, make sure you are fully informed. Priapism – if left untreated – can result in irreversible damage to the penis. Sudden serious low blood pressure which can occasionally accompany treatment with erectile dysfunction pills – especially if taken with nitrates for heart disease – can even be fatal. Make sure to report any side effects as soon as they occur.
Sexual activity with non-permanent partners always carries the risk of an unwanted sexually transmitted disease. If you are sexually active outside of a long-term relationship, make sure to practice safe sex. Use a condom at every sexual encounter. Older age does not protect anyone from sexually transmitted diseases.
Updated: May 2012
Posted: May 2012