MAINTAINING AN OUTSTANDING SEX LIFE AFTER 40 YEARS!

By Shani Jones
Certified Sex Coach


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Sex starts in your brain, so pay close attention to what’s going on in your head, and get help when you need it. Depression, for example, is a serious illness that disrupts many parts of daily life, and it can hamper sexual desire. Between ages 40 and 70, men with depression are likely to also have ED. Chronic stress, which raises your blood pressure and overworks your heart, is another libido killer. Some premenopausal women who seem uninterested in sex may be suffering from a condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). In addition, drugs bremelanotide (Vyleesi) and flibanserin (Addyi) to improve a woman’s sex drive. It’s almost important to note that regular vigorous exercise improves your heart’s ability to pump blood. That’s important for sex, because a strong erection needs plenty of blood flow into your penis. Work up a sweat for 20 to 30 minutes each day and you’ll be a lot less likely to fail to launch. If you’re not used to exercise, start slowly. Brisk walking is an ideal workout, and your whole body will benefit. If you're over age 45 or have a medical condition, check with your doctor.

While no one food will boost your sexual performance, eating the right types of foods, and in the right amounts, will keep you healthy and ready for sex. Focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and fish. Pay close attention to portion size. A healthy diet helps protect against heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions that can affect sex.

Carrying extra pounds can be a problem. Over time, too much fat can lead to clogged arteries and poorer blood flow. That makes it tougher for your penis to get the blood it needs for a healthy erection. Combine exercise and a healthy diet to bring your weight down to where it should be.

Men who quit smoking say they have better erections and faster arousal than men who don’t kick the habit. Men who smoke are twice as likely to have ED than non-smokers. Consider the benefits you’ll reap in the bedroom and stop smoking now. If you've tried before, keep trying until it sticks.

There are many physical causes of ED. Any one of these can disrupt the sequence of physiological changes that produces an erection: They include -

Obesity
Diabetes
Heart disease
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
High cholesterol
Low testosterone
Enlarged prostate
Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea
Multiple sclerosis
Parkinson’s disease

The hormone testosterone affects a person’s sex drive and energy levels, which govern arousal impulses to the brain. Diabetes can also damage the nerves that signal increased blood flow to the genital area. According to the American Diabetes Association, a man with type 2 diabetes is twice as likely to have low testosterone compared to a man that doesn’t have diabetes. Your doctor can test for nerve damage related to diabetes and low testosterone. Also, any constriction of blood flow from heart disease and artery blockages would hamper an erection.



ED isn’t necessarily related to age or chronic illnesses. Other common causes include:


Heavy alcohol consumption
Tobacco use
Prescription medications
Anxiety

Alcohol slows nerve communications within the brain and throughout the body, which can affect arousal signals and physical coordination.

Tobacco not only restricts blood flow, but can lead to serious diseases that may further impair sexual function.

Medications can also affect people differently. A drug that decreases sexual performance in one person might not in another. Common types of drugs that may lead to sexual dysfunctions include:

Antihistamines
Calcium channel blockers
High blood pressure medications
Hormone therapy
Antidepressants
Psychological and emotional stressors can also inhibit sexual arousal.

Nervous about tomorrow’s sales presentation at work? Grieving a parent’s death? Angry or hurt by arguments with your spouse? Any of these can interfere with your feelings of sexual desire.

If you regularly skimp on sleep, you become more likely to get chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, obesity, and mood disorders. Missing sleep can also slow down your sex drive; lost sleep has been linked to lower levels of testosterone in younger and older men. Make sleep a priority. If your sleep problems don't budge, see your doctor. Physical conditions like obstructive sleep apnea can be treated, as can ongoing problems with insomnia.

If you do have trouble in the bedroom, the cause may be in your medicine cabinet. Talk to your doctor about any medications you take, even if you didn't need a prescription for them.

Other medications are often available that won't cause similar side effects and may do the job just as well and cause fewer problems.