Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock Myth:
As a man ages, he loses his ability to get an erection.
Aging itself is not a cause of erectile dysfunction. However, diminishing hormone levels do precipitate some changes. A man may need more physical stimulation to become aroused, and his erection may not be quite as firm as when he was younger—but sex is no less pleasurable. While a 25-year-old man might be able to get a second erection as quickly as fifteen minutes after an ejaculation, a 50-year-old man might need several hours.
Emotional and psychological factors are responsible for a woman’s lack of interest in sex at midlife and beyond.
Physical factors can play an even larger role. Hormonal changes at menopause can affect a woman’s sexual response. Low estrogen levels can result in vaginal dryness, causing discomfort during sex. And in some women, lower testosterone levels can mean a lack of energy and a weaker sex drive. Other women find their interest in sex increases after menopause, due, in part, to a shift in the ratio of testosterone to estrogen and progesterone.
A woman loses her ability to have orgasms as she ages.
Many women find increased sexual pleasure after menopause, including more frequent or more intense orgasms.