Aging and sexual health: getting to the problem

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common disorders in male and is often associated with other age-related comorbidities. The aging process affects the structural organization and function of penile erectile components such as smooth muscle cell and vascular architecture. These modifications affect penile hemodynamics by impairing cavernosal smooth muscle cell relaxation, reducing penile elasticity, compliance and promoting fibrosis. This review aims to identify the mechanisms of ED in the penile aging process in experimental and clinical data. It also highlights areas that are in need of more research. The search strategies yielded total records screened from PubMed. Clarification of the molecular mechanisms that accompanies corpus cavernosum aging and aging-associated ED will aid new perspectives in the development of novel mechanism-based therapeutic approaches. Age is not a limiting factor for ED medical management, and it is never too late to treat. Hypogonadism should be managed regardless of age, and synergistic effects have been found during testosterone (T) replacement therapy when used along with oral phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. Therefore, the clinical management of ED related to aging can be done by therapeutic interventions that include PDE-5 inhibitors, and other pharmacological treatments.

The aging male : the official journal of the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male. 2017 Mar 06 [Epub]

Ecem Kaya, Suresh C Sikka, Philip J Kadowitz, Serap Gur

a Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology , Faculty of Pharmacy, Ankara University , Ankara , Turkey and., b Department of Urology and Pharmacology , Tulane University Health Sciences Center , New Orleans , LA , USA.