Erectile Dysfunction in Men Over 40

(Medically reviewed by Dr. Zac Hyde M.D)

5 Major Causes of ED in Older Men

Erectile dysfunction in men over 40 has almost reached epidemic levels.

And how do I know this?

Because I have an email list of 44,000 men and I spend a large part of my day communicating with these men via email.

And it’s truly astounding how many of them after they hit their fourth decade of life suffer from this condition.

In the article below, I discuss the most common causes of ED in men over 40, along with solutions on what you can do to turn your situation around.

If you’re taking one or more medications, make sure you read all the way to the bottom because we discuss this topic at the end of the article.

Let’s go…

Pornography is a Cause of Erectile Dysfunction in Men over 40


Pornography is often cited as a contributing factor to erectile dysfunction (ED) in men, particularly those over the age of 40. 

Studies have found that excessive use of pornography can desensitize the brain to sexual stimuli, leading to difficulties achieving and maintaining an erection.

In one study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers found that men who reported higher levels of pornography use were more likely to have difficulty achieving an erection and reported lower levels of sexual satisfaction. 

Another study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that men who viewed more pornography were more likely to experience difficulty getting an erection and maintaining it during sexual activity.

If you’re currently using porn, read this blog post for more info on why it torches erections, and what you can to to stop the habit.


Low Nitric oxide Causes ED in Men over 40


Nitric oxide plays a crucial role in achieving and maintaining an erection by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis and allowing for increased blood flow. 

As men age, their production of nitric oxide can decrease, leading to difficulties achieving and maintaining an erection.

Studies have found that consuming foods high in nitrates, such as spinach, beets, and arugula, can help boost nitric oxide levels in the body and improve erectile function. 

One study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research found that men who consumed a diet high in nitrates had improved erectile function compared to men who did not consume a high-nitrate diet.

In addition to consuming nitrate-rich foods, there are also supplements available that can help increase nitric oxide levels in the body, such as L-arginine and citrulline. 

For more info on boosting nitric oxide levels naturally, read this.

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Causes ED in Men over 40


Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals that can interfere with the body’s hormonal balance, potentially leading to a range of health problems, including ED. 

EDCs can be found in a variety of everyday products, such as plastics, pesticides, and personal care products.

Studies have found that exposure to certain EDCs, such as phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), can be associated with decreased erectile function in men. 

One study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men with higher levels of phthalate exposure had a higher likelihood of experiencing ED.

To reduce exposure to EDCs, it may be helpful for men over 40 to choose products that are free from these chemicals, such as BPA-free water bottles and phthalate-free personal care products. 

Additionally, avoiding certain foods that may be high in EDCs, such as conventionally grown produce and non-organic meats, can also be beneficial.

If you’re currently using conventional cosmetics (Right Guard, Cologne, etc) and conventional cleaning products.

Take a moment and read this blog post to learn about better alternatives.

Poor Cardiovascular Health is a Major Cause of Erectile Dysfunction in Men over 40


ED and cardiovascular health are closely linked, with many of the same risk factors contributing to both conditions. 

Men over 40 with conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are at an increased risk for both ED and cardiovascular disease.

Studies have found that improving cardiovascular health through lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can also lead to improvements in erectile function. 

One study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men who followed a Mediterranean-style diet, which includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, had improved erectile function compared to men who did not follow this type of diet.

In addition to making lifestyle changes, these natural (PDE5) inhibitors will also help.

I also recommend that every man over 40 should implement the Linus Pauling protocol discussed on this page to keep blood vessels clear and to reduce cardiovascular risk.

Medications Cause Erectile Dysfunction in Men over 40


That’s right. The medication that’s supposed to be making you better might very well be CAUSING erectile dysfunction.

And I don’t mean as a side effect of the drugs, like how SSRI anti-depressants can lead to erectile dysfunction.

And I don’t mean that sick people who are taking medication have a hard time getting it up.

What I’m talking about is that the mere act of disrupting your body’s internal balance with long term medication use can lead to erectile dysfunction.

A study published in the British Journal of Urology in 2011 concluded that it doesn’t matter how sick (or not sick) you are, nor does it matter what medication you’re actually taking.

Simply taking multiple types of ANY medication increases your risk of erectile dysfunction.

The researchers used survey data from the enormous California Men’s Health Study. The study included data on 37,712 men and asked them all sorts of questions about their health, their medication, and ED.

They found that about half the men in the study (57%) were taking 3+ medications, and that overall, about one in three suffered erectile dysfunction.

So far, this is pretty standard for a group of men that were documented by a major hospital. Perhaps a little higher than the population average, but these guys are mostly already sick, so a jump in ED isn’t unexpected.

But what ISN’T standard is the fact that they found a relationship between number of medications and rates of ED:

  • 15.9% of men taking two medications reported ED
  • 19.7% of men taking three to five medications reported ED
  • 30.9% of men taking six to nine medications reported ED

Even when the researchers controlled for health factors affecting ED (diet, exercise, smoking, diabetes etc…) those who took more medications STILL had higher rates of ED.

The message is crystal clear:

The more medication you’re on, the higher your chances of suffering erectile dysfunction.

Now this in itself isn’t so alarming. I mean, after all, most people probably don’t use that many medications right?


From 1986 to 2002, the reported used of medication by people 45+ rose in the US from 52% to 75%.

The same report from the AARP found that on average Americans 45+ are currently taking FOUR DIFFERENT MEDICATIONS DAILY.

Even aside from those staggering figures, the report continues that 65+ men are even more likely to take some medication every day (87%).

Now you might be asking yourself…

Why are we consuming almost 39% more drugs today than we were in the 1980s? Surely drug design and development hasn’t come that far!

And you’d be right.

The drugs themselves haven’t improved.

What’s changed is that now, Big Pharma is VERY good at identifying market opportunity and developing a drug to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

Welcome to the world of lifestyle drugs.

Lifestyle Drugs and ED in Men Over 40


Big Pharma is like any industry – it relies on product innovation and marketing together to create demand for its products.

The same way that every year Nike releases a new shoe style, every year Big Pharma needs to release a new drug.

The problem, of course, is that drug companies can’t possible identify and cure a new disease every single year…

Which means they do what every other company does – they create a problem and then offer THEIR solution.

This practice, called ‘Disease Mongering by doctors, inflates non-problems by creating a pathology, linking that pathology to quality of life, and then presenting their drug as the solution to the completely made up pathological problem.

Sometimes, this is called the Fear, Forever, Faith…

Where drug companies try to create a product that you’re afraid not to take, which you have to take forever, and even if there’s no visible sign of improvement – you take the fact that it’s working on faith.

And we’re talking about some serious money to be made with disease mongering. And by using selective research, biased doctors, and symptoms that are at best vague, Big Pharma is getting very, very good at finding and plugging gaps in the market with invented diseases.

From Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) to help women fight off postmenopausal osteoporosis (before any symptoms present, of course, so there’s no way to measure success)…

To pills to help prevent sleep walking, eating and sweating , Big Pharma pushes to ‘medicalize’ increasingly normal behavior.

Other Big Pharma drug mongering examples include:

  • Adult-onset ADHD
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Drugs for ‘treatment resistant’ conditions. For example, if you don’t respond to antidepressants, there’s an additional drugs for you to take

Given what we know about the link between multiple medications and ED, it’s no surprise that so many men are suffering from ED as they get older.

But what happens when you’ve suffering from ED as a RESULT of all your different medications?

Don’t worry – Big Pharma is here with a drug for that too…

How Pfizer Hijacked Erectile Dysfunction

With so many drugs around to treat everything from night sweats to jock itch, ED can become less a matter of IF and more a matter of WHEN.

And in that fundamental truth, Pfizer saw an opportunity for Viagra.

Viagra was invented to help treat men with other medical problems that cause ED. Think things like spinal cord injuries.

But with so many other drugs being pushed on us, Pfizer saw an opportunity to expand their sales potential ENORMOUSLY.

They rebranded Viagra as a drug for the everyday man.

First, they built the case that “most” men suffer from ED. Taking a poorly executed study that found 52% of men experience ED, they then trumpeted that as loud as they could.

Next, they expanded the definition of ED to appeal to even more men. By changing the meaning of erectile dysfunction from an ‘inability to get an erection’ to ‘any struggle, regardless of circumstances of frequency’ they created a problem that literally every man on the planet has had.

Too much booze? Viagra.

Stressed and distracted? Viagra.

Tired? Viagra.

Not in the mood? Viagra.

Suddenly, Pfizer expanded their potential market from a soft 52% of men to 100% of men – including those suffering ED from taking too many other medications.

It doesn’t matter that sometimes psychological ED is a symptom of an underlying problem.

It doesn’t matter that Viagra has been linked to a less enjoyable sex life, doesn’t present a long term cure, creates drug dependency, and can have a range of other nasty side effects.

All that matters is that Pfizer sells as much product as possible.

Erectile Dysfunction in Men Over 40 Conclusion

There are plenty of reasons to that men suffer from erectile dysfunction…

Stress, depression, low T, poor diet – the list goes on.  Most of these can be cured or improved with lifestyle changes (many of which have other positive side effects).

But one cause of ED can take longer to shake off. Over medication with lifestyle ‘drug mongered’ drugs have increased the average number of medication people today are taking.

And once those drugs start piling up, so too do the victims of ED.

By creating a problems and then presenting us with medication as the solution, Big Pharma has managed to increase our readiness and reliance on drugs to fix problems that don’t exist.

And the crème de la crème of lifestyle drugs is good ol’ Viagra. To have them tell it, any man who:

  • Suffers even a second of limited penis functionality
  • Suffers ED for non-physiological reasons (e.g. stress)
  • Suffers ED for totally natural reasons (e.g. drank too much beer)

Should take Viagra.

It’s a vicious cycle. You’re put on long term drug mongering products built by Big Pharma and pushed by doctors. You end up suffering ED as a result. Then, when you raise THAT issue, Big Pharma has – you guess it – another lifestyle drug for you.

Viagra works sometimes while simultaneously undermining your ability to generate natural erections without the drugs. And it’s only a matter of time until Big Pharma produces a Viagra supplement.

But there’s another way. Say NO to lifestyle medications. REDUCE the long term meds you’re on…

Make syOSITIVE lifestyle changes to your diet, your exercise and fitness regime, and support your body with natural supplements.

Finally, tackle and manage your psychological wellbeing NATURALLY, by reducing stress and anxiety in your life.

You’ll feel better, your erections will be healthier than ever before.

You don’t have to be beholden to Big Pharma. Break the cycle and help regain agency over your sex life today.

Download a free copy of the Morning Wood Report Here

About the Author Mark

Article edited by Mark Wilson. Mark currently owns 5 sites in the men's sexual health niche and has published more than 5,000 articles and blog posts on dozens of websites all over the world wide web.

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