Erectile Dysfunction: Use It or Lose It? (Video)

As men and women get older, things like libido and sex drive can gradually decrease leading to less frequent sexual activity in a relationship or marriage. Researchers have suggested that decreasing your sexual activity can lead to a “use or lose it” scenario for erections. Online publications such as WebMD and Psychology Today have expounded upon this “use or lose it” theory as well, citing through various studies that frequent sex decreases your chance of erectile dysfunction and increases your penile health. The above video features a Fox news story on the issue.

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Here’s a study likely done by men. Doctors are now concluding that when it comes to a man’s ability to perform in the bedroom, it is “use it or lose it”, folks. Researchers have found that men who have sex more often have far less chance of erectile dysfunction than men who are not seeing a whole lot of action. Joining us now, Fox News medical contributor, Dr. Mark Segal. I said that the study was done by men. Could it be that they wanted to reach a certain conclusion and therefore found the means to support it?

I have to tell you, Megan. I think this is a very good study, and the results are hard to ignore. Here’s the thing; they looked at 1000 men, and they studied them with a questionnaire that’s commonly used for erectile dysfunction. By erectile dysfunction, the inability to get hard enough for intercourse. Fifteen to thirty million American men have this problem. This study looked at men 55-75 in Finland. That’s a cold place, but I think that the results are transferable here, and over five years, men that had sex more than once a week were half as likely to end up with this problem. I think it was a very well done study.

Conversely, men who had sex less than once a week were twice as likely to get ED. Is it just a “practice makes perfect” kind of thing? What causes that? Why is that?

Megan, this is a preliminary study. We need more work on this, but I have two ideas. One is psychological. If they get positive feedback, you’re more likely to keep the ability to do it. There’s definitely a psychological component to ED. Second, who knows what kind of hormones are being released in the brain when we have sex? You know, this study just looked at sex and intercourse. It didn’t look at other times when you have an erection. We don’t know, but it looked like sexual intercourse increased your likelihood of not having this problem.

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