By Enyeribe Ejiogu
For men, it is the horror of horrors. An experience most men never desire to see its onset. It is a situation where a man’s staff of office (to borrow a favourite expression of a former Editor of Sunday Sun), begins to lose its majestic presence and in large number of cases, its functionality.
Age leaves its mark on every part of the human body, including the penis. A man would accept age-related change in other body parts, but not the penis. The effect of change in the penis can be psychologically traumatic, reduce the self-esteem of the man involved and can also put pressure on a marital relationship. Several cases of divorce or acts of infidelity by married women stem from this very problem. It is no secret that all manner of therapeutic products offering solutions, real or pretended, currently sell like hot cake as men seek to shore up the sagging functionality of their penis. It has been scientifically established that starting in the 40s, the testicles of men begin to produce less testosterone, the hormone that once helped the penis grow during puberty and which also fuels sex drive. The decline in testosterone, along with other things related to aging, can change the size, shape, and function of this all-important organ. Read more about the changes that occur as the penis ages…
It turns gray
You may not notice the ‘graying’ of the penis, but the pubic hair does turn gray. Just like the hair on the head, pigment cells inside each pubic hair follicle produce a chemical called melanin that gives colour to the hair – black, brown, red and blond (as seen in Caucasians). As a person ages, pigment cells die, resulting in fall in melanin production. This makes the pubic hair turn gray or white. Whether the hair down there goes gray at age 35 or 65 depends a lot on the genes inherited from one’s parents.
The dreaded shrinkage! A downsized penis may be due to age-related conditions, like high blood pressure or clogged blood vessels (arteriosclerosis), which reduce blood flow to it. The drop in blood flow, along with lower testosterone levels, can make this organ smaller. Putting on some pounds creates the illusion of lost length. Folds of belly fat partially hide the penis, making it look smaller than it really is.
Scar tissues forms whenever a man injures his penis, probably because of rough sex, sports or an accident. By the time he reaches 50 or 60 years, the man could have enough scar tissue build-up to make the penis bend or curve during an erection. The condition is called Peyronie’s disease. It’s often painful, and it can make sex uncomfortable. Treatments ranging from shots to surgery can lessen the curve and make sex more comfortable again.
The testicles shrink
As noted earlier, reduction on testosterone production causes the penis shrink. Such reduction in testosterone production also makes the testicles to become smaller. Injury, less blood flow, and use of anabolic steroid (synthetic testosterone) can also be responsible for the size reduction. A smaller testicle can sometimes be a symptom of testicular cancer, too. If you have other symptoms, such as swelling, a lump, or a feeling of heaviness in a testicle, please go to see your doctor for proper medical examination.
The scrotum sags
The skin naturally becomes less elastic as one gets older. Just as the skin of face and neck wrinkle and sag, the skin that covers the testicles also sag. If the sight of a low-hanging scrotum bothers you too much to wear a bathing suit or causes pain when it rubs against your thigh, you can have scrotal rejuvenation surgery to give your sac a lift.
It’s less sensitive
Your penis naturally loses sensation as you age. So it may take more time, and more stimulation, for you to get aroused and reach orgasm. If the problem interferes with your sex life, don’t rub harder – you could irritate the sensitive skin covering this organ. Instead, talk to your doctor about possible treatments.
It loses its spring
The slightest breeze might have produced an erection when you were young. Now that you’re older, low hormone levels, less blood circulation, and nerve damage can make getting it up harder to accomplish. Erectile dysfunction becomes more of a problem the older you get. By age 70, about 70 per cent of men will have trouble getting an erection. Fortunately, doctors have a number of drugs, devices, and surgical solutions to this problem.
It changes colour
Fatty deposits can build up inside the walls of the blood vessels as a man gets older, and thereby limit the amount of blood that flows through them. Blood is what can give the tip of a penis a pink colour. As blood flow slows, the penis head turns a lighter shade. Rarely, a change in penis colour is a sign of cancer. If you also have other symptoms, like a bump or sore on your penis, see a doctor.
It goes bald
Pubic hair thickness varies from person to person and based on how much grooming you do. The hair around your penis, like the hair on your head, thins with age. Because it’s less visible than the hair on your scalp, you may not feel the need to do anything about it. But a hair transplant is always an option if you are sensitive about baldness down there.
…Adapted from webmd.com