Relevant information for clinical decision-making in a wide spectrum of diseases includes the extent to which sexual function is intact, how important it is to preserve sexual capacity and whether waning sexual function causes distress. Little information is available on elderly men. We aimed to obtain this basic information.
Radiumhemmet's Scale of Sexual Function was posted to 435 randomly selected men aged 50–80 years. Assessments included sexual desire, erectile capacity, orgasm and ejaculation and to what extent waning sexual function distressed the men. The questions were answered anonymously.
Information was obtained from 319 men (73%). Of these, 83% stated that sex was ‘very important’, ‘important’ or a ‘spice to life’. Physiological potency for men aged 50–59, 60–69 and 70–80 amounted to 97%, 76% and 51% respectively. Among the oldest men (70–80 years), 46% reported orgasm at least once a month. Over 80% of all men who reported some level of erection stated that it was of importance to them to maintain the present level of erection stiffness. Most men who reported waning sexual function (compared with their youth) stated that this distressed them.
Sex is important to elderly men. Even among the 70–80-year-olds, an intact sexual desire, erection and orgasm are common and it is considered important to preserve them. Sexual function should be considered in the clinical assessment of elderly men.