Having intercourse more often may help prevent the development of erectile dysfunction (ED). A study published in the July 2008 issue of The American Journal of Medicine reports that researchers have found that men who had intercourse more often were less likely to develop ED.
Analyzing a five-year study of 989 men aged 55 to 75 years from Pirkanmaa, Finland, the investigators observed that men reporting intercourse less than once per week at baseline had twice the incidence of erectile dysfunction compared with those reporting intercourse once per week. Further, the risk of erectile dysfunction was inversely related to the frequency of intercourse.
Other factors that may affect the incidence of ED, such as age, chronic medical conditions (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease and depression), body mass index and smoking were included in the analysis of the data.
Erectile dysfunction incidence was 79 cases per 1000 in men who had reported sexual intercourse less than once per week, dropping to 32 cases per 1000 in men reporting intercourse once per week and falling further to 16 per 1000 in those reporting intercourse 3 or more times per week.
In addition, the frequency of morning erections predicted the development of complete erectile dysfunction, with an approximate 2.5-fold risk among those with less than 1 morning erection per week compared with 2 to 3 morning erections per week
Writing in the article, Juha Koskimäki, MD, PhD, Tampere University Hospital, Department of Urology, Tampere, Finland, states; "Regular intercourse has an important role in preserving erectile function among elderly men, whereas morning erection does not exert a similar effect. Continued sexual activity decreases the incidence of erectile dysfunction in direct proportion to coital frequency."
The study clearly indicates that regular intercourse protects men from the development of erectile dysfunction, which may, in turn, impact general health and quality of life. The investigators advise clinicians to support the sexual activity of their patients.
Source: Elsevier Health Sciences
Explore further: Study links restless leg syndrome with erectile dysfunction in older men