Multiple risk factors influence the declining libido of aging men. Now, a new study has discovered the lack of sexual satisfaction poses an additional risk of cognitive decline.

Maintaining optimal sexual health bears a profound impact on overall well-being, encompassing physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects. By prioritizing and maintaining good sexual health, individuals can positively impact their overall health and quality of life.

The study, published in the journal Gerontologist, examined the influence of factors such as microvascular changes affecting erectile function and psychological shifts, including reduced libido, on the sexual drive of middle-aged men, and explored how these factors start to impact cognitive function.

"What was unique about our approach is that we measured memory function and sexual function at each point in the longitudinal study, so we could look at how they changed together over time," Martin Sliwinski, professor of human development and family studies at Penn State and co-author on the study, said in a news release.

"What we found connects to what scientists are beginning to understand about the link between life satisfaction and cognitive performance."

"Scientists have found that if you have low satisfaction generally, you are at a higher risk for health problems like dementia, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease and other stress-related issues that can lead to cognitive decline," Sliwinski said. "Improvements in sexual satisfaction may actually spark improvement in memory function. We tell people they should get more exercise and eat better foods. We're showing that sexual satisfaction also has importance for our health and general quality of life."

Researchers reached the conclusion after analyzing data from 818 men from the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging. Using neuropsychological tests, researchers started tracking cognitive changes in individuals from their young adulthood up until the age of 56-68. They also assessed erectile function and sexual satisfaction using the International Index of Erectile Function.

"Research on sexual health has historically focused on quantifiable facets of sexuality like number of sexual partners or frequency of sexual activity," said Riki Slayday, a doctoral candidate at Penn State and lead author of the study, in the news release. "What we were interested in is the perception of that activity, how someone feels about their sex life, and how that influences cognitive function because multiple people could be in the same situation physically but experience completely different levels of satisfaction."

The implication is clear--as more people reach their 60s, there is a higher likelihood of individuals experiencing declines in both erectile function and sexual satisfaction.

Couples can share many habits, both good and bad. Pexels - Pixabay