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Sexual Wellness

Sex is a topic many men shy away from when talking to their doctor, especially when experiencing problems that concern their sex life. However, sex is a natural part of life that affects your physical and mental health in addition to deepening the bonds of inti-macy between you and your partner. A healthy sex life is something everyone should be able to enjoy and embrace at any age, though unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you are suffering from issues that prevent you from having a full and enjoyable sex life, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, we can help.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Treatment

Erectile dysfunction can be more than emasculating; it can ruin your quality of life. Over 40% of men over the age of 40 experiences some level of decreased function with their erections. Today, we have more effective treatments than ever before.

Oral medications are a good first-line treatment for many men. These can be taken pri-or to sexual activity or in some cases in a low dose every day. Common side effects can include flushing of the face, headaches, and temporary vision changes.

Injection for ED are usually reserved for men who have severe ED from poor blood flow, nerved damage, or after injury or surgery. These medications are powerful and can help men who haven’t found help otherwise. When these methods don’t work, the only option left is penile implant surgery. Common side effects of injections can be pro-longed erections (priapism) or scar tissue formation.

The newest advancement in ED treatment today is ShockWave therapy. Other ED treatments don’t target the root cause of most patient’s ED and can often bring un-wanted side effects. ShockWave consists of sound waves (not anything that actually shocks you) that are introduced through an FDA medical-grade device into the penis.

We know that as men age, the vessels in the penis weaken, contract and fill with micro-plaque just as they do elsewhere in the body over time. As men age the penis decreas-es in sensitivity making it harder to achieve a pleasurable orgasm. Patients also tend to report increased or worsened refractory time between sexual activity. The bottom line is that most erectile dysfunction is a result of poor blood flow, known as vasculogenic ED. In studies conducted at many major medical center clinics, over 60% of men experi-enced significant improvements in their erections and over 90% were satisfied with their results.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. It is common, affecting at least 12 million U.S. men. The five-question International Index of Erectile Function allows rapid clinical assess-ment of ED. The condition can be caused by vascular, neurologic, psychological, and hormonal factors. Common conditions related to ED include diabetes mellitus, hyper-tension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, testosterone deficiency, and prostate cancer treat-ment. Performance anxiety and relationship issues are common psychological causes. Medications and substance use can cause or exacerbate ED; antidepressants and to-bacco use are the most common. ED is associated with an increased risk of cardiovas-cular disease, particularly in men with metabolic syndrome. Tobacco cessation, regular exercise, weight loss, and improved control of diabetes, hypertension, and hyper-lipidemia are recommended initial lifestyle

Low hormone levels may also play a role in ED. Hormone replacement in the form of topical gels, creams, patches, injections and pellets are only used after physician’s evaluation.

Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s disease is a disorder in which scar tissue, called a plaque, builds up inside the tissues of a thick, elastic membrane in the penis called the tunica albuginea.
Peyronie’s disease begins with inflammation, or swelling, which later becomes a plaque or thick band of tissue that causes a contraction. The plaque, which may not be easy to feel with touch, can cause the penis to bend, making sexual intercourse difficult and painful. Any lump, bump, or curve in the penis could be abnormal.

  • Peyronie’s disease affects as many as 1 in 11 men.
  • Men with Peyronie’s disease have bent erections, erectile pain and penile plaque. This plaque is a type of scar tissue that creates a visible lump along the penis.
  • The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is unknown, but trauma to the penis is thought to play a role.
  • In about 20 percent of men, the condition improves on its own. For other men, management and treatment options are available.

Treatment for Peyronie’s disease can include Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), which uses a FDA- approved device that puts powerful sound wave into the tissue to help soften it and reduce the curvature. This treatment is more successful when combined with testosterone therapy, which has been show to help reduce the problem as well.

How Low Testosterone Affects Sexual Health

Testosterone is the main male hormone (androgen) and play a vital role in a man’s
sexual health. Not only does it help increase and maintain a man’s sex drive, it has been shown in research studies to help maintain erections. In other words, those with low testosterone also often experience erectile dysfunction. A recent study looked at men who had erectile dysfunction and found that 41.5% of the participants also had low testosterone levels. Additionally, men with hypogonadism are also at an increased risk for coronary artery disease, which is a cardiovascular disease that can also affect men’s sexual function. Therefore, if you often experience difficulties getting an erection or keeping an erection, you may have low testosterone levels.

Another element of your sexual health is your sex drive. Many men with hypogonadism also notice that they have low libido. Declining testosterone levels may be to blame for experiencing a lower sex drive. Also, testosterone levels can also affect your mood. Men with low testosterone often experience depressive symptoms and mood changes. These elements of your mental health can also lower your libido.