5 Things You Need to Know About Men’s Sexual Health

5 Things You Need To Know About Men's Sexual Health Image

Sex is a critical part of life. It helps in the perpetuation of species and provides an amazing source of pleasure. It ensures intimacy between partners while making bonds stronger and unions enduring. It is also a wonderful form of exercise that releases stress, gets rid of anxiety, boosts prostate health and improves overall health.

What is sexual health?

It is the state of wellbeing that enables a man to engage in and derive pleasure from sexual activity. You are sexually healthy if you have sexual desire (libido), can get and sustain an erection, and can participate in satisfactory sexual intercourse. Sex is a hormone-driven activity that begins at puberty and lasts your entire life.

On average, couples have sex once a week. Each sexual encounter typically lasts 15-30 minutes, though the actual penetration time averages 2 minutes. If you are in a relationship, you may be having less sex than you want due to a lack of intimacy or time. But by working on communication and spending quality time together, you and your partner can improve your intimacy and have a more gratifying sex life.

What should you know about men’s sexual health?

Sexual health in men is affected by a number of physical, psychological, social and interpersonal factors. For example, physiological changes can impact both the desire and the ability to have sex, while emotional and mental factors can determine the satisfaction achieved during sexual intercourse.

As a man, the knowledge of the following male sexual health issues can enable you to achieve better sexual and overall health.

Aging and sexual health

With increasing age, changes are bound to occur in your sexual function, most of which are normal. But even in your 80’s, you should still be able to enjoy sex and intimacy in your relationship. Nevertheless, one frequent effect of aging on sexual health is loss of libido (sex drive)—often due to decreasing testosterone levels. Loss of libido means you have reduced interest in sexual activity or diminished sexual thoughts. You can also lose your libido because of stress, anxiety, relationship issues, side effects of medication or some medical conditions.

If you are experiencing a reduced drive for sex, look out for the symptoms so you can describe them correctly when you speak with your urologist. One way to deal with reduced sexual urge is to take more time in direct stimulation or foreplay. For changes that occur drastically or refuse to go away after sex therapy, work with your urologist to differentiate normal from abnormal changes and receive proper treatment.

As a rule, do not assume that every change that occurs in your sexual function is because you are growing older. After age 40, make sure you are aware of the following health indicators:

  • Cholesterol levels
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar levels
  • Testosterone levels
  • PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) levels

Erectile dysfunction (Impotence)

Erectile dysfunction (ED) means you are not able to get and maintain an erection that is firm enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse. It is a common sexual health issue affecting up to 50% of men above the age of 40. You may experience erectile dysfunction because of blood flow problems such as vascular disease or blood pressure, which are quite common among aging men. But other factors such as certain medications, use of alcohol and drugs, smoking and surgeries involving prostate cancer may also cause impotence.

Fortunately, medications treat 50-70% of ED cases effectively. However, if your condition does not improve with medication, your urologist can apply various non-surgical techniques to promote blood flow. There are also surgical options such as penile prostheses or implants. Surgery is not advisable as initial treatment; but when done as a last resort it usually delivers satisfactory results.

In some cases, erectile dysfunction is not due to a detectable physiological problem. Your urologist will evaluate your condition in terms of emotional or mental well-being and may recommend you work with a sex therapist. Stress, anxiety, depression or other emotional or psychological problems can often be alleviated by therapist who encourages a comfortable, honest and confidential discussion of the problem.

Peyronie’s disease

Peyronie’s disease develops when scar tissue or plaque occurs inside the erectile tissue of the penis. Though the actual cause of scar tissue formation is unknown, many men have suffered the condition following a minor trauma that elicited bleeding inside the penis. The resulting plaque is usually benign and noncancerous, but it tends to cause the bending of the penis downward or upward depending on its location.

Men with Peyronie’s disease usually experience pain during an erection and find it difficult to have sex. If you have this problem, you need to see a urologist for a timely diagnosis and treatment. The condition is diagnosed using an ultrasound exam which gives a clear picture of the erectile anatomy and function. Most cases of the disease are mild and the initial pain disappears within 6-12 months, allowing patients to return to normal sexual activity. Urologists treat remaining plaques using personalized treatment plans.

Ejaculation disorders

Ejaculation issues in men include premature ejaculation, inhibited (delayed) ejaculation and retrograde ejaculation. When you have premature ejaculation it means you are not able to delay ejaculation until the point when it is mutually desirable for you and your sex partner. It is the most frequent ejaculation issue, particularly among younger men.

Inhibited ejaculation means your ejaculation occurs slowly or never happens at all. Both premature and inhibited ejaculations have psychological causes, such as anxiety about sex, performance or trauma. But there are techniques that can be used to overcome these issues and a qualified therapist can help you. Speak with your urologist for treatment and referral to a sex therapist when necessary.
Retrograde ejaculation means the ejaculate is forced back into your bladder instead of through the urethra and out of the end of the penis at orgasm. It can be due to nerve damage, side effects of medication or surgery for bladder or prostate.

When you experience retrograde ejaculation, your urologist will change your existing medications or prescribe new ones to treat the issue. However, if the problem is caused by surgery, it might not be correctable. But that should not worry you as treatment is not usually medically necessary with retrograde ejaculation unless pregnancy is your goal.

Vasectomy is permanent contraception

Vasectomy is a simple, effective and minimally invasive surgical procedure offered as a permanent method of birth control. The 30-minute procedure involves cutting tubes that transport sperm within the male reproductive system.

The procedure does not affect the sexual health of a man and is very effective in preventing pregnancy. While vasectomy can be undone, the reversal is quite complex and comes with a lower chance of success. The time to undergo a vasectomy is when you are sure you no longer need to make your partner pregnant, for whatever reason, and consider it as a permanent method of birth control.

At St Pete Urology, we offer timely help to men with sexual health issues. We believe that speaking about these issues with a skilled and experienced urologist will help you resolve them. We also remind our clients that any sexual health issue that lasts several months may be an indicator of a more serious underlying medical issue that needs to be treated.

For instance, premature ejaculation may be due to nerve damage, medication or underlying urinary conditions. Problems with libido or erection may be the first indicator of diabetes or hormonal imbalance; while problems with erection may be due to underlying prostate cancer or cardiovascular issues. Hence, seeing a urologist for your sexual health may help uncover a potentially life-threatening condition.

Of course, there is also a connection between your overall health and your sexual health. In fact, hormonal, cardiovascular, neurological and psychological systems all contribute to your sexual performance. A healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet, healthy weight and regular exercise will promote your overall health while enhancing your sexual health and performance. For more information on men’s sexual health issues, visit the St Pete Urology website.

How to Prevent Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that prevents a man from getting or maintaining an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. The failure to sustain an erection may happen occasionally in healthy men and this should not be a reason to panic. One is said to have erectile dysfunction only when the inability to sustain an erection is sustained over a period of time. The risk of having erectile dysfunction increases with age, with about 50 percent of men over the age of 40 having the condition. Recent research also indicates an increase in the cases of erectile dysfunction in men in their 30s.

Erectile dysfunction is treatable. Even so, it does inhibit a patient’s sexual performance, and in some cases, confidence. It comes as good news, therefore, that the condition is not only treatable, it is also preventable.

Preventing Erectile Dysfunction

The ways in which erectile dysfunction may be prevented fall into two categories:

1. Maintaining good overall health.

The sexual health of an individual is determined by his general health. If his overall health is failing, it will only be a matter of time before this starts to affect one’s sexual ability. One way of preventing erectile dysfunction therefore lies in maintaining good overall health. To this end, the following are recommended:

a. Maintain healthy body weight. A healthy balanced diet and regular exercise go a long way to keep body weight at a desired level. This protects you from obesity and other lifestyle diseases which might cause erectile dysfunction.

b. Avoid excessive use of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. Taking these may, in the long run, lead to diseases of the heart or interfere with the functioning of blood vessels. Interfering with blood flow may reduce the amount of blood going into the penis, thus causing erectile dysfunction.

2. Managing Underlying chronic diseases

Erectile dysfunction often arises as a result of an underlying illness. For example, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses have a tendency of interfering with the flow of blood to the penis. In addition to these, mental issues such as depression or crippling anxiety may cause erectile dysfunction. In such cases, the key to dealing with erectile dysfunction is in fighting the underlying illness. A patient with one of these conditions will be advised to, among other things:

a. Take medication as advised by the attending doctor;

b. Consult with the doctor to see if treatment for erectile dysfunction may be administered independently without affecting the treatment of the underlying illness; and

c. Seek therapy and treatment for mental health conditions.

Erectile dysfunction can be prevented by simply choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. For those already suffering from erectile dysfunction, there is no need to panic as the condition is very treatable. Our team of specialists at St. Pete Urology can help with any questions, consultation, diagnosis and treatment options for erectile dysfunction. For more information, visit the St Pete Urology website.

Are certain foods helpful in addressing erectile dysfunction (ED)?

It’s possible. Research published in January 2016 found that men who ate foods high in antioxidants called flavonoids had a lower risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) than those who didn’t eat a flavonoid-rich diet.

Flavonoids can be found in certain plant-based foods like citrus fruits, blueberries, strawberries, apples, pears, cherries, blackberries, radishes, and blackcurrant. Some teas, herbs, and wines also have flavonoids in them.

Past studies have shown that consuming flavonoids could reduce a person’s risk for diabetes and heart disease, both of which can lead to ED.

Eating a healthy diet overall, particularly a Mediterranean diet, can go a long way in preserving erectile function, however.

This type of diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil. Nuts and fish are good additions.

What does diet have to do with erections?

When a man is sexually-aroused, his penis fills with blood, giving it the firmness it needs for sex. Many men with ED have poor blood flow to the penis. Some medical conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, can damage blood vessels and nerves that are critical for this process.

Eating a healthy diet keeps the body in good working order. It can help men maintain a healthy weight, keep their blood sugar under control, and reduce the risk of blood vessel damage, which can impair blood flow.

Diet isn’t the only path to good erections, however. Other lifestyle habits, like regular exercise, quitting smoking, and managing depression are important too.

A man’s doctor can help him decide which dietary changes to make. However, men who are having trouble with erections should be sure to mention it. Many factors can contribute to ED and it’s best to have a complete medical checkup. [Read Full Article…]

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What’s the Cause of Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is typically caused by an underlying problem. Some of the most common causes of ED include; arteriosclerosis, diabetes, medication, hormone disorders, and psychological problems. There are also other health conditions that can lead to impotence such as; neurologic problems, Peyronie’s disease, venous leak, injury, surgery, and exposure to radiation.Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis is a condition in which the arteries become narrow and harden. It can also restrict blood flow to different parts of the body and cause ED. About 55% of men with impotence due to arteriosclerosis are at least 60 years of age.

Factors that increase the risk of arteriosclerosis include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High Cholesterol Levels
  • Smoking

Diabetes

Approximately 60% of men with diabetes mellitus suffer from erectile dysfunction. This is because increased levels of glucose in the blood cause damage to nerves and blood vessels in the body. As a consequence, blood flow is reduced and impulses of the nerve are impaired, preventing a successful erection.

Medication

More than 200 prescription drugs can cause ED as a side effect. These include drugs for hypertension, heart problems, depression, and sedation. Over-the-counter medication, alcohol abuse, and illegal drug use are also factors that contribute to impotence.

Hormone Disorders

Hormone imbalances make up for less than 5% of erectile dysfunction cases. Low levels of testosterone in the body can cause decreased sex drive and lead to impotence. Testosterone deficiency can also be caused by an underlying health condition such as a pituitary gland tumor. In addition to low testosterone, renal and liver diseases are also possible factors of ED.

Psychological Problems

Psychological problems accounts for a big percentage of erectile dysfunction in younger men. However, both younger and older men can be affected by such conditions. Common psychological issues that lead to a low sex drive include; stress, anxiety, guilt, worry, and depression.

Visit St Pete Urology at https://stpeteurology.com for more information about erectile dysfunction causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.