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Men's Sexual Health Archive

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Attitudes about sexuality and aging

Updated October 13, 2020

Fantasies can help rev up your sex life. Myths, on the other hand, can stop desire dead in its tracks. Such myths aren't the legends from classical history. They're the stories we tell ourselves and each other to support the notion that older people shouldn't, can't, and wouldn't want to have sex. This type of myth, however, bears as little relationship to reality as do the fanciful sagas of ancient gods and goddesses. Here are some examples of the most popular sexual myths and the myth-busting truths.

1. The myth: Only the young are sexually attractive.

The culture we live in exalts youth. Turn on the TV or open a magazine and you'll be barraged with images of supple skin, firm flesh, and lustrous locks. But if your mirror is reflecting a different picture these days, you may feel like the party is going on without you.

How to have more sex

Updated June 1, 2009
Believe it or not, when it comes to sex there is no such thing as normal. So says Dr. Teri Greco who has some helpful words for those who are wondering if they should have more sex and just what that really means.

Is Viagra addictive?

Updated June 1, 2009
Erectile dysfuntion medications can enhance a man's sexual performance in such a way that he seeks to use the pills whether or not he needs it. In turn, it can seem to make medications such as Viagra addictive - but not physically so much as psychologically. Dr. Abraham Morgentaler explains.

Could it be low testosterone levels?

Updated June 1, 2009
A lack of physical sensation in men could be a sign of low testosterone levels. Dr. Abraham Morgentaler explains the sign of low testosterone and what can be done if you are experiencing these symptoms.

When You Visit Your Doctor - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Updated February 1, 2017

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), or Enlarged Prostate

Questions to Discuss With Your Doctor:

  • Over the past month, how often have you had a sensation of not emptying your bladder completely after you finished urinating?
  • Over the past month, how often have you had to urinate again less than two hours after you finished urinating?
  • Over the past month, how often have you found you stopped and started again several times when you urinated?
  • Over the past month, how often have you found it difficult to postpone urination?
  • Over the past month, how often have you had a weak urinary stream?
  • Over the past month, how often have you had to push or strain to begin urination?
  • Over the past month, how many times did you most typically get up to urinate from the time you went to bed at night until the time you got up in the morning?
  • If you were to spend the rest of your life with your urinary condition just the way it is now, how would you feel about that?
  • Have you had blood in your urine, or urinary tract infections?
  • Have you ever had surgery on your prostate, bladder, or kidneys?
  • Do you have gastrointestinal problems such as diverticulitis or constipation?
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Does anyone in your family have diabetes?
  • Have you been unusually thirsty or had unintentional weight loss?
  • Have you ever had a stroke or nervous system disease?
  • Have you ever had a back injury or back surgery?
  • What medications are you taking (prescription and over-the-counter)?
  • What do you know about medical and surgical treatment options used in the treatment of benign prostatic enlargement?
  • Do you know the side effects that can occur with medications?
  • Do you know the complications associated with surgery?
  • Do you know how much benefit you can expect from each type of treatment?
  • Do you know the risks of waiting, and doing nothing at all?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Abdominal examination
  • Neurological examination
  • Digital rectal examination
  • Genital examination

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Test or Studies:

  • Urinalysis (for glucose, red blood cells, white blood cells, and bacteria)
  • Blood tests (for kidney function and prostate-specific antigen or PSA)
  • Cystoscopy
  • Ultrasound of the bladder after you urinate (post void residual)
  • Ultrasound of the kidneys
  • Pelvic CT scan
 

When You Visit Your Doctor - Erectile Dysfunction or Impotence

Updated February 1, 2017

Erectile Dysfunction or Impotence

Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • Do you smoke cigarettes?
  • Have you been screened for other medical problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes?
  • Do you exercise regularly? How much? How often?
  • Do you have a neurologic disease or sickle-cell disease?
  • Are you taking any medications (prescription or over-the-counter)?
  • Has your erectile dysfunction worsened since starting any new medications?
  • What effect is your erectile dysfunction having on your relationship? Your self-esteem?
  • How long have you had erectile problems?
  • Do you have erectile problems sometimes or all of the time?
  • Have you ever had any psychologically stressful sexual experiences?
  • Are you less interested in sex (diminished libido)?
  • Are you having difficulty achieving an erection or sustaining it?
  • Do you ever awaken with early morning or nocturnal erections?
  • Do you have pain with erections?
  • Penile bumps or lumps?
  • History of penile trauma?
  • History of pelvic surgery?
  • What are your goals in receiving treatment?
  • What therapies have you tried?
  • Do you know how much benefit you can expect from medical therapies?
  • Do you know the side effects and important drug interactions?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Genital examination
  • Rectal examination
  • Pulses in the groin and feet
  • Neurologic examination

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • Blood tests (complete blood count or CBC, glucose, cholesterol panels, thyroid function tests, prolactin level)
  • Blood testosterone level (if libido is decreased)
  • Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT)
  • Neurologic testing (nerve condition studies)
  • Your doctor may decide to do some vascular tests to establish whether the arteries that supply blood to the penis during erections are narrowed.
 

When You Visit Your Doctor - Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Updated January 30, 2017

Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • With each of the bladder or urinary tract infections that you have you had, as far back as you can remember:
    • What were the dates of each?
    • Was a urine culture done to prove you had an infection?
    • What treatment was given, and how quickly did you get better?
    • Did you have a fever, pain in your back, or nausea and vomiting?
  • Have you ever been told that you have abnormalities in the way your kidneys or bladder, or the tubes connecting them, are built?
  • Do you frequently develop bladder or urinary tract infections after sexual intercourse?
  • Do you have any chronic medical problems (for example, diabetes or neurological disease)?
  • Are you on any antibiotics to prevent recurrent bladder or urinary tract infections? If so, which one?
  • If you are a woman, what type of contraception do you use (for example, a diaphragm, spermicide)?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Abdominal exam
  • Genital exam
  • Back exam for the presence of tenderness in the area of the kidneys

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • Clean-catch urine specimen for urinalysis and culture
  • Ultrasound of the bladder
  • Full pelvic/renal ultrasound
  • Abdominal CT scan
  • Cystourethrogram
 

Active lifestyle free of alcohol, tobacco may promote sexual health in men

Updated October 10, 2003

Many men fear impotence as they get older. They think they'll either have to cut their sex lives short or rely on sexual performance-enhancing drugs such as Viagra. But a new study suggests that certain lifestyle choices might stop the problem before it starts.

The research was part of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a long-term study involving more than 30,000 men. Through a questionnaire and follow-up examination of medical records, researchers gathered info rmation on the sexual function, physical activity, smoking and drinking habits, and health conditions of men older than 50. According to the data, several characteristics of sexual health - including desire, orgasm, and overall sexual ability - decrease dramatically every decade after age 50. Twelve percent of men younger than 59 reported significant problems with their sexual function, compared to 22% of men ages 60-69 and 30% of men older than 69.

Flavonoids associated with better erectile function

Published

In the Journals

If you are worried about erectile dysfunction (ED), you might want to turn to the produce section. Flavonoid-rich foods may lower your risk of ED, which affects half of middle-aged and older men, according to a study published in February 2016 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Of the main types of flavonoids, three had the greatest benefit: anthocyanins, flavanones, and flavones. High levels of these natural plant chemicals are found in berries, like blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, as well as cherries, grapes, apples, pears, and citrus fruit.

Can supplements save your sex life?

Published

They'll tempt you with their marketing promises, but beware the dangers hidden within.


 Image: © FatCamera/Getty Images

It's February — time to think about roses, chocolates, sweethearts, and romance. And if those sentiments bring you to a certain drugstore aisle stocked with pills and potions promising to boost your sex life, you may want to think twice before buying any. "Most are a phenomenal waste of money, in my opinion," says Dr. Michael O'Leary, a urologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Unicorn juice?

With a few exceptions, most supplements for sexual function haven't been studied scientifically. At best, says Dr. O'Leary, they have a placebo effect (a beneficial result from an inactive treatment).

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