Men's Sexual Health Archive


Heart attack survivors can have sex without fear

Sex does not appear to trigger a heart attack or increase your risk for a second one, suggests a study in the Sept. 21, 2015, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Experts looked at 536 heart attack survivors ages 30 to 70 and evaluated their sexual activity in the 12 months prior to their heart attack. Sexual activity was divided into three categories: less than once a month, less than once a week, and once or more per week.

Spice up your sex life with these 6 steps

Image: Thinkstock

Consider medical intervention and lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise.

Getting busy in the bedroom can be a challenge in our older years. Sometimes it's the result of age-related physical changes, such as an enlarged prostate for men; for women, estrogen loss after menopause can reduce libido and vaginal lubrication and cause pain with penetration and difficulty climaxing. In other cases, chronic disease may be to blame, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, neurological disease, and incontinence. Medications to treat these conditions can also affect sexual function.

BPH drugs linked to small risk of falls

In the Journals

Alpha blockers, a type of medication that many men take for urinary difficulties caused by an overgrown prostate, are associated with a dangerous but very small risk of falling, according to a recent study in BMJ. This should reassure men who have heard that the drugs could cause dizziness from a sudden drop in blood pressure.

The Canadian study identified more than 147,000 men in Ontario prescribed one of three drugs: alfuzosin (Uroxatral), silodosin (Rapaflo), and tamsulosin (Flomax). Most of the men (84%) took Flomax, although all three drugs work the same way.

Sex before and after a heart attack

Research we're watchting

Many people with heart disease worry if sexual activity is safe for their hearts. But sex is rarely the cause of a heart attack, and sex after a heart attack is safe for most people, according to a research letter in the September Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers asked 536 people ages 30 to 70 who were undergoing cardiac rehabilitation after a heart attack to fill out questionnaires about their sexual activity in the 12 months before their heart attack. Over the 10-year follow-up, there were 100 adverse heart-related events among the participants, including heart attacks, strokes, and deaths from cardio-vascular disease.

Vasectomy and prostate cancer

Image: iStock

Ask the Doctor

Q. I had a vasectomy many years ago, at age 45. I recently read that this increases my risk of prostate cancer. Should I be concerned?

A. Despite the reports you've heard about the connection between vasectomy and prostate cancer, the evidence is weak for a cause-and-effect relationship. Right now, this hypothetical risk should not cause you undue concern.

Not satisfied with your sex life?

Image: Thinkstock

Erectile dysfunction is common, but it's not always the problem. A doctor can help you get to the bottom of it.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is difficulty either getting or maintaining an erection firm and lasting enough for a satisfying sexual encounter. The most common cause is inadequate blood supply to the spongy tissues in the penis that provide rigidity. That's a straightforward "plumbing problem" that can usually be treated with medication. But there are other possible causes, too.

Yohimbe supplements found to be dangerously strong

Image: Bigstock

In the journals

Dietary supplements containing the herbal ingredient yohimbe often contain prescription-strength active ingredients that are potentially dangerous, according to a study in Drug Testing and Analysis.

Scientists analyzed 49 popular brands of supplements with yohimbe. They found evidence that 39% of the products tested appeared to contain a pharmaceutical-grade extract of the herb.

A better sex life requires more than popping a pill

Image: iStock

The never-ending advertisements for erectile dysfunction drugs seem to suggest that popping a pill is all it takes to guarantee a great sex life for men dealing with this challenging problem.

But a satisfying sex life takes a lot more than functioning body parts — erectile dysfunction can set in motion a cycle of emotional and relationship problems. And "fixing" the ability to achieve an erection may uncover other sources of sexual dysfunction, such as low libido, difficulties with arousal, or sexual issues in a partner.

Making sex pain-free

Discomfort with intercourse happens to men, too. But most obstacles can be overcome.

To most men, an active sex life is essential. If you go by what you see in the health press, the only thing standing in your way is erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to get and keep an erection sufficient for intercourse. The drugs approved to treat ED all work to a greater or lesser extent for most men with erectile difficulties, and there are other options if they don't.

Doctors often mum about sex after a heart attack

A week or so after having a heart attack, if you can take a brisk walk without any heart-related symptoms, it's fine to have sex. So say the guidelines from the American Heart Association. But most doctors don't share this advice with their patients, according to a study in the December 2014 Circulation.

The study included more than 2,300 women and 1,100 men between the ages of 18 and 55. Just 12% of women and 19% of the men reported receiving any counseling about sexual activity within a month of their heart attacks. Those who did get advice were often given restrictions (such as to limit sex or to take a more passive role) that are not supported by evidence or guidelines. Being female or older was linked to a lower likelihood of receiving counseling.

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