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Men's Sexual Health Archive

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Sex after heart attack

Updated June 1, 2012

The American Heart Association says it's safe.

For the first time ever, the American Heart Association (AHA) is weighing in on a very personal subject: sexual activity. The organization has issued a scientific statement noting that sex is safe for the majority of heart disease patients and that patients should discuss the subject with their doctors.

"The AHA statement on sexual activity and heart disease is really a big step forward in medicine," says Dr. Deepak Bhatt, an interventional cardiologist and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. "Patients with heart disease often have questions about sexual activity and it is time to start discussing those issues openly."

When sex gives more pain than pleasure

Updated October 1, 2019

Dyspareunia is a common problem for many postmenopausal women.

Millions of women experience pain before, during, or after sexual intercourse—a condition called dyspareunia (from the Greek dyspareunos, meaning "badly mated"). This condition not only saps sexual desire and enjoyment, it can also strain relationships and erode quality of life in general. For postmenopausal women, dyspareunia may also raise concerns about aging and body image.

Many women suffer in silence and don't seek the help they need, or they have trouble finding a clinician who can diagnose and treat the causes of their pain. That is unfortunate, because treatments are available for many of the problems that underlie this vexing condition.

Sex and the older woman

Updated January 1, 2012

 

Women over age 50 are having sex — and developing STIs — at a higher rate than commonly believed.

The notion that women lose interest in sexual activity after menopause has collapsed under scientific scrutiny. In a survey of 27,000 women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), more than 60% of women in their 50s, 45% of those in their 60s, and 28% of women in their 70s reported that they were sexually active, and almost two-thirds said they were happy with their level of sexual activity. Of those who were dissatisfied, more than half said they would prefer having sex more often. The study was reported in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society (November 2011).

10 diet & exercise tips for prostate health

Updated January 29, 2020

"What can I eat to reduce my risk of developing prostate cancer?" This is one of the most common questions physicians hear from men concerned about prostate health. Undoubtedly, many hope that their doctor will rattle off a list of foods guaranteed to shield them from disease. Although some foods have been linked with reduced risk of prostate cancer, proof that they really work is lacking, at least for now.

Aim for a healthy eating pattern

Instead of focusing on specific foods, dietitians, physicians, and researchers tout an overall pattern of healthy eating — and healthy eating is easier than you might think. In a nutshell, here's what experts recommend:

Viagra precautions

Updated October 1, 2011

Q. I am a 64-year-old man. Aside from diabetes, I've been healthy and until now, the only prescription I've taken is insulin. But I've been having trouble with erections, and my doctor just gave me a prescription for Viagra. He also told me to be careful about using other drugs with Viagra but didn't give me a list. Can you please fill me in?

A. Viagra (sildenafil) is one of three widely used medications for erectile dysfunction; the others are Levitra (vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil). Although you'd never know it from their advertisements, the three medications are closely related and have similar — and very favorable — track records for effectiveness and safety. They also have similar drug interactions and require similar precautions.

Is sex exercise? And is it hard on the heart?

Updated October 10, 2019

At some time in his life, nearly every man gets exercised about sex. And as many men get older, they wonder if sex is a good form of exercise or if it's too strenuous for the heart. These questions may sound like locker room banter, but they are actually quite important — and they now have solid scientific answers.

Treadmill vs. mattress

To evaluate the cardiovascular effects of sexual activity, researchers monitored volunteers while they walked on a treadmill in the lab and during private sexual activity at home. In addition to 13 women, the volunteers included 19 men with an average age of 55. About three-quarters of the men were married, and nearly 70% had some form of cardiovascular disease; 53% were taking beta blockers. Despite their cardiac histories, the men reported exercising about four times a week, and they reported having sexual activity about six times a month on average.

Medical memo: Semen quality and survival

Updated August 1, 2011

How healthy are you, and how does your life expectancy stack up against the average? To answer these questions, your doctor will ask about your smoking, drinking, diet, and exercise. He'll measure your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight or waist size. And he may ask if you're happy or stressed and if you sleep well.

These facts and numbers do count; men who rate well in midlife stay healthier and live longer than gents who score poorly. Still, scientists are always looking for additional measurements that predict survival. And research from Denmark proposes an unlikely candidate: semen quality.

Is sex exercise? And is it hard on the heart?

Updated April 11, 2019

At some time in his life, nearly every man gets exercised about sex. And as many men get older, they wonder if sex is a good form of exercise or if it's too strenuous for the heart. These questions may sound like locker room banter, but they are actually quite important — and they have solid scientific answers.

Treadmill vs. mattress

To evaluate the cardiovascular effects of sexual activity, researchers monitored volunteers while they walked on a treadmill in the lab and during private sexual activity at home. In addition to 13 women, the volunteers included 19 men with an average age of 55. About three-quarters of the men were married, and nearly 70% had some form of cardiovascular disease; 53% were taking beta blockers. Despite their cardiac histories, the men reported exercising about four times a week, and they reported having sexual activity about six times a month on average.

Two-way street between erection problems and heart disease

Updated May 1, 2011

Paying attention to heart health can be good for a man's sex life.

Trouble getting or keeping an erection can be an early warning sign of heart disease, much as heart disease can signal a man's current or future sexual problems. When either one appears, the other is likely to be lurking nearby.

Marriage and men's health

Updated June 5, 2019

Both married men and unmarried men of a certain age, may remember the tune, if not the words:

Love and marriage, love and marriage,
Go together like a horse and carriage.
This I tell you, brother,
You can't have one without the other.

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