Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on Men’s Sexual Health

Men’s sexual health is an important part of life — not only to ensure the absence of disease, but to enable the intimacy important to a man’s relationship with his partner or spouse. Two common sexual health issues for men are erectile dysfunction and primary male infertility.

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is defined as the consistent or recurrent inability to attain and/or maintain penile erection sufficient for sexual satisfaction.

How common is ED?

It is common. It is estimated that 30 million men in the United States and 150 million men worldwide are affected by ED.

Are there risk factors?

Some of the risk factors for ED are age, smoking, depression, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Are there health risks?

Beyond the emotional and psychological strain that ED can put on an intimate relationship, ED can potentially be a symptom of an underlying health issue such heart disease. So don’t hesitate to talk to your primary care physician or urologist.

What are some of the treatments or surgeries for ED?

There are several treatments for ED that range from medications to injections, suppositories, vacuum devices, and surgery.

What are the medications for ED?

PDE5i are the mainstay first-line therapy for ED. They block the enzyme that makes erections go away Most common include Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Tadalafil), and Vardenafil (Levitra/Staxyn).

What other treatments are available for men with ED?

     *  Vacuum: A device that creates negative pressure and requires constrictive ring.

     *  Injections: Self-administered into penis shaft.

     *  Suppositories: A dissolvable pellet put directly into urethral opening.

     *  Inflatable penile prostheses: A surgical procedure for only the most severe cases and can last 10-15 years.

I feel embarrassed by my ED

If you’re concerned about ED, talk to your doctor – there is no need to be embarrassed. Remember than many men experience this problem. By treating an underlying condition, we can sometimes reverse erectile dysfunction. At other times, a solution can be found in medications or other direct treatments.

What is Primary Male Infertility (PMI)?

  • PMI is defined as inability or failure to conceive within 12 months of attempted conception.

Is PMI common?

Approximately 15% of couples are unable to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse. A male factor is solely responsible in about 20% of infertile couples and at least partially responsible in 50% of all cases.

How is PMI evaluated?

Clinical history (includes female partner), physical exam, potential lab-work, 2 high quality semen analysis.

What are the treatments for PMI?

Depending on the problem treatments can range from drugs that stimulate sperm production; surgery to improve sperm production or harvest sperm; other advanced reproductive techniques.

     *  Surgery – A varicocele can be surgically corrected. An obstructed vas deferens can be repaired and prior vasectomies can be reversed. When there are no sperm in ejaculate, sperm can often be retrieved directly from the testes using advanced retrieval techniques.

     *  Treatment for Infection – Antibiotic treatment might cure an infection of the reproductive tract, but it cannot always restore fertility.

     *  Treatment for Sexual Intercourse Problems – Medication or counseling can help improve conditions such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.

     *  Hormone Therapies and Medications – We might recommend hormone replacement therapy or certain medications in cases where infertility is caused by high or low levels of certain hormones or problems with the way your body uses hormones.

     *  Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) – ART treatment involves obtaining sperm through normal ejaculation, surgical extraction or from donor individuals. These sperm are inserted into the female genital tract or used for in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

To contact and make an appointment with a Mason City Clinic urologist, call 641.494.5280.

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