Male Sexual Health
Male sexual health encompasses erectile dysfunction as well as hypogonadism. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to attain or maintain an erection satisfactory for intercourse. Risk factors include: obesity, high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, certain medications, prostate enlargement and past surgeries such as prostatectomy. Patients are encouraged to quit smoking and otherwise improve their overall health to improve their erectile function. Often medications are available to treat ED. Oral medications like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra are commonly prescribed and effective in millions of men. However, if oral medications fail, there are injectable medications available or even medications that are inserted in the opening of the urethra. Vacuum erection devices draw blood into the penis and hold it there allowing men to achieve an erection for the duration of their sexual encounter. Continued issues with ED may be treated with surgical implantation of a penile prosthesis.
Hypogonadism is a condition in which a man’s body doesn't produce enough of the hormone testosterone. In adult males, hypogonadism may alter certain masculine physical characteristics and impair normal reproductive function. Signs and symptoms may include: erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, fatigue, and decreased muscle mass. Your doctor may order blood tests or imaging studies such as ultrasounds or CT scans to better understand the source of your hypogonadism. For certain patients with hypogonadism, your doctor may use male hormone replacement (testosterone replacement therapy). Testosterone therapy can restore sexual function and muscle strength and prevent bone loss. In addition, men receiving testosterone replacement often experience an increase in energy, sex drive and sense of well-being. Testosterone replacement can be administered using injections, skin patches or topical gels. Surveillance of your testosterone levels will be done to see how you are responding to the therapy.