Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises

Why might men benefit from Kegel exercises?

Incontinence is sometimes a problem for men who have undergone treatment for prostate cancer. This is because the treatment can weaken the muscles around the prostate gland. Kegel exercises can help strengthen these muscles so that incontinence is less of a problem.

Diabetes and overactive bladder conditions can also weaken the pelvic floor muscles.

It’s possible that Kegel exercises can also help with erectile dysfunction, but more study is needed. Some men experience more intense orgasms after doing Kegel exercises for some time.

Men who are consistent with their Kegel exercises may see results in three to six weeks.

What are Kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and control urine flow. They can help both men and women with incontinence (leaking urine or fecal matter). They can also help with sexual function

How do men do Kegel exercises?

The first step is finding the pelvic floor muscles, which can be done while urinating. Men are advised to try stopping the flow of urine. This process can help them target the muscles and understand what Kegel exercises feel like.

From there, the steps are fairly straightforward:

  • Empty the bladder.

  • Lie on the back with knees bent and apart. (Note that some men have no trouble doing Kegel exercises standing up, especially after they’ve had some practice.)

  • Contract or “squeeze” the muscles for three to five seconds.

  • Release and relax the muscles for three to five seconds.

  • Repeat

Doing three sets of ten Kegel exercises each day is a common routine. It can take time to reach this level, however, so men should be patient with themselves and do what they can to build gradually.

During Kegel exercises, men should breathe as they normally do. They shouldn’t hold their breath. They should also take care not to contract the muscles in the stomach, abdomen, thighs, or buttocks.

Men with a catheter in the penis should not do Kegel exercises until the catheter is removed and a physician gives approval.

Some men find it helpful to “schedule” their Kegel exercises when they do a routine activity, like getting ready for bed in the evening.

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What is a prolactinoma and how can it affect a person’s sexual function?

What is a prolactinoma and how can it affect a person’s sexual function?

A prolactinoma is a benign (noncancerous) tumor of the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland is sometimes called the “master gland” and is responsible for producing a number of important hormones involved with growth, metabolism, blood pressure, and reproduction.
One of these hormones is prolactin. In women, prolactin helps with the production of breast milk. Men’s bodies make prolactin, but the hormone doesn’t have a known purpose for them.
Prolactinomas make excessive amounts of prolactin. High levels of prolactin in the blood can reduce levels of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone.
While the tumor itself is benign, the high levels of prolactin it produces can cause serious problems for both men and women.
A woman with a prolactinoma may start having changes in her menstrual periods. Her breasts might start to produce milk, even if she is not pregnant or nursing. She might become less interested in sex. Vaginal dryness may also occur, as estrogen is important for vaginal lubrication. Some women with prolactinomas have trouble becoming pregnant.
A man with a prolactinoma might develop erectile dysfunction.
Other symptoms include headaches and vision problems. These may occur if the tumor grows large enough to compress the optic nerves, which are close to the pituitary gland.
Prolactinomas can often be treated with medication. If this doesn’t work, surgery to remove the tumor is another option. In rare cases, radiation might be used. Sexual problems usually get better once the tumor is treated and prolactin levels return to normal.
Prolactinomas are the most common type of pituitary gland tumor, but it’s not common for them to cause symptoms.  Women are more likely to get prolactinomas than men are. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why prolactinomas develop.
Men and women who are concerned about prolactinomas should see their healthcare professional. Diagnosing a prolactinoma usually involves a blood test to measure prolactin levels. Imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computerized tomography (CT) scan are usually ordered so that the doctor can get a closer look at the pituitary gland and the surrounding area. Sometimes, a vision test is also done.

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Is it safe for heart patients to have sex?

Is it safe for heart patients to have sex?

For most heart patients, sex is safe. However, patients should still check with their doctor first.

Having a heart attack during sex is a common worry. But the risk is small.

Research suggests that having sex is the equivalent of a brisk walk or climbing two flights of stairs.

In 2015, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published new research concerning sex and heart attack risk. A group of German scientists worked with 536 people who had had a heart attack. The patients answered questions about sexual activity in the year before their heart attack. Then, the scientists followed their health progress for ten years.

Sexual activity is unlikely to trigger a heart attack, the researchers concluded. Less than 1% of the patients had sex less than an hour before their heart attack. And almost 80% didn’t have sex within the previous 24 hours.

During the ten year follow-up period, there were 100 “cardiovascular events” (such as a heart attack or death from heart disease) among the patients. However, these events were not linked to sex, the researchers wrote.

Still, there are times when heart patients should not have sex. For example, a person with symptoms of heart disease (such as chest pains during light activity or at rest) should wait until the symptoms are stable before having sex.

Patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure, advanced heart failure, recent heart attack, an arrhythmia, or a weak heart muscle should not have sex until a doctor says it’s okay.

Sometimes, doctors recommend restricting sexual activity. This might mean having sex less often, playing a more passive role, or having less vigorous sex to keep one’s heart rate down.

Patients who are concerned about heart health and sexual activity should talk to their doctor. He or she can give the best advice on a patient’s personal situation.

Remember, too, that heart patients who have sexual restrictions can still enjoy intimacy with a partner. Kissing, hugging, touching, and caressing are all ways to be physically close.

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What is a penis fracture, and how is it treated?

What is a penis fracture, and how is it treated?

A penis fracture is a tear in a membrane in the penis called the tunica albuginea. This membrane surrounds the corpora cavernosa, the two long chambers that fill with blood when a man has an erection. The tunica albuginea helps maintain the erection’s firmness by keeping the blood in these chambers until the man ejaculates or until sexual stimulation ends.

Vigorous intercourse is one of the most common causes of penile fracture, especially in Western countries. Certain sexual positions, like “woman on top,” can increase the risk. Fracture can also happen if a man masturbates aggressively or rolls over his erect penis while sleeping.

In the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, the Taghaandan maneuver is a frequent cause. Men who practice this forcefully bend the shaft of an erect penis. The maneuver is sometimes compared to cracking one’s knuckles. Some men feel pleasure from it.

Sometimes, men see especially vigorous intercourse depicted in pornographic videos. They may try to imitate those actions when they are with a partner, not realizing that they could fracture their penis. Men should understand that what they see in videos is not necessarily what they should be doing in real life, and that penis fracture is a possibility.

Usually, men hear a cracking or popping noise when they fracture their penis. They might also experience pain, swelling, bruising, or bleeding.

Penis fracture is an emergency. Men who suspect they have fractured their penis should seek medical care immediately. Waiting too long could lead to erectile dysfunction (ED) later.

At the emergency department, a doctor will examine the penis and assess symptoms. He or she may also order an imaging test, such as an ultrasound. This test can help pinpoint the exact location of the tear and determine whether there is damage to urethra as well. (The urethra is the tube in the penis from which a man urinates or ejaculates semen. Recent research suggests that up to a third of men with penis fracture also have an injury to the urethra.)

Surgery is the typical treatment for a penis fracture, and it is usually carried out as quickly as possible, especially if there is damage to the urethra. In some cases, the penis is “degloved” (skin is removed) in order to expose the area that needs repair. However, some men need only a small incision.

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How soon can couples have sex again after a miscarriage?

How soon can couples have sex again after a miscarriage?

Sex after miscarriage depends on the individual. A woman’s doctor can give the best guidance on her personal situation.

Generally, couples can resume sex when they feel ready, but this time frame will vary from couple to couple. There are physical and emotional factors to consider.

On the physical side, many doctors suggest waiting to have sex until the bleeding from the miscarriage has stopped and the woman has had at least one normal menstrual period. Others recommend that couples wait six weeks or more, especially if the pregnancy was longer or if there were complications during miscarriage.

After miscarriage, the uterus and cervix stay partially dilated, which makes these organs more prone to infection until they completely heal. To reduce this risk, women are usually advised not to insert anything into the vagina, such as tampons, for two weeks. It also means that couples should wait this long before having vaginal intercourse.

Some women may need to wait until all of the pregnancy/fetal tissue has been removed. This tissue may pass on its own within a few weeks. A doctor may prescribe medication to help the process along. Surgical removal (using D&C) is another option.

It’s a good idea for a woman to have a thorough pelvic exam before having sex again. Couples should use birth control if they do not want another pregnancy so soon.

Emotionally, it takes time to process a miscarriage. It’s normal for couples to grieve afterward. Depression, fatigue, and anxiety may interfere with sexual desire and arousal. Partner’s understanding support is essential during this time. Keeping the lines of communication open and being honest about any fears or concerns is important.

Couples shouldn’t hesitate to seek counseling if needed. Healthcare providers can make referrals to therapists who specialize in coping with such a loss.

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Addyi (A drug for female low sexual desire)

Addyi (The women's Viagra)

What is Addyi?

Addyi is the brand name of flibanserin, a drug designed to treat acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women.

HSDD refers to a lack of sexual desire that causes distress and/or trouble with personal relationships.

It’s normal for women to lose interest in sex from time to time, but for women with HSDD, the problem is persistent. Acquired HSDD occurs after a woman has had a healthy sex drive for some period of time, often many years. Generalized HSDD happens with any sexual partner and any sexual situation.

Addyi works by balancing chemicals the brain that influence sexual desire.

The drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2015.  It is available in the United States since October 17, 2015.

Will Addyi be available outside the United States?

As of August 2015, it is unclear if and when women outside the U.S. will have access to Addyi.

On August 21, 2015, The Pharmaceutical Journal reported that Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the drug’s developer, had not yet applied to the European Medicines Agency for permission to market Addyi in Europe.

What are some side effects of Addyi?

Some women who take Addyi experience dizziness or sleepiness. This is why Addyi is meant to be taken at bedtime. Women may also have nausea, fatigue, insomnia, and dry mouth.

What are some of the health risks of Addyi?

Addyi does have some safety concerns.

The drug is not safe for women with poor liver function. Also, women who take medications called CYP3A4 inhibitors should not take Addyi

Two of the most serious concerns are loss of consciousness (syncope) and extremely low blood pressure (hypotension). If either of these situations occur, women should seek medical care immediately.

It is very important that women avoid drinking alcohol while they are taking Addyi. Risks of syncope and hypotension are higher when the drug is mixed with alcohol. Further research on this interaction is planned.

Women should always see their doctor before taking Addyi. A thorough medical exam may reveal other health conditions or medication that could be contributing to low sexual desire. Relationship problems may also be a factor to consider.

Patients who have no improvement in their desire or personal distress after 8 weeks should stop taking Addyi and seek further professional help.

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Does method of childbirth affect sexual function later?

Does method of childbirth affect sexual function later?

The risk of developing sexual problems after childbirth is about the same for women who give birth vaginally and those who have Caesarian sections. However, the types of problems may be different for each group.

Sexual challenges after childbirth are quite common. Some women lose interest in sex for a while, as their bodies adjust to motherhood. Hormonal changes can cause vaginal dryness, making sex uncomfortable. Breastfeeding women may feel pain in their nipples. And the body needs time to heal after delivery.

The manner of delivery might play a role in the types of sexual problems that occur, however.

In February 2015, a study in The Journal of Impotence Research reported on the post-delivery sexual experiences of 200 new mothers. On average, the women were between 25 and 30 years old. Roughly half of the mothers gave birth vaginally; the rest had Caesarian section deliveries.

Twelve weeks after their babies were born, the women who had had vaginal births reported increased problems with desire, arousal, and vaginal lubrication. For the women who had C-sections, lower desire seemed to be the biggest problem.  Overall, the authors concluded that the method of delivery did not have a significant effect on female sexual function 12 weeks following birth.

Another study, published in March 2016 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, compared the post-delivery sexual function of women who had given birth by Caesarian section, spontaneous vaginal delivery, and operative vaginal delivery.  (Operative vaginal delivery involves the use of forceps or a vacuum extractor.)

Looking at data from 269 women, the researchers found that generally, women who had undergone operative vaginal delivery had more trouble with arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and overall sexual functioning when compared to the women who had delivered by C-section. They also had poorer orgasms than the spontaneous vaginal delivery group.

Luckily, sexual problems after childbirth are usually temporary. New mothers are encouraged to speak to their doctors about any sexual problems. Talking openly with their partner about sex can also help.

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Stop Tramadol

Stop Tramadol

Men who take long-acting opioids for chronic pain appear to be at greater risk of developing low testosterone than men taking short-acting opioids, American researchers have found.

Opioids are pain relievers. Commonly prescribed opioids include hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine.

Opioids are classified as long-acting or short-acting. Long-acting opioids generally provide relief for at least 8 hours. Short-acting opioids release medicine more quickly and relieve pain for less than six hours.

Impact Of Opioids On Testestosterone Levels

The retrospective study focused on 81 men between the ages of 26 and 79 who had been taking an opioid for at least three months. None of the men had been diagnosed with low testosterone before. All of the men were being treated for chronic pain conditions (such as low back pain, chronic headaches, and rheumatoid arthritis) at Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Rosa Medical Center in California.

The hormone testosterone plays a large role in a man’s sex drive. But it is also involved with muscle mass, bone density, and mood. Low testosterone can lead to problems in all of these areas.

Normal testosterone levels are typically between 300 and 800 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). For this study, men were considered to have hypogonadism (low testosterone) if their total testosterone levels were less than or equal to 250 ng/dL. All levels were measured before 10 a.m.

Overall, 56.8% of the men were hypogonadal. Rates varied depending on opioid length of action, however. Of the men taking long-acting opioids, 74% had low testosterone. Thirty-four percent of the men taking short-acting opioids were hypogonadal.

After adjusting for daily dosage and body mass index, the researchers found that the risk of developing low testosterone was 4.78 times greater for men taking long-term opioids compared to those who take the short-acting variety.

No association was found between dose and an increased risk of low testosterone.

“We need to know how we can prescribe these very useful medications in a way that brings the greatest benefits to our patients, without introducing additional risks,” said researcher Dr. Andrea Rubinstein in a press release. Dr. Rubinstein is from the Departments of Chronic Pain and Anesthesiology at Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center.

“These medications work well for short-term, acute pain,” Dr. Rubinstein added. “It has long been extrapolated that they can also be used safely long-term to control chronic pain. We are now finding that the long-term use of opioids may have important unintended health consequences.”

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What happens if you take too much of an oral erectile dysfunction (ED) medication?

What happens if you take too much of an oral erectile dysfunction (ED) medication?

Oral medications provide a convenient way for men to manage their erectile dysfunction (ED). These drugs are called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.
These drugs work by relaxing smooth muscle tissue in the penis, allowing more blood to flow in when a man is sexually stimulated. This blood is essential for a firm erection.
While PDE5 inhibitors are effective for lots of men with ED, some men wonder whether they’ll see better results if they take more medicine than their doctor prescribed. But doing this can be dangerous.
Therefore, it is important to use these medications exactly as the doctor prescribes and carefully read the accompanying patient information packet. The doctor should also know what other medications or supplements a man is currently taking.
One of the risks of oral ED drug overdose is priapism, an erection that lasts for several hours. Priapism can happen if too much blood flows into the penis, causing it to swell. Some men with priapism experience discomfort or pain. But they should not take the situation lightly.
Men who have an erection that lasts a long time are urged to seek emergency medical care. When blood is in the penis for too long, it’s difficult for oxygen to reach the area. This situation can lead to tissue damage, permanent erectile dysfunction, or disfiguration of the penis.
Treatment for priapism may include draining the excess blood from the penis, medication, or surgery.
Another risk associated with oral ED medications is a drop in blood pressure. Men might start to feel weak, dizzy, and nauseated. They might start breathing more quickly, experience blurry vision, and have difficulty concentrating.
In severe cases, low blood pressure can substantially reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches important parts of the body, like the heart and brain. Eventually, these organs can become damaged.
Men who believe they have taken too much of any drug are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible and/or call their local poison control center. They should also seek immediate medical attention if they have any of these symptoms after taking an ED drug:
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Swelling of lips, tongue, or throat
  • Problems breathing or swallowing
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing problems
Men who feel their ED medication is not working as well as they hoped should also talk to their doctor. The dose might need to be adjusted, but this should only be done under a doctor’s care. Men should also remember that these drugs are prescription medications and are not appropriate for every man. For example, men who take drugs containing nitrates should never take ED drugs.

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Can women reach orgasm without direct sexual stimulation?

Can women reach orgasm without direct sexual stimulation?

Many women find that sexual stimulation of their erogenous zones, such as the vagina, clitoris, and breasts, sets them on the path to orgasm. But some women reach orgasm even when they’re not in a typical sexual situation.
It is difficult to know how many women experience orgasms this way or how often such orgasms occur. However, the following pathways have been described:
  • Thinking.

Experts often talk about the brain as an essential sexual organ. For some women, fantasizing about a romantic or sexual situation is enough to make them climax. This method may take some time and practice, and women might combine the activity with relaxation techniques, deep breathing, or pelvic floor exercises.
  • Sleeping.

Like men, women can have spontaneous orgasms while they sleep. (In men, these are called “wet dreams.”) Nocturnal orgasms usually occur after a sexual dream during which women become aroused. Women may wake up with an intense feeling of pleasure.
  • Exercising.

Orgasms are also possible while working out. Research suggests that abdominal exercises, climbing, and weight lifting are the most common methods. Biking, spinning, rope-climbing, pole-climbing may also lead to “coregasms.”

While they might seem pleasurable, spontaneous orgasms aren’t always welcome events. Women with persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) feel continuously sexually aroused without any sexual contact or thoughts. Symptoms can last for hours, days, or longer. Orgasms might relieve symptoms to some degree, but not permanently. PGAD is a distressing condition, and patients often feel embarrassed.

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