Poor sexual health can be treated with medical solutions and can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle. Find out what the solutions are as the Department of Psychiatry and Urology at Singapore General Hospital explains.
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At present, the most common treatment for erectile dysfunction is taking drugs such as Viagra, Levitra or Cialis under medical supervision. The most drastic treatment is a surgical procedure which involves inserting a penile implant.
Reduced libido caused by a lack of testosterone can be confirmed with a blood test and treated with testosterone supplements. The treatment can be given in an oral form or via a series of injections, with regular follow-ups to ensure that the patient’s testosterone is replaced adequately and safely.
Prevention is better than cure
The effects of ageing are evident, even in fit, young men, as revealed in autopsies of casualties from the Vietnam War. Thus, it is important to have a well-balanced lifestyle – physically, emotionally and financially – as it is the first step towards graceful ageing and a healthy sex life. If you have any chronic medical problems such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and depression, they need to be managed well so as to prevent long-term complications.
Experts warn against drug and alcohol abuse as these have a toxic effect on the nervous system, damaging nerves that are critical to sexual desire. Smoking causes early atherosclerosis (which leads to premature erectile dysfunction and is also associated with heart attacks, strokes and many cancers) and should be avoided.
Exercise regularly to improve your self image (which increases desire and boosts sex hormones) and promote healthy blood vessels (which means delaying the onset of erectile dysfunction). On the emotional front, focus on relationships with important people in your life and let go of past grievances. Also, be mentally and financially prepared for retirement. If one enters the golden years possessing financial stability, companionship and meaningful hobbies, one will be well equipped to lead a more fulfilling life in the later years.
Five common myths about male ageing and sex
|1. “I’m impotent, but my friends don’t seem to have any complaints about their erections.”
|Every man’s erection becomes weaker with age. However, men with medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol may experience erectile dysfunction earlier in their lives.
|2. “My penis is too short for good sex.”
|Many men have this misconception that good sex requires a long penis. Procedures to lengthen the penis are merely cosmetic and do not enhance erection. In fact, they may even impair erections in some cases!
|3. “I can’t have multiple erections.”
|Most men do not have multiple erections. After ejaculation, the penis will have a refractory period whereby it cannot become erect.
|4. “I use erection drugs to improve my sex life.”
|Erection drugs do not increase sex drive. They increase blood flow in the penis, allowing erections to be stronger and more rigid.
|5. “I can die from taking erection drugs.”
|Deaths from erection drugs are very rare and they happen when men take the drugs without medical supervision. Victims may also have underlying medical conditions like heart problems. When taken properly under medical supervision, erection drugs are actually very safe.