Archive for December, 2010

Hold On To That Lucky Rabbit’s Foot-It May Help You Win That Competition

December 28, 2010

I have been a student of magic and changing one’s behaviors or beliefs.  I have come across an article that provides some validity to the use of lucky charms and the application of superstitions.  The next time you cross your fingers or tell someone to break a leg, you may actually be bringing some luck.  Superstitious ways of bringing good luck are found in cultures around the world, and it turns out they may be ubiquitous for a very good reason. New research shows that believing in, say, the power of a good luck charm can actually help improve  performance in certain situations, even though the charm and event aren’t logically linked.

In a series of experiments at the University of Cologne employing tasks involving memory and motor skills, the scientists studied the effect of behavior and good luck charms in college students.

The first experiment looked at the influence of the concept of good luck in a test of putting a golf ball in the hands of those who were told the golf ball was lucky.  Those who received the ball tended to outperform those who didn’t have the “lucky” ball.

A final experiment involved a lucky charm brought by each participant. In a memory test, the participants who were permitted to keep their lucky charms with them performed better.

People often become superstitious when faced with unknown and stressful situations, possibly explaining why athletes and students are often superstitious. Engaging in a superstition could reduce tension related to a high-stakes competition or an exam.  As the study showed, superstitious beliefs may also increase a person’s belief in his or her own abilities and talents.

Bottom Line: Superstitious behavior won’t help you win the lottery, but it could help you win a sporting event or pass a test.

Use It Or Lose It – Erectile Dysfunction Lower In Men Who Have Intercourse More Often

December 28, 2010

Men, I have good news for you.  Having intercourse more often may help prevent the development of erectile dysfunction (ED). A new study reports that researchers have found that men who had intercourse more often were less likely to develop ED.

Investigators from Finland observed that men reporting intercourse less than once per week had twice the incidence of erectile dysfunction compared with those reporting intercourse more than once per week. Also the risk of erectile dysfunction was inversely related to the frequency of intercourse, i.e., more intimacy less ED.

Regular intercourse has an important role in preserving erectile function among elderly men, whereas morning erection does not exert a similar effect. Continued sexual activity decreases the incidence of erectile dysfunction in direct proportion to frequency of intercourse.

Bottom Line:  Regular intercourse protects men from the development of erectile dysfunction, which may, in turn, impact general health and quality of life.  Therefore, if your partner tells you that they have a headache, you tell them your doctor said it was healthy for you to “do it”!


Want To Have a Longer Penis? Lose A Few Inches Around Your Waist

December 28, 2010

It seems every man is interested in the length of his penis.  Let the truth be told; it isn’t the length of the “member” that cuts the mustard, but how you use it that counts.  That being said, how can a man increase the length of his penis?  As men age, there is often an increase in girth of the abdomen which creates the illusion that the penis is smaller.  In actuality the penis size doesn’t change, but the perspective of man looking down over his protuberance makes the penis appear shorter.  (The same man may find that his shoes also appear shorter!)

Rule of thumb: If you lose 35 pounds, which means a decrease in abdominal fat, you gain over an inch in length in penis size….and you can see your shoes again!

Bottom Line: If you are looking for reasons to practice a healthy life style such as diet and exercise, then one of the benefits will be a perceived increase in length of your penis.


When Things Are Coming Out “Down There”-Pelvic Organ Prolapse

December 25, 2010

Pelvic organ prolapse is a common that affects more than 30 million American women in the United States.  Unfortunately, only 15% of women who have prolapse seek treatment from a doctor.  This article will define prolapse, discuss the symptoms of prolapse and discuss some of the treatment options.

Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where there is a weakening of the support tissues or muscles of the pelvis.  The symptoms of POP include a bulge or lump in the vagina or a pulling or stretching sensation in the groin.  Women with POP may complain of difficulty with sexual intimacy.  They may also have urine and\or fecal incontinence.  They may also have difficulty with bowel movements or difficulty emptying their bladder.

The causes of POP include menopause, multiple pregnancies and childbirth, prior pelvic surgery, obesity, and as a consequence of the aging process.

Treatment options for POP

Conservative therapies including strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.  This can be easily accomplished with Kegel exercises.  These are exercises named after the doctor who devised the treatment, which consists of contracting and relaxing the muscles in the pelvis.  These are the same muscles which hold urine in and rectal gas in place.  A woman should do the Kegel exercises multiple times a day and should not expect any changes for several months until the muscles are strengthened.

For more information on Kegel exercises go to

Another conservative therapy is the use of pessaries or plastic or rubber rings which are inserted into the vagina to restore the fallen organ back into the normal anatomic position.   Peccaries will work immediately but they have to be changed periodically in order to avoid vaginal infections.

Probably the most common treatment is surgical repair of the prolapse.  The surgery is used to strengthen structures around the vagina to maintain support of the structures and organs in the pelvis.  These procedures can usually be accomplished through the vaginal opening.  Most women can have the procedure on a one-day stay basis or remain in the hospital for just 24 hours.  Most women need little or no pain medication after the procedure and can return to all activities including heavy lifting, exercise, and sexual intimacy in 3-4 weeks after the procedure.

Most of the surgical procedures that restore the normal anatomy are 90% successful and most patients are very satisfied after the procedure.

Bottom Line:  If something isn’t right “down there” you don’t have to suffer in silence.  There are several treatment options to restore your normal anatomy.  You can have an improved quality of life and return to your normal activities within a short time.  If you have any questions, call your doctor.





Low Sperm Count? The Culprit Might Be Your Laptop Computer

December 24, 2010

Whoever invented the ‘laptop’ probably didn’t worry too much about male reproductive health.  Turns out, unsurprisingly, that sitting with a computer on your lap will crank up the temperature of your genitals, which could affect sperm quality.

It is well known that the scrotum and its contents are about one degree cooler than the core body temperature of 98.0F.  If the testicles are exposed to increased heat such as frequent hot tubs and certain occupations such as bakers and welders, it may decrease the sperm count and result in infertility. Under normal circumstances, the testicles’ position outside of the body makes sure they stay a few degrees cooler than the inside of the body, which is necessary for sperm production.

The researchers at State University of New York at Stony Brook hooked thermometers to the scrotums of 29 young men who were balancing a laptop on their knees. They found that even with a lap pad under the computer, the men’s scrotums overheated quickly. To hold a laptop on your knees, however, you need to sit still with your legs closed. After one hour in this position, the researchers found that men’s testicle temperature had risen by up to 2.50.

Nearly one in six couples in the US have trouble conceiving a baby, and about half the time the man is at the root of the problem.  This number may be much higher for men using laptop computers for long periods of time.

Bottom Line: Your laptop may be hazardous to your sperm production.  The extra heat generated to the testicles is enough to impact sperm counts. The solution may be as simple as putting your laptop on a desk or spreading your legs to allow the added heat to escape.


Whistle a Happy Tune-But Hum To Treat Sinus Infections

December 24, 2010

Dealing with a cold is bad enough, but when it leads to a sinus infection, the misery can double. Some researchers have proposed a surprising remedy: humming a tune.

It is well known that reduced airflow plays a major role in sinus infections.  Researches reported in the European Respiratory Journal that humming results in a large increase in air to the nasal sinuses.  They also found that daily periods of humming might help lower the risk of chronic nasal and sinus infections.


Studies show that humming helps increase airflow between the sinus and nasal cavities, which could potentially help protect against sinus infections.


New Orleans Urologist Now Offering Same and Next-Day Appointments

December 12, 2010

Nationally recognized urologist, Dr. Neil Baum, is now offering same and next-day appointments to accommodate the needs and schedules of his patients.

NEW ORLEANS, LA— Dr. Neil Baum, a well-known urologist in New Orleans, is pleased to announce that his practice is now offering same and next-day appointments. Whether patients are coming in for a routine visit or have health concerns that require immediate attention, Dr. Baum is providing same and next-day attention that is convenient for his patients’ schedules.

“A patient’s care should never be put on hold because they can’t get in to see the doctor.  Our practice makes it as easy as possible to get the care you need, when you need it. Simply call or email requesting a same-day or next-day appointment, and we’ll work around your schedule to bring you urological care at your convenience, “said Dr. Neil Baum, New Orleans urologist.


Dr. Neil Baum is a nationally recognized author, speaker and urologist in New Orleans and has been in private practice in New Orleans for over 30 years. He offers care for a full array of urologic conditions including minimally invasive-in office procedures and treatment for urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, kidney stones, male infertility, prostate inflammation and male sterilization in New Orleans. His research interests focus on treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), overactive bladder (OAB) and lower urinary tract infections.


As patients navigate through the website for this New Orleans urologist, they will find a wealth of information about urological symptoms, treatments and technology. Additionally, patients have easy access to valuable practice information, including new patient forms, online appointment requesting, service descriptions, doctor bios and directions to the office. Whether a patient needs directions to the office or information about a treatment, such as a vasectomy in New Orleans, all of these resources are conveniently available with the click of a mouse.


Patients searching for an experienced urologist in New Orleans and the same-day convenience when scheduling appointments turn to Dr. Baum and his professional, caring staff for all of their urology needs.


To make an appointment today, call 504-891-8454 or visit


About Neil Baum M.D.: Dr. Neil Baum is a nationally recognized urologist in New Orleans and has been in the private practice of urology in New Orleans, LA, since 1978. He offers state-of-the-art evaluation and treatment of many urologic conditions including male sterilization, BPH treatment, male infertility and benign prostate enlargement in New Orleans. Dr. Baum frequently shares his extensive experience in urology by contributing regularly to the medical press and speaking at numerous medical meetings, practices and hospitals. Dr. Baum is also a member of numerous associations such as the American Urological Association, the American Fertility Society and the Louisiana State Medical Society.


Online Viagra May Be Hazardous To Your Heart and To Your Health

December 12, 2010

It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, between the ages of 20-90, the

chances are if you’re electronically connected, you will have received a message asking you if you want to last longer in bed or if you would like to have a longer more powerful erection.


It is estimated that one in ten men over the age of 35 has bought prescription medicines online. This certainly has an appeal to many men.  It allows them to make the purchase cheaply sometimes at 1\3 of the cost of the drug from a pharmacy.  The man can obtain the medication discreetly and with only the most rudimentary of health checks. But purchasing Viagra over the Internet doesn’t come without risks. A recent report by Pfizer suggested 90 per cent of the drug bought this way is fake and may contain toxic ingredients such as rat poison and paint and paracetamol – which if unwittingly combined with paracetamol-based cold or headache remedies could cause liver failure.  Also, drugs like Viagra are contraindicated with certain medications like nitroglycerin and can result in a fatal heart attack if a man takes Viagra, develops chest pain and then takes a nitroglycerin tablet.  Remember the movie, “XXXX”, when Jack Nicholson took both medications and ended up in the emergency room?


Bottom Line:  You get what you pay for.  Better and safer to get your medications from a reputable source and at the advice from your physician.  There’s no erection worth a heart attack!


Loss of Urine After Vaginal Surgery-You Have To Depend On Depends!

December 12, 2010

There are many women who will develop urinary incontinence after vaginal surgery.  For example if a woman has a protrusion of her bladder, uterus, or rectum into the vagina and needs a surgical correction, the surgery may result in the involuntary loss of urine with coughing and sneezing after the surgery.  The reason is that the protrusion or prolapse kinks or bends the urethra or the tube from the bladder that transports urine to the outside of the body before the surgical correction thus preventing incontinence.  Once the normal anatomy has been restored and the urethra is no longer kinked, urinary incontinence may occur.  It is estimated that more than 30% of women who are continent before surgery will develop incontinence or loss of urine after the procedure.


What to do?  Be sure that your doctor checks for incontinence in the office BEFORE you have the surgery.  This may require some testing or maneuvers in the office to reduce the prolapse or protrusion and check for incontinence.  If incontinence is unmasked, then the doctor can perform a small procedure during the surgery to repair the prolapse that will prevent incontinence afterwards.


Bottom Line:  Urinary incontinence is a significant problem that results in loss of self-esteem, confidence, and may lead to a reclusive life-style.  In most instances this can be cured and prevented in women who are undergoing vaginal surgery if the doctor is aware of this possibility before the surgery takes place.


When Getting The Finger May Just Be A Good Thing-Finger Length Used to Detect Prostate Cancer

December 3, 2010

A recent study from England identified another predictor for prostate cancer.  Men with index fingers longer than the ring finger have a significantly less likelihood of developing prostate cancer.

The study demonstrated that men with the long index fingers were one-third less likely to develop prostate cancer.  This could be a very simple test for prostate cancer risk.  So the next time your doctor checks your prostate, don’t be surprised if he\she checks out the length of your index finger compared to your ring finger.  Or if you are a do-it-yourselfer, measure your index and ring finger lengths as shown in the accompanying figure and share the results with your doctor.

Men with long index fingers have a lower risk of prostate cancer, British scientists said on Wednesday, a finding that could be used to help select those who need regular screening for the disease.

The article appear in British Journal of Cancer in the November 30, 2010 issue.