Archive for April, 2013

Worried About Prostate Cancer? Then Get Moving

April 26, 2013

Prostate cancer affects 250,000 men every year and is the second most common cause of death in men following lung cancer. If you have a relative with prostate cancer such as a father, brother, uncle or cousin and\or you are African American, you have a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. The diagnosis is made by a digital rectal exam and a prostate specific antigen or PSA blood test.

A report from the May Clinic (2013;88:11-21) pointed out that men who lead a sedentary life style or who have low levels of physical activity are more likely to have an elevated PSA test. For each hour increase in physical exercise, men are nearly 20% less likely to have an elevated PSA test.

Regular physical activity may reduce prostate cancer risk through changes in energy balance, enhanced immune function, decrease in inflammation, and an increase in anti-oxidant defenses.

Bottom Line: No one knows what exactly causes prostate cancer but it is possible that an increase in physical activity may decrease the PSA level and possibly decrease the risk of prostate cancer.

Your Chance of Having a Baby Decreases If You Are a Couch Potato

April 23, 2013

A study has lined time watching viewing TV to a decrease in sperm quality in young men. This study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine (February 4, 2013) revealed a positive association between physical activity and sperm quality. Study participants reported their TV viewing habits and the estimated number of hours and physical activity engaged in for the previous three months. The report demonstrated that men who engaged in the most moderate to vigorous physical activity and those who watched the least TV had the highest sperm counts.

Bottom Line: Want to improve your chance of having a baby? Get off of the couch and get moving!

Just Wait A Minute-Delayed Ejaculation

April 20, 2013

A very common problem among young men is premature ejaculation or reaching orgasm too soon. In older men, delayed ejaculation becomes an issue of major concern where men find it difficult or impossible to ejaculate and experience orgasm during sexual encounters.

This causes relationship distress and anxiety for the man but also impacts the partner as well. While some partners may enjoy the extended intercourse, especially if they experience premature ejaculation when the man was younger, it is common for the partner to blame themselves that they are no longer attractive or may even be suspicious that that the man is having another partner or an affair.

The causes of delayed ejaculation includes anything that disrupts the nervous system path to the genitals such as might occur with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, diabetes mellitus, alcoholism. One of the most common causes is older men is a surgical procedure in the pelvis such as prostate gland surgery for prostate cancer, bladder cancer, or colon cancer. In these surgical procedures there can be injury to the nerves that supply the penis and result in decreased sensation of penis. There are numerous medications that can contribute to delayed ejaculation. Some of the culprits are medications for treating high blood pressure, antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, some drugs used to treat enlarged prostate gland. Finally, aging results in decreased sensation to the penis and as a result more genital stimulation is required to achieve an orgasm.

The diagnosis is made with a careful sexual history. The doctor will ask about the man’s attractiveness of his partner, whether the man uses fantasy during intimacy, and also the masturbation patterns such as the frequency and technique of masturbation.

At the present time there is no FDA approved drug used to treat delayed ejaculation. Effective techniques include behavioral therapy such as temporarily suspend masturbation and by limit orgasm to sexual encounters. In men who have had previous pelvic surgery, increased sexual stimulation such as using vibrators, or erotic videos have often proved helpful. For most men with delayed ejaculation, treatment is usually successful.

Bottom Line: Delayed ejaculation is a common problem affecting millions of older men. The diagnosis is easily made and most men can be helped with behavioral therapy or with added genital stimulation.

A Little Dab Will Do Ya-Use of Testosterone Gel For Low Testosterone Levels

April 15, 2013
Influence of Testosterone

Influence of Testosterone

Most men who have symptoms of low testosterone levels such as decreased libido (sex drive), erectile dysfunction, lethargy, and loss of muscle mass who used testosterone gel every day had their testosterone levels restored to normal and experienced benefits over time. These benefits included:
• Improvement in energy, sexual desire, sexual function, and mood within 1 month
• More muscle mass and decreased body fat within 3 months
• Increased bone strength within 6 months in patients receiving 10 grams of AndroGel daily
However, once you stop using testosterone gel, it is likely your testosterone levels will fall below normal in just 5 days and your symptoms may come back.

Your Goal with Treatment
Low testosterone is a medical condition that likely won’t go away on its own. There is typically no cure for low testosterone levels. The goal of treating low testosterone is to raise your blood level of testosterone and to keep the level in a normal range. Once your testosterone reaches a normal level and remains there, symptom relief may follow.

Libido In The Tank? There’s Help For Women’s Sex Drive

April 9, 2013

As both men and women join the mid-life club they have a waning of their sex drive. The desire for sex decreases with advancing age. For men the problem is a decrease in testosterone and for women it is a result of a decrease in estrogen as well as a decrease in testosterone. Well, now help is available and a man or woman’s libido can be restored. This blog will discuss the treatment options available for women who have a decrease in their libido.

Causes of decreased libido in women

A woman’s sex drive is connected to both psychological issues as well as physical problems. Women who are in a stable relationship and take good care of themselves physically are likely to have fewer problems than those who are not in a good relationship.

The physical issues, including hormonal changes related to menopause or childbirth, or thyroid problems. Also, chronic stress can significantly impact a woman’s sex drive. Certainly depression or other mental health issues will have a a negative impact on a woman’s sex drive. Finally, some prescription drugs may also affect libido, including some types of antidepressants, birth control pills (especially those containing progesterone), anti-anxiety drugs, and blood pressure medications all can have a deleterious effect on a woman’s libido. Also women who have pain during sex may develop low sexual desire It is not uncommon for a woman to have more than one cause of a decrease in her libido.

Reviving Your Libido

The easiest solution is to speak to your physician and be sure that your medications are not the culprit. The doctor can adjust the dosage of your medication or prescribe another class of drugs that doesn’t affect the libido or sex drive. If there is a relationship problem, the doctor may recommend a referral to a sex counselor or sex therapist. I suggest that you look for a gynecologist or a sex therapist who is knowledgeable about the physical, relationship-related, and emotional components of sexual dysfunction.

Now there are medications that can have a favorable impact on a women’s sex drive. Estrogen vaginal creams, which can help if vaginal dryness makes sex painful. This typically happens when estrogen levels fall due to menopause or breastfeeding. Estrogen also comes in other forms, such as a tablet or skin patch. Testosterone and other androgens decline as women age. These hormones may play a role in sexual function in women just like they do in men. In women with low libido just before, during, or after menopause, or in women who’ve had surgery to remove their ovaries, some experts suggest the use of testosterone treatment. Testosterone can be given to women as a pill such as Estratest, a topical gel applied to the skin, or a pellet that is placed under the skin and is replaced every 4-6 months. Wellbutrin, an antidepressant, may be prescribed to treat low sex drive in women who haven’t been through menopause or if other antidepressants have affected their sex drive.

What About Supplements?

Some supplements claim to boost women’s libido, but many lack scientific proof. Most of the these products are based on anecdotes and testimony. My advice: Be skeptical if there isn’t evidence from a clinical trial.

Bottom Line: Women do not have to say goodbye to an enjoyable sex life because of a decrease in libido. Help is available. See your doctor and have a discussion about the treatment options.

Progesterone May Be a Cause of VD-Vaginal Dryness!

April 4, 2013

Vaginal dryness is troublesome condition with many causes.  Vaginal dryness can lead to itching, burning and even painful intercourse.  However, one of the most common causes of vaginal dryness is the use of progesterone in either oral or vaginal suppositories.

Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates ovulation and menstruation in women. Progesterone can also be used to regulate the menstrual cycle in women who have too little progesterone to cycle on their own. As with any medication, progesterone vaginal suppositories have the risk of side effects.

Other side effects of progesterone include mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness and fatigue. Other more bothersome side effects may include pain in the vaginal or rectal area or pain during sex. Some women may experience a reduction in libido. Some women will experience pain, swelling or tenderness in the breasts. Other discomforts can include joint or muscle pain and an increase in urination at night. The suppository itself can cause mild vaginal itching, burning or discharge, according to

In additional to vaginal dryness possible serious side effects include a sudden headache accompanied by numbness or weakness that occurs on one or both sides of the body. These more serious effects paired with shortness of breath, vision problems, speech problems or loss of balance may indicate a stroke or other serious condition. Women should report chest pain, chest heaviness, pain or swelling in the legs, hands, feet or ankles to a doctor. Other serious effects include fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, breast lumps, depression, insomnia and mood changes. Some women may experience liver problems with the use of the medication. explains that the symptoms of this include jaundice, clay-colored stools, darkened urine, appetite reduction, low fever or abdominal pain paired with nausea.

ImageBottom Line: Vaginal dryness is an uncomfortable condition “down there”.  The problem may be related to progesterone or to your birth control pills if they contain progesterone.  For more information speak to your physician.

Read more:

Dr. Neil Baum is the co-author of What’s Going On Down There-Improve Your Pelvic Health available from