Men Prone To Worry and Anxiety May Develop Heart Disease and Diabetes Risk Factors at Younger Ages

Middle-aged men who are anxious and worry more may be at greater biological risk for developing heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, also called cardiometabolic disease, as they get older, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access journal of the American Heart Association.

This article is a repost which originally appeared on SciTechDaily

The American Heart Association - January 24, 2022
Edited for content and readability - Images sourced from Pexels
Source: DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.121.022006

Our Takeaways:

  • Heart disease and Type 2 diabetes developed earlier in life among those who reported more feelings of worry or being overwhelmed.
  • The study suggests that men prone to worry and anxiety may need to pay extra attention to cardiometabolic disease risk factors, such as maintaining a healthy weight and taking blood pressure or cholesterol medicines, if needed.
  • The findings also suggest that treating anxiety disorders may lower cardiometabolic disease risk.

“While the participants were primarily white men, our findings indicate higher levels of anxiousness or worry among men are linked to biological processes that may give rise to heart disease and metabolic conditions, and these associations may be present much earlier in life than is commonly appreciated – potentially during childhood or young adulthood,” said Lewina Lee, Ph.D., lead author of the study, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, and an investigator and clinical psychologist at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, both in Boston.

To track the relationship between anxiety and cardiometabolic disease risk factors over time, the investigators analyzed data on participants in the Normative Aging Study, which is a longitudinal study of aging processes in men, founded at the U.S. Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Boston in 1961. The study includes both veterans and non-veterans. This analysis included 1,561 men (97% white), who were an average age of 53 years in 1975. The men completed baseline assessments of neuroticism and worry and did not have cardiovascular disease or cancer at that time. A personality inventory assessed neuroticism on a scale of 0–9. In addition, a worry assessment tool asked how often they worried about each of 20 items, with 0 meaning never and 4 meaning all the time.

“Neuroticism is a personality trait characterized by a tendency to interpret situations as threatening, stressful and/or overwhelming. Individuals with high levels of neuroticism are prone to experience negative emotions – such as fear, anxiety, sadness and anger – more intensely and more frequently,” said Lee. “Worry refers to our attempts at problem-solving around an issue whose future outcome is uncertain and potentially positive or negative. Worry can be adaptive, for example, when it leads us to constructive solutions. However, worry can also be unhealthy, especially when it becomes uncontrollable and interferes with our day-to-day functioning.”

After their baseline assessment, the men had physical exams and blood tests every 3-5 years until they either died or dropped out of the study. The research team used follow-up data through 2015. During follow-up visits, seven cardiometabolic risk factors were measured: systolic (top number) blood pressure; diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure; total cholesterol; triglycerides; obesity (assessed by body mass index); fasting blood sugar levels; and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), a marker of inflammation.

A risk factor for cardiometabolic disease was considered in the high-risk range if the test results for the risk factor was higher than the cut-point established by national guidelines, or if the participant was taking any medicines to manage that risk factor (such as cholesterol-lowering medications). Cut points for ESR as a risk factor are not standardized, so the participant was ranked as high-risk if they were in the top 25% of those tested. Each participant was assigned a risk factor count score, one point for each of the seven risk factors classified as high-risk. The men were then stratified based on whether they did or did not develop six or more high-risk factors during the follow-up period.

“Having six or more high-risk cardiometabolic markers suggests that an individual is very likely to develop or has already developed cardiometabolic disease,” said Lee.

The researchers found:

  • Between ages 33 to 65, the average number of cardiometabolic high-risk factors increased by about one per decade, averaging 3.8 risk-factors by age 65, followed by a slower increase per decade after age 65.
  • At all ages, participants with higher levels of neuroticism had a greater number of high-risk cardiometabolic factors.
  • Higher neuroticism was associated with a 13% higher likelihood of having six or more cardiometabolic disease risk factors, after adjusting for demographic characteristics (such as income and education) and family history of heart disease.
  • Higher worry levels were associated with a 10% higher likelihood of having six or more cardiometabolic disease risk factors after adjusting for demographic characteristics.

“We found that cardiometabolic disease risk increased as men aged, from their 30s into their 80s, irrespective of anxiety levels, while men who had higher levels of anxiety and worry consistently had a higher likelihood of developing cardiometabolic disease over time than those with lower levels of anxiety or worry,” Lee said.

The researchers did not have data on whether participants had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Standard evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders includes psychotherapy or medication, or a combination of the two.

“While we do not know whether treatment of anxiety and worry may lower one’s cardiometabolic risk, anxious and worry-prone individuals should pay greater attention to their cardiometabolic health. For example, by having routine health check-ups and being proactive in managing their cardiometabolic disease risk levels (such as taking medications for high blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight), they may be able to decrease their likelihood of developing cardiometabolic disease,” said Lee.

It is unclear to what extent the results of this analysis are generalizable to the public since the study participants were all male and nearly all white. In addition, although participants were followed for four decades, they were middle-aged when the study began.

“It would be important for future studies to evaluate if these associations exist among women, people from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and in more socioeconomically varying samples, and to consider how anxiety may relate to the development of cardiometabolic risk in much younger individuals than those in our study,” Lee said.

Psychedelics Show Promise in Treating Mental Illness: Depression, Anxiety, Addiction, and PTSD

One in five U.S. adults will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, according to the National Alliance of Mental Health. But standard treatments can be slow to work and cause side effects.

To find better solutions, a Virginia Tech researcher has joined a renaissance of research on a long-banned class of drugs that could combat several forms of mental illness and, in mice, have achieved long-lasting results from just one dose.

This article is a repost which originally appeared on SciTechDaily 
 - 
Edited for content and readability - Images sourced from Pexels 
Study: DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109836

Using a process his lab developed in 2015, Chang Lu, the Fred W. Bull Professor of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering, is helping his Virginia Commonwealth University collaborators study the epigenomic effects of psychedelics.

Their findings give insight into how psychedelic substances like psilocybin, mescaline, LSD, and similar drugs may relieve symptoms of addiction, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The drugs appear to work faster and last longer than current medications — all with fewer side effects.

The project hinged on Lu’s genomic analysis. His process allows researchers to use very small samples of tissue, down to hundreds to thousands of cells, and draw meaningful conclusions from them. Older processes require much larger sample sizes, so Lu’s approach enables the studies using just a small quantity of material from a specific region of a mouse brain.

And looking at the effects of psychedelics on brain tissues is especially important.

Researchers can do human clinical trials with the substances, taking blood and urine samples and observing behaviors, Lu said. “But the thing is, the behavioral data will tell you the result, but it doesn’t tell you why it works in a certain way,” he said.

But looking at molecular changes in animal models, such as the brains of mice, allows scientists to peer into what Lu calls the black box of neuroscience to understand the biological processes at work. While the brains of mice are very different from human brains, Lu said there are enough similarities to make valid comparisons between the two.

VCU pharmacologist Javier González-Maeso has made a career of studying psychedelics, which had been banned after recreational use of the drugs was popularized in the 1960s. But in recent years, regulators have begun allowing research on the drugs to proceed.

In work by other researchers, primarily on psilocybin, a substance found in more than 200 species of fungi, González-Maeso said psychedelics have shown promise in alleviating major depression and anxiety disorders. “They induce profound effects in perception,” he said. “But I was interested in how these drugs actually induce behavioral effects in mice.”

To explore the genomic basis of those effects, he teamed up with Lu.

In the joint Virginia Tech – VCU study, González-Maeso’s team used 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine, or DOI, a drug similar to LSD, administering it to mice that had been trained to fear certain triggers. Lu’s lab then analyzed brain samples for changes in the epigenome and the gene expression. They discovered that the epigenomic variations were generally more long-lasting than the changes in gene expression, thus more likely to link with the long-term effects of a psychedelic.

After one dose of DOI, the mice that had reacted to fear triggers no longer responded to them with anxious behaviors. Their brains also showed effects, even after the substance was no longer detectable in the tissues, Lu said. The findings were published in the October issue of Cell Reports.

It’s a hopeful development for those who suffer from mental illness and the people who love them. In fact, it wasn’t just the science that drew Lu to the project.

For him, it’s also personal.

“My older brother has had schizophrenia for the last 30 years, basically. So I’ve always been intrigued by mental health,” Lu said. “And then once I found that our approach can be applied to look at processes like that — that’s why I decided to do research in the field of brain neuroscience.”

González-Maeso said research on psychedelics is still in its early stages, and there’s much work to be done before treatments derived from them could be widely available.

How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction?

How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction?

By Katie Wilkinson, MPH, MCHES

Published on September 28, 2021
Medically reviewed by Matthew Wosnitzer, MD

This article is a repost which originally appeared on verywell health

Edited for content.

Erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection for sexual activity. While the occasional failure to get an erection is not uncommon, if it happens consistently, or more than 50% of the time, it may be ED. It can be a temporary experience, or develop into a long-term condition that requires treatment.

Prevalence

On a global scale, ED affects 3% to 76.5% of all men. The wide range is due to the different measures used in studies to evaluate ED.

In the United States, it’s estimated that 30 million men experience ED.2 Worldwide, there are about 150 million men living with ED, and by the year 2025, it’s predicted that over 300 million men will have ED.

Common Causes

ED can be caused by a number of factors relating to physical and mental health, including:

  • Physical and health conditions that involve different systems in the body, such as the vascular, neurological, or endocrine systems; can include issues with nerve signals or blood flow to the penis
  • Side effects from medication, which can include antidepressants, medication to manage blood pressure, tranquilizers, sedatives, ulcer medication, and prostate cancer therapy
  • Psychological or emotional causes such as depression, anxiety, fear associated with sexual performance, general stress, or low self-esteem
  • Lifestyle behaviors and health-related factors that are associated with ED include smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise, and substance (alcohol or drug) use

Risk Factors

Certain risk factors have been found to increase the likelihood of experiencing ED. They can include:

    • Age: The chances of developing ED increases with age, particularly in men over 60 years old.
    • Tobacco use: Research has found that smokers are 1.5 times more likely to experience ED than nonsmokers.
    • High blood pressure (hypertension): About 30% to 50% of people living with hypertension also experience ED.
    • Type 2 diabetes: Between 35% and 90% of diabetic men will develop ED.
    • High cholesterol: Statins used to treat high cholesterol showed improved erectile function.
    • Hypogonadism: This is a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough sex hormones, including testosterone. Since testosterone is necessary for the ability to maintain an erection, people with hypogonadism who are treated with testosterone replacement therapy can see improved erectile function.
    • Obesity: Several studies have indicated that men with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 begin to experience a 1.5 to three times greater risk of ED than those with lower BMIs.
    • Depression: Men living with depression are two times more likely to experience ED. Treating depression with selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can also increase risk of ED.

Stress and anxiety, particularly performance-related anxiety, can also cause issues with sexual activity and erectile function.

Associated Conditions

In addition to diabetes, hypertension, and hypogonadism, the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases also lists the following conditions and diseases as associated with ED:

  • Heart and blood vessel conditions, including atherosclerosis
  • Injuries of the spinal cord, penis, prostate gland, bladder, or pelvic area
  • Prostate or bladder surgery
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Peyronie’s disease, a condition where scar tissue develops and creates a bend in the penis

Treatment

Treatment for ED can take many forms and depends on the root cause of the individual’s ED. Because of ED’s impact on sexual relationships, it’s worth discussing treatment options with your sexual partner.

Lifestyle

Avoiding or stopping the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs may help with ED.

Increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can also be a way to improve erectile function.

Mental Health Counseling

Because emotional and psychological concerns can play a role in ED, speaking with a mental health professional can be beneficial. They can help identify ways to manage anxiety and work through stress that may be impacting sexual performance.

Medication

Oral (PDE5 inhibitors), injectable, or suppository medications can be prescribed to help achieve and maintain an erection. For those with low testosterone (hypogonadism), testosterone replacement therapy may be prescribed.

Treatment may also involve adjusting or changing current medications that hinder the ability to get an erection.

Devices and Procedures

The following devices and procedures can be used to treat ED:

  • Penis pump: This device uses vacuum action to pull blood into the penis to create an erection. It has a tube where the penis is placed and a pump that draws air out of the tube and creates suction. Once the blood is pulled into the penis, an elastic band is placed at the base of the penis to prevent the blood from going back into the body and to keep the erection for about 30 minutes.
  • Arterial repair surgery: Procedures to repair clogged blood vessels in the penis may increase blood flow to allow for erections. This treatment is usually reserved for patients under the age of 30.
  • Implantable devices: These include surgically placed devices that either inflate or include semi-rigid rods to help a person achieve an erection.

A Word From Verywell

While many men might feel embarrassed by their erectile dysfunction, it should be a comfort to know that it is a very common condition, affecting at least 150 million men worldwide. It is also a very treatable condition.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience issues achieving and maintaining an erection. Even though it may be uncomfortable to talk about, proper sexual functioning is a key part of your overall health and well-being.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cleveland Clinic. Erectile dysfunction. Updated October 14, 2019.
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Definition & facts for erectile dysfunction. Updated July 2017.
  3. Kessler A, Sollie S, Challacombe B, Briggs K, Van Hemelrijck M. The global prevalence of erectile dysfunction: a review. BJU International. 2019;124(4):587-599. doi:10.1111/bju.14813
  4. Kalsi J, Muneer A. Erectile dysfunction – an update of current practice and future strategies. J Clinic Urol. 2013;6(4):210-219. doi:10.1177/2051415813491862
  5. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & causes of erectile dysfunction. Updated July 2017.
  6. DeLay KJ, Haney N, Hellstrom WJ. Modifying risk factors in the management of erectile dysfunction: a review. World J Mens Health. 2016;34(2):89-100. doi:10.5534/wjmh.2016.34.2.89
  7. Mourikis I, Antoniou M, Matsouka E, et al. Anxiety and depression among Greek men with primary erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2015;14(1):34. doi:10.1186/s12991-015-0074-y
  8. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Treatment for erectile dysfunction. Updated July 2017.
  9. Urology Care Foundation. What is erectile dysfunction? Updated June 2018.
  10. Nguyen HM, Gabrielson AT, Hellstrom WJG. Erectile dysfunction in young men—a review of the prevalence and risk factors. Sexual Medicine Reviews. 2017;5(4):508-520. doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.05.004
  11. International Society for Sexual Medicine. Can a vasectomy cause erectile dysfunction (ED)?
  12. Ssentongo AE, Kwon EG, Zhou S, Ssentongo P, Soybel DI. Pain and dysfunction with sexual activity after inguinal hernia repair: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Coll Surg. 2020;230(2). doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2019.10.010

Dealing with Premature Ejaculation & Causes of Premature Ejaculation (from The Ultimate Guide To Male Enhancement)

Dealing with Premature Ejaculation & Causes of Premature Ejaculation

The following are two chapters taken from the book: The Ultimate Guide To Male Enhancement.

Edited for content

Chapter 12: Dealing with Premature Ejaculation

What is Premature Ejaculation?

The definition of what constitutes premature ejaculation may vary depending on the source, but it’s commonly accepted as a scenario where the length of time for sexual performance on the part of the male is unsatisfactory, by either the man or his partner. That being said, what constitutes premature ejaculation can be arbitrary. There is no set time that if you orgasm before it then you have premature ejaculation.

Consider this – the average time between arousal and ejaculation is typically three minutes for a man. Considering the
average time for a woman to orgasm is typically 13 minutes after arousal it can be seen how many men may think they have premature ejaculation, but really they are simply normal. With this in mind, you can see why foreplay is so important to satisfying a woman.


Phases of Ejaculation

There are two phases of ejaculation.

● The Emission Phase and

● The Ejaculatory Phase


Emission Phase:

Here are the physical processes which occur during the emission phase of ejaculation:

● The vas deferens begins to contract to move sperm from the testes toward the urethra and prostate gland.

● The seminal vesicles secrete fluids into the urethra

● Chemical messages activate the sympathetic nervous system and begin what’s known as the ‘point of no return’
(PONR). Ejaculation is inevitable at this point.


Ejaculatory Phase:


During the ejaculatory phase, the posterior portion of the urethra senses the sperm and secretions and sends a signal
to the spinal cord. This then sends messages to the muscles at the base of your penis. This causes said muscles to contract, which results in ejaculation.

Chapter 13: Causes of Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation can be caused by any number of factors. These can be separated into two categories:


● Physical (which can include chemical side effects) and

● Mental (or psychological) causes.


It’s not uncommon for both some mental component to be present in physical cases of premature ejaculation. Worry
about the experience of premature ejaculation often compounds any physical components.


Physical Premature Ejaculation

The most common form of premature ejaculation is due to physical causes. The most common among these is negative conditioning. This is usually because most men masturbate in a hurried and furtive manner. Doing this repeatedly trains the body into ejaculating quickly, so it shouldn’t be surprising to understand how this can lead to issues.

If added stimuli like porn is used, it can further skew what you can expect from real sexual encounters. This then adds to anxiety, which further increases the possibility of premature ejaculation. The easiest way to correct this is to train in a manner contrary to negative conditioning. This will be discussed in detail further in the section.


Hormonal Issues

If you have low testosterone or abnormal levels of catabolic hormones this can have a drastic effect on your ability to maintain an erection. This can turn into premature ejaculation if you have to strive to get erect. It can be further compounded if your hormone imbalances induce negative emotions like anxiety. Diet and exercise is often recommended as a treatment for issues related to hormone imbalances; however, if do-it-yourself treatments aren’t effective, then a full blood work up is necessary to determine the cause of these imbalances.

Chronic and/or acute stress can lower levels of dopamine in the system. This can create a scenario where you can find it difficult just to get aroused even in the absence of anxiety. Stress management is key to helping treat this issue. The amino acid L-Tyrosine has been shown to be effective at helping to restore natural dopamine levels.


Infections

It’s been shown infections of the prostate and urethra may contribute to premature ejaculation. Infections usually require medical attention and antibiotics for treatment.

Pelvic Floor Issues


Pelvic floor spasms may contribute to premature ejaculation. If these symptoms are minor, rest and targeted stretching of the area should help to alleviate the issue. If the problem is more severe, this might require the services of a physical therapist for relief.


A strain in the pelvic floor may cause pain upon Kegeling and symptoms such as “hard flaccid”. Certain muscles like the ischiocavernosus can become perpetually strained. This leads to a difficult to resolve issue, as these muscles are involved in many different bodily functions. Due to this, it’s not easy to allow them to recover as you would if you immobilized an arm or even a leg. A strain may require targeted massage and heat. Specific yoga poses which specifically target the pelvic floor may help to speed healing as well.


A common cause of pelvic floor issues is due to abusing the Kegel. This includes the Reverse Kegel (contractile) exercise. It’s vital you start Kegeling by using only as much contractile force as is needed during any of the Kegel type movements. A limited number of reps should be performed as well and then slowly increased each session.


Prescription Medications

Some prescription drugs may cause premature ejaculation as one of their side effects. If this is the case, contact your physician or pharmacist to see if there are alternative medications.

Mental Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation may be placed on the spectrum of erectile dysfunction, especially if the case is so severe that penetration becomes difficult or impossible. This is often the case if performance anxiety is involve. A common scenario will involve difficulty in obtaining an erection, with almost immediate ejaculation upon or even before penetration. This stage most commonly precedes impotence.

Anxiety, depression and stress are three of the leading mental causes of premature ejaculation. Sometimes, it’s a matter
of which came first though – the chicken or the egg – the premature ejaculation or the anxiety/depression/stress. It’s
not uncommon for men to suffer from these three common challenges without even realizing. It’s even more common for these challenges to surface, when there’s a concern about premature ejaculation.

The Ultimate Guide to Male Enhancement

Two Phase Approach To Eliminating Fear/Hesitation And Developing Efficiency

Two Phase Approach To Eliminating Fear/Hesitation And Developing Efficiency

A Jimmy Bond article

A good amount of credit goes to Al for this article. He worked with me on putting this together.

* * *

There are two very powerful methods to help master fears. These methods are desensitization and counterconditioning.

Desensitization deals with the negative phase where the main goal is to reduce anxiety. During this phase, exposure is attempted. This is where to you attempt to approach the scenario of your anxieties in a progressive manner.

Here’s a good example of this at work: If you have performance anxiety for certain sexual acts (for example: penetration) you would engage in nonthreatening foreplay activities only for the time being. As you get more comfortable and allow your libido to build to the point to where it begins to effectively counteract potential anxieties, then attempts are made to engage in activities which have previously caused anxiety.

It’s important during this phase to work with a trusted partner so you have confidence with the process.

An effective tactic to use when you begin to feel anxiety is to reroute your mind to focus on your breathing. This will allow you to center yourself emotionally. A great exercise which incorporates this is the Emotional Visualizations movement.

Counterconditioning deals with the positive phase where the goal is maximizing efficiency. For this phase, more challenging movements/activities are undertaking to increase sexual ability. These include targets of greater hardness, stamina and ejaculatory control. At this stage, Emotional Visualizations are used only as needed (for when you feel distracted or begin to get pangs of anxiety).

The focus of this phase should be on deepening the level of emotional comfort to the point to where you become completely uninhibited and are able to fully enjoy the experience with all of your senses. This also allows a deep connection with your sexual partner, resulting in a much more intense experience.

The essence of how both of these phases are done can apply for a lot of life’s activities where you might feel inhibited due to anxiety.

Erectile Dysfunction: Signs & Ways To Eliminate Its Risk

How To Detect The Early Signs Of Erectile Dysfunction & Eliminate The Risk Once And For All

Updated on May 04, 2021, 18:00 IST · 4 min read

By Snehal Sharma

This article is a repost which originally appeared on MENSXP

Edited for content.

It’s not easy to talk about sex, especially if you’re grappling with insecurities.

For the longest time, erectile dysfunction was ascribed to psychological origins. Most ancient cultures, including Ayurveda, believed that ED can be treated with the help of natural herbs such as Indian ginseng, sesame powder, Safed Musli and more.

Today, we know more about its causes and have treatments to address the issue. But before we talk about eliminating the condition, we need to dispel the stigma associated with ED.

Studies have clarified that ED is not just “in your head”. According to a 2017 study by the Department of Urology Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, 20% of men across all age groups battle ED in India and 30% of them are younger than 40.

Most of the times, it is experienced due to an underlying cause that can be treated.

But no cure is possible until men accept the problem and stop shying away from asking for help.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is a condition in which a man experiences difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection during sexual performance.

The symptoms may also include reduced sexual desire or libido. If the condition lasts for more than a few weeks or months, your doctor is likely to diagnose you with ED.

Signs Of Erectile Dysfunction

Every piece of the body—including your emotions, hormones, brain, nerves, muscles and blood vessels—plays an intricate role in male arousal. When any of these isn’t aligned, it results in some kind of dysfunction.

Your mental health impacts your sexual ability equally. Stress, anxiety and other mental health concerns can worsen erectile dysfunction.

Experiencing minor or occasional sexual problems don’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with erectile dysfunction. But lookout for the consistency of these symptoms.

● Reduced or no desire for sex.

● Inability to get an erection.

● Inability to maintain an erection.

Who Is At The Risk?

The risk of ED increases as you age, especially if you have lived a sedentary lifestyle. It can worsen if you:

● Have a psychological condition like anxiety, depression or stress.

● Have an injury that might damage the nerves and arteries that contribute to erections.

● Use tobacco, drugs or alcohol.

● Are overweight.

● Are undergoing radiation treatment for cancer.

● Are taking antidepressants or high blood pressure medications.

● Have heart disease or diabetes.

How To Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

The healthier you are, the easier it’ll be to fight erectile dysfunction. There’s no one-size-fits-all way to prevent ED but you can avoid persistent problems by taking care of its causes and yourself. The following measures may help:

● Reduce stress.

● Take care of your mental health.

● Exercise daily.

● Limit alcohol consumption.

● Quit smoking and stop using recreational drugs.

● Manage diabetes and heart disease.

How Can You Treat Erectile Dysfunction

The causes of ED vary and so does the treatment. Work with your doctor to create a plan that’s best for you.

1. Counselling

If you feel anxious, depressed or have any other mental health concern, seek therapy. Along with consulting a professional, indulge in relaxing activities such as music, painting, poetry or aromatherapy. Geranium oil helps those with low libido.

2. Ayurveda to the rescue

It’s not feasible for everyone to collect and consume the recommended herbs for sexual wellness. But you can always rely on natural supplements that provide men with the right nutrients optimised for better and stronger erections.

3. Lifestyle changes

Manage weight, exercise or do yoga consistently, stop smoking, avoid alcohol and illicit drugs and manage your health with the help of a doctor.

4. Prescribed medication

If the above treatments don’t work, your doctor may prescribe oral medications—like Viagra, Levitra, Aronix, Tadalafil, Stendra and Cialis, self-injection such as an Alprostadil or testosterone replacement.

5. Physical treatments

Penis pump or penile implants. However, these aren’t generally considered until every other treatment has failed.

Final Thoughts

Recognise the symptoms and consult a professional. If you’re diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, your doctor will help you figure out the cause of ED.

Work on the treatment options and before you know it, you’ll start seeing the results.

Penis health: Conditions, safety, lifestyle, and care

What to know about penis health

Medically reviewed by Kevin Martinez, M.D. — Written by Jenna Fletcher on April 2, 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on MEDICAL NEWS TODAY

Edited for content

A healthy penis should be free of lesions, warts, and abnormal discharge. In general, the penis should be roughly the same color as the surrounding skin, though it may be a shade darker or lighter.

Also, a person should not experience any pain in their penis when urinating or engaging in sexual activity.

A sudden change in the appearance, sensation, or function of the penis may signal an underlying issue that requires medical attention.

This article describes certain lifestyle factors and health conditions that can affect penis health. It also outlines some possible symptoms of poor penis health and provides tips on penis care.

Lifestyle factors that affect penis health

Lifestyle factors that can affect penis health include sexual relationships, weight management, and alcohol use.

The sections below outline some common lifestyle factors that can affect penis health.

Sexual relationships

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can negatively affect penis health. Some of the most common STIs include:

  • human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • chlamydia
  • gonorrhea
  • herpes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people practice safe sex in order to reduce their risk of contracting an STI. This involves using barrier methods during sexual activity and getting vaccinated against hepatitis B and HPV.

The following can also help reduce the risk of spreading and contracting STIs:

  • limiting the number of sexual partners
  • maintaining a monogamous sexual relationship
  • abstaining from sexual activity

Often, people who contract an STI do not experience any symptoms. This is why it is important for people who are sexually active to attend regular sexual health screenings.

Weight management

Obesity can negatively affect many aspects of a person’s health, including penis function.

People with obesity may be more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, or impotence. This occurs when a person is unable to develop or maintain an erection during sexual activity.

According to the Obesity Action Coalition, obesity can contribute to erectile dysfunction by:

  • decreasing testosterone levels
  • causing inflammation throughout the body
  • damaging the blood vessels, including those that supply blood to the penis

However, one 2018 study suggests that the relationship between obesity and sexual health is not completely clear. Although obesity may contribute to erectile dysfunction, other factors may also give rise to poor sexual health. These include:

  • anxiety
  • stress
  • self-esteem issues

Diet

Eating a healthful, balanced diet can help prevent obesity and related sexual health problems.

A 2017 animal study investigated the potential link between diet, obesity, and erectile function. In this study, one group of rats consumed a calorie-rich diet, while a second group consumed a standard diet.

The rats that consumed the calorie-rich diet were more likely to develop obesity, and they also showed significantly poorer erectile function.

The types of food a person eats could also affect their penis health. For example, one 2016 study found that a diet rich in flavonoids was associated with a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction in men below the age of 70.

Flavonoids are chemicals that occur naturally in a range of vegetables, fruits, and grains. Some examples of flavonoid-rich foods include:

  • root vegetables
  • legumes
  • berries
  • grapes
  • citrus fruits
  • teas
  • chocolate

Exercise

Exercise is important in helping a person maintain a moderate weight. This means that it also helps reduce the risk of obesity-related sexual health concerns.

Exercise may also benefit sexual health more directly. For example, one 2015 study investigated whether or not regular walking exercise could help improve erectile dysfunction in men who had recently had a heart attack.

Those who took part in the regular walking program reported a 71% decrease in erectile dysfunction symptoms. Those who did not take part in the program reported a 9% increase in erectile dysfunction symptoms.

The researchers conclude that regular exercise may help reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

A 2011 meta-analysis investigated the effects of aerobic exercise on erectile dysfunction. The researchers analyzed five studies involving a total of 385 participants.

All the studies showed improvements in erectile dysfunction following aerobic activity. The researchers conclude that men with erectile dysfunction may benefit from aerobic training, though further studies are necessary to confirm this.

Alcohol and tobacco use

Drinking a lot of alcohol can negatively impact many aspects of a person’s health.

According to the CDC, excessive drinking can interfere with male hormone production, potentially contributing to impotence and infertility.

Alcohol also increases the likelihood that a person will engage in risky sexual behavior. Such behavior puts a person at increased risk of contracting or transmitting an STI.

Tobacco smoking can also have a negative effect on penis health. According to the Truth Initiative, smoking may play a role in the following sexual health issues:

  • erectile dysfunction
  • infertility
  • decreased libido

Health conditions that may affect penis health

There are several health conditions that can directly affect penis health. Some of the more common ones include:

  • STIs, such as chlamydia, herpes, or genital warts
  • phimosis, which occurs when the foreskin cannot extend over the head of the penis
  • balanitis, which is inflammation of the head or foreskin of the penis

Other conditions not directly related to the penis can also affect its health. Many of these conditions may cause erectile dysfunction or issues with fertility. These include:

  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • stress
  • certain heart conditions

When to see a doctor

Anyone who is sexually active should check for symptoms of STIs regularly. They should look for:

  • rashes, sores, or blisters on the penis
  • burning or itching sensations in the penis
  • abnormal discharge from the penis
  • a foul odor coming from the penis or groin area
  • pelvic pain
  • pain when urinating or passing stools

Anyone who thinks that they may have an STI should visit their doctor for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Importantly, many people who contract an STI will not experience any symptoms. Regular sexual health screenings will help detect STIs that a person may not have noticed otherwise.

Anyone who thinks that they may have erectile dysfunction should also see their doctor, who will work to diagnose the cause.

How to care for the penis

A person should clean their penis at least once per day using a mild soap. Using abrasive or heavily scented soaps could irritate the skin of the penis.

A person should wash all parts of the penis, including:

  • the pubic hair
  • the scrotum
  • the area between the legs and scrotum
  • the penis shaft
  • the area underneath the foreskin, if uncircumcised

Tips for a healthy penis

The tips below can help a person keep their penis healthy:

  • using a barrier method during sex
  • limiting the number of sexual partners they have
  • undergoing a sexual health screening at least once per year if in a monogamous relationship
  • undergoing a sexual health screening as often as every 3–6 months if having sex with multiple partners
  • keeping the penis and genital area clean
  • limiting alcohol consumption
  • avoiding the use of tobacco products
  • exercising regularly
  • eating a healthful, balanced diet

Summary

A person can take several steps to maintain the health of their penis. This includes exercising regularly and eating a healthful diet. A person may also wish to avoid having unprotected sex, drinking a lot of alcohol, and using tobacco products.

To maintain a healthy penis, a person should thoroughly wash the penis at least once per day. Those who are sexually active should also go for sexual health screenings at least once per year and perform regular self-checks at home.

If a person has any concerns about their penis, they should talk to a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will work to diagnose the cause of the issue and provide appropriate treatments.

 

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24 Ways You or Your Penis-Having Partner Can Increase Penile Sensitivity

24 Ways You or Your Penis-Having Partner Can Increase Penile Sensitivity

Medically reviewed by Jennifer Litner, LMFT, CST — Written by Adrienne Santos-Longhurst on October 14, 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Healthline

Edited for content

For many folks, sexual satisfaction is all about the feels, so if you or your penis-having partner are experiencing decreased sensitivity down there, it could really mess with your ability to get off.

There are a few things that can cause a decrease in penile sensation, from the way a person masturbates to lifestyle habits and hormone imbalances. The good news: There are ways to get back that lovin’ feeling.

Quick distinction: Less sensation vs. numbness

To be clear, there’s a big difference between less sensation and numbness.

Having less sensation — which is what we’re focusing on in this article — means you don’t feel as much sensation in your peen as you did before.

A numb penis is a whole other ball of wax and refers to not being able to feel any normal sensation when your penis is touched.

If it’s related to your technique

Yep, how you pleasure yourself might be affecting your penile sensation.

What does this have to do with it?

The way you masturbate can lead to decreased sensitivity. Some people call this “death grip syndrome.”

The gist is that people who masturbate using a very specific technique or tight grip can become desensitized to other types of pleasure over time.

When this happens, coming or even getting any pleasure without the exact move or pressure becomes difficult.

If you’re feeling all the feels just fine when you masturbate but find that partner sex is where the sensation is lacking, there are a couple potential reasons.

A thinner or smaller-than-average penis, or even too much lube (natural wetness or synthetic), can mean less friction — and ultimately sensation — during intercourse.

What can you do to help address this?

Just switching up your technique should do the trick and help you recondition your sensitivity.

If death grip is the issue, depending on how you’re used to masturbating, this might mean loosening your grip, stroking at a slower pace, or both.

You could also mix things up with a sex toy made for penis play, like the Super Sucker UR3 Masturbator, which you can buy online, or TENGA Zero Flip Hole Masturbator, which is also available online. And don’t forget the lube!

If intercourse is the issue, some positions make for a tighter fit and therefore more friction.

Here’s a little secret: Tweaking any position so your partner can keep their legs tight together during sex should work.

Plus, if anal sex is what you’re both into, the anus is by nature a tighter squeeze. Just be sure to use a lot of lube if you take it to the backside.

And speaking of a lot of lube: If an abundance of wetness is making sex feel a bit like a Slip ’N Slide, a quick wipe with some tissue should fix it.

If it’s related to your lifestyle

Certain lifestyle habits can be to blame for your peen’s lessened sensitivity.

What does this have to do with it?

Do you bicycle a lot? Do you masturbate frequently? These things can cause the sensitivity in your peen to tank if you do them often.

When it comes to masturbation, how often you do it matters if you’re doing it a lot, according to research that has linked hyperstimulation to decreased penile sensitivity.

As for bicycling, bicycle seats put pressure on the perineum — the space between your balls and anus. It presses on blood vessels and nerves that provide feeling to the penis.

Sitting in a hard or uncomfortable chair for long periods can do the same.

What can you do to help address this?

Masturbation is healthy, but if the frequency of your handy treats is causing a problem, taking a break for a week or two can help get your penis feeling back to itself.

If you sit or bicycle for long periods, take regular breaks. Consider swapping out your bike seat or usual chair for something more comfortable.

If it’s related to your testosterone levels

Testosterone is the male sex hormone responsible for libido, not to mention a bunch of other functions.

If your testosterone (T) level drops, you might feel less responsive to sexual stimulation and have trouble getting aroused.

T levels decrease as you age. Damage to your danglers — aka testicles — can also affect T, as well as certain conditions, substances, and cancer treatment.

Your doctor can diagnose low T with a simple blood test and treat it using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Lifestyle changes, like regular exercise, maintaining a moderate weight, and getting more sleep can also help.

If it’s related to an underlying condition or medication

Certain medical conditions and medications can affect sensation in the penis.

What does this have to do with it?

Diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS) are just a couple conditions that can damage nerves and affect sensation in different body parts, including the penis.

Medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease can also reduce penile sensation as a side effect.

Ensuring that any underlying condition is well managed might help bring the feels back.

If medication’s the culprit, your doctor may be able to adjust your dose or change your medication.

If it’s related to your mental health

Sexual pleasure isn’t just about your D. Your brain plays a big role, too.

What does this have to do with it?

If you’re dealing with anxiety, stress, depression, or any other mental health issue, getting in the mood can be near impossible. And even if you really want to get down to business, your penis may not be as receptive.

What can you do to help address this?

It really depends on what’s going on mentally.

Taking some time to unwind before sexy time can help if you’re feeling stressed or anxious.

A hot bath or shower can help your mind and muscles relax. The warm water also increases circulation, which can help increase sensitivity and make your skin more responsive to touch.

If you’re regularly struggling with feelings of anxiety or depression, or having trouble coping with stress, reach out for help.

Talk to a friend or loved one, see a healthcare provider, or find a local mental health provider through the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).

Things to keep in mind if you’re struggling

Not to be punny, but try to not beat yourself silly over this.

We get how frustrating it must be to not be able to enjoy the sensation you want or expect during sexual activity.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re struggling.

It’s probably not permanent

Chances are your lessened penile sensation can be improved.

As we’ve already covered, changes in technique, getting in the right frame of mind, or some lifestyle tweaks may be all that’s needed to get your penis feeling right again.

A healthcare provider can help with any underlying medical or mental health issues and recommend the right treatments.

Go easy on yourself

We’re not just talking about choking your chicken either! Stressing about this and putting pressure on yourself will only make things worse in the pleasure department.

Give yourself time to relax and get in the mood before play, and permission to stop and try another time if you’re not feeling it.

Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help

Penis health and sexual health are just as important as other aspects of your health.

If there’s something going on with your penis or your ability to enjoy sexual activity, a professional can help.

Good penis health is in your hands

You can’t control everything, but there are things you can do to help keep your penis healthy:

  • Eat a healthy diet, including foods shown to boost penis health by lowering inflammation and improving T levels and circulation.
  • Get regular exercise to improve mood and T levels, manage your weight, and lower your risk for erectile dysfunction and other conditions.
  • Learn to relax and find healthy ways to cope with stress to improve your T levels, mood, sleep, and overall health.
Things to keep in mind if your partner is struggling

If it’s your partner who’s struggling with lessened sensitivity down there, don’t worry. Chances are there’s a good reason for it, and it’s probably not what you think.

Here are some things to keep in mind if it’s getting to you.

Don’t take it personally

Your first instinct may be to blame yourself if your partner isn’t enjoying sex. Try to not do this.

Sounds harsh, but: Not your penis, not your problem.

As a loving partner, of course you want them to feel good. But unless you’ve damaged their penis by taking a hammer to it, their lessened penile sensitivity isn’t your fault, so don’t make it about you.

I repeat, don’t make it about you

Seriously, it’s not your penis!

As frustrated as you might be, keep it to yourself

Not trying to dismiss your feelings or anything, but as frustrated as you may be that your partner isn’t feeling it even when you pull out your best moves, it’s probably a lot more frustrating for them.

That said, if your partner’s lack of sensation results in a marathon shag sesh that causes chafing to your nether regions, of course you have the right to take a break or stop. It’s your body, after all. Just be mindful of how you say it.

Ask what your partner needs from you

EVERYONE should be asking what their partner needs when it comes to sex and relationships. It’s the key to making both great.

Do they need a little time to relax before action moves to the peen? Do they need more foreplay that focuses on other pleasure spots to help them get in the mood? Do they want to just stop altogether? Don’t be afraid to ask.

The bottom line

If you’ve lost some of that lovin’ feeling down below, your lifestyle and pleasure routine — solo or partnered — may provide some clues. If not, your doctor or other healthcare provider can help.

In the meantime, be patient and kind with yourself, and consider some of your other pleasure zones for satisfaction.

 

5 major health benefits of sex — and how much sex is healthy

5 major health benefits of sex — and how much sex is healthy

Mary Sauer

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Insider

Edited for content

Sex has many benefits for mental and physical health.

  • The benefits of sex include reduced stress and anxiety, increased libido, better quality sleep, improved immune system, and a lower risk of heart disease.
  • A healthy sex life can have many short-term and long-term benefits, whether you have sex with a partner or masturbate.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Medicine.

A positive sex life can do wonders for your health. And finding what a healthy sex life looks like for you is about understanding what brings you satisfaction.

“Most of what we focus on is that sexual health and intimacy is based on consent, honesty, and mutual pleasure,” says Barb Depree, MD and founder of MiddlesexMD. “If they’re feeling respected and fulfilled it’s going to be healthy for them.”

Moreover, you don’t need to have sex with a partner to find these benefits — solo sex, or masturbation, can also reduce stress and improve overall health.

So whether by yourself or with a partner, here are five of the main health benefits of sex:

Sex can reduce stress and anxiety

Cortisol levels decrease after sex, according to The Journal of Sexual Medicine. This is the hormone that is responsible for the body’s stress response, and with less of it present, you’ll feel more relaxed.

Endorphins are another hormone released during sex. These are associated with increased feelings of pleasure, motivation, and energy. This means sex, like exercise, may be able to boost your mood if you’re feeling down.

“We know that people who engage in sex generally have less anxiety and stress,” Depree says.

Sex increases intimacy and libido

Oxytocin, known as the love hormone, is released during sex. It’s associated with increased feelings of trust and empathy — which is a key part of maintaining intimate relationships.

If you feel more connected to your partner, your desire to have sex — known as libido — may increase.

Stronger libido and intimacy with another person can provide the necessary support to keep yourself mentally and physically well.

Sex can help you get better sleep

The release of oxytocin will also help you fall asleep more quickly after sex.

“More specifically with orgasm for women, sex, in general, helps release oxytocin, which directly impacts the brain to encourage relaxation — and it’s actually a little sedating,” says Depree.

In fact, both men and women self-report better sleep after an orgasm, whether they achieve that with a partner or through masturbation.

In addition to oxytocin, prolactin levels increase after intercourse and orgasm, according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine. This hormone increases your feelings of sleepiness and relaxation, which can also make it easier for you to settle in for the night.

Sex may boost your immune system

In 2018, the Journal of Sex Research found a connection between sex with a partner and improved immune function.

Researchers compared sexually abstinent women with those who engaged in sex at least once a week and found that sexually active women had increased levels of immunoglobin A in their saliva. This antibody plays an important role in fighting off common types of sickness such as respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses.

Additionally, some research has found that masturbation can boost immunity and improve overall health.

Sex can improve heart health

The act of sex is exercise. In fact, research has found that people burn an average of 85 calories during sex lasting roughly 30 minutes.

Exercise is healthy for many reasons, but it’s also one of the best ways to lower blood pressure and prevent your risk of heart disease.

According to Depree, sex has a direct impact on lower blood pressure, both because of the physical and mental health benefits of sex. Lower levels of stress and anxiety are also associated with lower blood pressure, and thus, a reduced risk of heart disease.

The bottom line

Overall, sex can have a wide range of benefits for your mental and physical health.

Sex reduces stress and anxiety, and can boost intimacy and feelings of connection with your partner. It allows you to get better sleep, burns calories, and may also help you fight off infection more effectively.

Over time, a healthy sex life may even reduce your risk of long-term illnesses, such as heart disease.

 

 

 

Emotional Control and Anxiety: Ask The Experts

Emotional Control and Anxiety: Ask The Experts

Big Al, of MaleEnhancementCoach.com, answers questions about Stamina Training & Sexual Performance.

If you have questions you’d like answered in an Ask the Experts article, please PM Big Al.

Q. I know you’re not a doctor and you mention on PEGym…

…how we need to consult doctors or medical professionals if we have problems dealing with anxiety, but what do we do if this doesn’t work? I can’t get the thoughts of feeling inferior out of my head, and talking with therapists haven’t helped much. Drugs just make any erections I do get a lot harder to maintain! Is there anything you can do to help?

Big Al: I’m truly sorry to hear you’re going through this! While I can’t advise on any medical course of action, one thing which needs to be known is that the work towards emotional mastery has to come from you. No amount of drugs, therapy, etc, will help if you don’t make a concerted effort to get your mind under control This means doing your best to get to the root of whatever is ailing you- since acute and chronic feelings of sexual inadequacy are often rooted in deeper issues.

Developing the mental and emotional strength to overcome the lower emotions is an arduous tasks which will take some time but professional assistance- as well as regular meditation, emotional visualizations, vigorous exercise, a sound diet and a network of people who care will be very helpful to getting you to this place. The latter is especially important, and if you’re in a relationship which fosters negative emotions then it would behoove you to take a closer look at it and see what can be done to either fix the relationship or move on- so as to spare your mental and emotional health.

There are many forum stories of men who’ve had serious issues with sexual self-confidence who’ve overcome it.

Q. With all of the strange events going on I find myself stressed out all of the time…

My concentration for training has suffered. What do I do about it?

Big Al: We are living in strange times! That being said, one can find opportunities for new things- especially if you’re self-isolating. It would be in your best interests to practice some sort of daily meditation to learn to still you mind. These are similar to the recommended Emotional Visualization movements, except the goal for stilling the mind is complete clarity. When your mind begins to stray during your sessions, focus on your breathing.

Attempt to practice this every day, and if you feel any acute attacks of anxiety, you can perform it them to counter the attack.