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 
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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

The Best Exercise that Helps to Treat Depression Problems

The Best Exercise that Helps to Treat Depression Problems

This article is a repost which originally appeared on KISSPR

Edited for content.

Choosing exercise to help deal with depression is a great idea. Not only does this discharge feel-good endorphins, but in addition, it allows for social interaction and gives structure to our days.

Exercise is as great for your general mental health as it is for the physical body. Get into routine workout habits when you have conditions like anxiety or depression. Some exercises may conduct an essential part in getting the better of symptoms. The physical and psychological elements of the human body operate hand-in-hand and influence each other also. As soon as we take better care of a single stage of our bodies, we all take better care of the whole system.

How does exercise deal with depression?

High-intensity exercise induces your system to deliver Endorphins instantly, which might help improve our mood degrees. But, low-intensity exercise over the years releases neurotrophic proteins (growth hormones); those enable nerve cells to grow and create new contacts. Scientists have discovered the area which will help improve mood, i.e., along with the hippocampus, is smaller.

Another extra benefit of exercise is that it may help us keep our minds off regular stresses, leading to less anxiety. Exercise can enhance our physical look and also give us a feeling of achievement, improving self-confidence. Explore the best tips from Top Rated Buyer Guides to fight depression and live a healthy and active life.

Best Exercise To Get Fight Depression:-

Going to get a Jog

Runners frequently describe the euphoric feeling. Called a Running has long-term health advantages too, having overcome depression and nervousness. If you can’t run as a result of an injury or other medical problem, look at trying cycling instead.

Yoga

The main health benefit of yoga is It Is, and The action of managing your breathing and ideas during yoga makes it possible to exercise, cleaning out the darker emotions, and focusing on the current. Learning the presents also gives you a feeling of accomplishment and provides you with knew goals to work towards, which will provide you with a feeling of purpose with every excess session. Yoga can also help enhance general sexual function or men’s wellness disease. Fildena 100mg treatment is improving men’s sexual wellness and additionally Super P Force.

Power Training

Going to the lifting weights and fitness centre Might Not Be everybody’s Cup of java, but the gradual process of building strength makes strength training a concrete kind of exercise to exploit discipline and self-control. Strength training is a great discipline for overcoming depression since it’s all about continuous improvement and achieving aims, making for an immensely satisfying experience.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Tasks that increase an individual’s heartbeat are fantastic. Aerobic exercises such as running are so well-known for their effect on an individual’s manner the expression runner’s high is well known. These briefer studies were randomly chosen some individuals to perform aerobic exercise, though other participants received medical attention.

Participants who’d exercised two to 3 times per year a Week were likely to find a decrease in depression signs versus individuals who didn’t have aerobic exercise. There was a more pronounced positive influence once the participants conducted an aerobic exercise 5 times each week. On the other hand, both aerobic bands’ changes were too small to rule out the chance that it was due to opportunity.

Breath pressure off

Studies indicate taking deep breaths in which you exhale more than you inhale the autonomic nervous system.

I’ve understood this workout increase self-esteem, decreases anxiety, and allows you to sleep better. For all those health benefits and lots more, weight training is a superb means that will assist you to decrease depression and anxiety.

Laugh

Experts say bliss may lead to physical changes in your It burns off calories. 1 study from Vanderbilt University allegedly discovered 10-15 minutes of bliss may burn 50 calories. Have a moment each day to check in the grin, mirror, and laugh. Force it in case you must. Just watching yourself will create more laughter!

Rest

Sleep and rest are all depression-prevention pursuits. It will boost your mood, hormones, hunger, and energy level if it is possible to modulate your sleep. “These variables help you’re going to bed at precisely the same time each night, waking up in the same time daily, while it’s a weekday or a weekend.”

Take these measures to encourage sleep quality and diminish Melancholy:

  • Establish a sleeping routine.
  • Sleep in serene, uncluttered surroundings.

If you are a patient of melancholy, it is Vital to Begin any physical action under supervision. Begin a workout regime just following your doctor’s recommendation, and make sure a fitness trainer monitors your regimen and monitors your progress.

Get forward by setting targets –not only physical ones since you Would do if you’re aiming at weight reduction but psychological goals like exercising. Manage yourself if you adhere to Your strategy, so you keep on track. And happier with routine exercise.

 

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.

How Pornography Use Affects Couples Sexual Health

How Pornography Use Affects Couples Sexual Health

Emerging research provides clues on how, and for whom, pornography affects sex.

Posted Jan 11, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Psychology Today

Edited for content

According to a 2018 Gallup poll, pornography use is seen as morally acceptable among a rising percentage of Americans, moving from 30 percent approval in 2011 to 43 percent by 2018. This trend follows overall movement toward more liberal beliefs across the boards. When it comes to pornography, the biggest changes were seen among unmarried people and adult males under age 49. Factors such as religion and political orientation affect porn acceptance, with a far smaller percentage of conservative and religious people finding porn morally OK.

Despite growing acceptance, there is serious concern that pornography causes real harm: exploitation and risk to performers, damage to the capacity for healthy relationship and interfering with relationship and sexual satisfaction, addictive potential, illegal activity supporting human trafficking and child abuse, and contribution to the general societal trend to objectify and present unrealistic expectations for physical attributes as well as what healthy sexual behavior is. These are public health and human rights concerns, overlapping with moral concerns and calls for ethical porn, just as trauma and moral injury overlap, requiring greater attention and activism.

Pornography and long-term relationship

Of particular interest is the impact of pornography on marriage. According to a study in the Journal of Sexual Research (2018), pornography has a negative impact on most committed relationships. There are exceptions, but they are not typical. Looking at over 6000 couples, they found that anxiety about the relationship (anxious attachment) was associated with greater relationship satisfaction with own pornography use by men and lower satisfaction when women used porn.

Men were three times more likely to report porn use, and marginally more accepting of pornography. In general, they found that low pornography acceptance among porn users was associated with lower relationship satisfaction, though for men only higher acceptance was associated with greater relationship satisfaction. Pornography use was generally associated with anxious attachment and lower relationship satisfaction. However, work on how pornography use affects sexual satisfaction requires further study.

To understand the connection between pornography and sexual health, Vaillancort-Morel and colleagues, in their recent study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (2021) surveyed 217 couples, including 72 same-sex couples, together at least one year, and sexually active, who completed approximately one month of daily reports.

They estimated pornography use, and whether it was solitary, with their partner, or both; sexual satisfaction on days sexually active, using the Global Measure of Sexual Satisfaction; sexual distress using the Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised (also validated for men) estimating distress about sex life, inferiority feelings because of sexual issues, and sexual worries; sexual function via the Monash Female Sexual Satisfaction Questionnaire (with men’s version), asking about sexual desire, receptiveness, ease of arousal, quality of erection or lubrication, orgasm and experience of pleasure; and frequency of masturbation.

Findings

In terms of basic statistics, in this convenience sample, over 35 days half of couples reported pornography use on the same day they had sex. By and large, pornography use was not related to sexual health on most study measures. While future research is warranted to look at a more diverse sample, pornography use here was not associated with sexual satisfaction, ease of sexual arousal, orgasm, or pleasure, and did not strongly relate to sexual distress overall. Masturbation was unrelated to one’s own or partner’s sexual satisfaction, distress or function.

However, there were two significant findings. First, solo pornography use on days when couples had sex was related to increased partner sexual distress. The negative impact on partner distress was true for both men and women, suggesting increased feelings of inadequacy and potential lower quality of sexual engagement (e.g. the partner who used porn may have had changes in behavior and emotions during sex) on those days they had sex when their partner used pornography without them.

Study authors note that some people using pornography alone on days they had sex might have had sex with partners before using pornography, in which case partner distress may be related to later pornography use.

Second, women reported better lubrication on the days pornography was used, whereas men did not report better quality erection, the analogous measure. Authors note that prior research points toward an entourage effect, where couples pornography use is associated with greater sexual openness, that it may help couples normalize, talk about and play out sexual fantasies, and general facilitate sex positivity.

This is in line with research showing that women’s sexual satisfaction is directly related to how well women express what works for them (2017), and couples talk about and maintain a positive attitude toward, sex (2017). This can be further facilitated by couples groups in which couples speak together about intimate issues, thereby increasing overall relationship satisfaction (2017).

Further considerations

Sexual and relationship issues are on the rise, driven by COVID-19-related stress, loneliness and depression, with increased conflict and decreased intimacy (2020). For many couples, pornography has a corrosive effect, much like infidelity in some ways. As with infidelity (2019), open marriage, or parenting marriages, sexual activity outside the couple may also be stabilizing, a factor strongly affected by moral and social norms.

For other couples, those more accepting of pornography and generally sex positive, with more secure attachment to one another, pornography may be useful and pleasurable component of their sex life—as long as it does not cause insecurity in partners or negatively impact sexual behavior and attitudes. The research discussed here, while preliminary, serves as a springboard for discussion and may offer insight for some couples.

As pornography acceptance is a crucial factor, finding out how aligned partners are on pornography is a key part of talking about sexual and relationship satisfaction. Given that sexual satisfaction tends to decline in the majority of marriages over time (2019), it’s important to talk about sex openly for couples seeking long-term stability and satisfaction.

Note: An ExperiMentations Blog Post (“Our Blog Post”) is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. We will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained through Our Blog Post. Please seek the advice of professionals, as appropriate, regarding the evaluation of any specific information, opinion, advice, or other content. We are not responsible and will not be held liable for third party comments on Our Blog Post. Any user comment on Our Blog Post that in our sole discretion restricts or inhibits any other user from using or enjoying Our Blog Post is prohibited and may be reported to Sussex Publishers/Psychology Today. Grant H. Brenner. All rights reserved.

 

Premature Ejaculation

Premature Ejaculation

What Is It?

Published: February, 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Harvard Health

Edited for content

Premature ejaculation occurs when a man reaches orgasm and ejaculates too quickly and without control. In other words, ejaculation occurs before a man wants it to happen. It may occur before or after beginning foreplay or intercourse. Some men experience a lot of personal distress because of this condition.

As many as one in five men experience difficulty with uncontrolled or early ejaculation at some point in life. When premature ejaculation happens so frequently that it interferes with the sexual pleasure of a man or his partner, it becomes a medical problem.

Several factors may contribute to premature ejaculation. Psychological problems such as stress, depression and other factors that affect mental and emotional health can aggravate this condition. However, there is growing evidence that biological factors can make some men more prone to experience premature ejaculation.

Rarely, premature ejaculation can be caused by a specific physical problem, such as inflammation of the prostate gland or a spinal cord problem.

Symptoms

The key symptoms of premature ejaculation include:

  • Ejaculation that routinely occurs with little sexual stimulation and with little control
  • Decreased sexual pleasure because of poor control over ejaculation
  • Feelings of guilt, embarrassment or frustration

Diagnosis

Premature ejaculation is diagnosed based on typical symptoms. To understand your problem, your doctor will need to discuss your sexual history with you. Be frank and open. The more your doctor knows, the better he or she can help you.

If your sexual history fails to reveal significant mental or emotional factors that may contribute to premature ejaculation, your doctor may want to examine you. Your doctor may examine your prostate or do neurological tests (tests of your nervous system) to determine if there is a physical problem that could be causing premature ejaculation.

Expected Duration

Sometimes, premature ejaculation goes away on its own over weeks or months. Working to relieve stress or other psychological issues may help the situation to improve.

Other men have lasting difficulties with premature ejaculation, and require professional help. Some men respond to treatment promptly, while others struggle with this problem over a prolonged period. Effective treatment is available.

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent premature ejaculation. However, you should consider the following advice:

  • Maintain a healthy attitude toward sex. If you experience feelings of anxiety, guilt or frustration about your sex life, consider seeking psychotherapy or sexual therapy.
  • Keep in mind that anyone can experience sexual problems. If you experience premature ejaculation, try not to blame yourself or feel inadequate. Try speaking openly with your partner to avoid miscommunication.

Treatment

Behavioral therapy is one possible approach for treating premature ejaculation. Most commonly, the “squeeze technique” is used. If a man senses that he is about to experience premature orgasm, he interrupts sexual relations. Then the man or his partner squeezes the shaft of his penis between a thumb and two fingers. The man or his partner applies light pressure just below the head of the penis for about 20 seconds, lets go, and then sexual relations can be resumed. The technique can be repeated as often as necessary. When this technique is successful, it enables the man to learn to delay ejaculation with the squeeze, and eventually, to gain control over ejaculation without the squeeze. Behavioral therapy helps 60% to 90% of men with premature ejaculation. However, it requires the cooperation of both partners. Also, premature ejaculation often returns, and additional behavioral therapy may be needed.

Another possible treatment is prescription medication that helps to delay ejaculation. Delayed orgasm is a common side effect of certain drugs, particularly those used to treat depression. This is true even for men who are not depressed. When this type of medication is given to men who experience premature ejaculation, it can help to postpone orgasm for up to several minutes. Drugs used for this type of treatment include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) or sertraline (Zoloft); and tricyclic antidepressants, such as clomipramine (Anafranil).

Some men with premature ejaculation may benefit from drugs called phosphodiesterase inhibitors, such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis). A phosphodiesterase inhibitor can be used alone or in combination with an SSRI. One drug should be started at a time, preferably at a low dose.

Some men with premature ejaculation also benefit from reducing the stimulation they experience during sex. A number of creams are available that can partially anesthetize (numb) the penis and reduce the stimulation that leads to orgasm. Another option is to use one or more condoms. However, these techniques may interfere with the pleasure experienced during sex.

When To Call a Professional

Speak with your doctor if you consistently ejaculate before you want to. Remember, one instance of premature ejaculation does not mean that you have a condition that requires treatment. Your doctor may refer you to a sex therapist if premature ejaculation is causing major problems in your sex life or personal relationships or if you would like to consider behavioral therapy.

Prognosis

Many men experience a brief period of premature ejaculation, then improve on their own. Even for men who require medical treatment, the outlook is usually good.

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.

 

Men: Ageing and Sexual Health Myths

Men: Ageing and Sexual Health Myths

[email protected] (healthxchange.sg)
Health Xchange4 September 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Yahoo SG

In conjunction with World Sexual Health Day (4 Sep 2020), the departments of Psychiatry and Urology from Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group, help dispel common myths about male ageing and sexual health.

Top 5 myths on male ageing and sexual health

Myth 1: Is something wrong with me as my friends don’t seem to have complaints about their erections?

Fact: 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.

Myth 2: A short penis is not good for sex.

Fact: 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!

Myth 3: Is not being able to have multiple erections a problem?

Fact: Most men do not have multiple erections. After ejaculation, the penis will have a refractory period whereby it cannot become erect.

Myth 4: Using erection drugs will improve my sex life.

Fact: Erection drugs do not increase sex drive. They increase blood flow in the penis, allowing erections to be stronger and more rigid.

Myth 5: It is possible to die from taking erection drugs.

Fact: Deaths from erection drugs are very rare and they happen when the drugs are taken 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.​

Treatment for erectile dysfunction

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 treatment

That is why it is important to maintain 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.

Exercising regularly will also help improve your self image (which increases desire and boosts sexual 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.

 

Premature Ejaculation, What Is It?

Premature Ejaculation

What Is It?

Published: February, 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Harvard Health

Premature ejaculation occurs when a man reaches orgasm and ejaculates too quickly and without control. In other words, ejaculation occurs before a man wants it to happen. It may occur before or after beginning foreplay or intercourse. Some men experience a lot of personal distress because of this condition.

As many as one in five men experience difficulty with uncontrolled or early ejaculation at some point in life. When premature ejaculation happens so frequently that it interferes with the sexual pleasure of a man or his partner, it becomes a medical problem.

Several factors may contribute to premature ejaculation. Psychological problems such as stress, depression and other factors that affect mental and emotional health can aggravate this condition. However, there is growing evidence that biological factors can make some men more prone to experience premature ejaculation.

Rarely, premature ejaculation can be caused by a specific physical problem, such as inflammation of the prostate gland or a spinal cord problem.

Symptoms

The key symptoms of premature ejaculation include:

  • Ejaculation that routinely occurs with little sexual stimulation and with little control
  • Decreased sexual pleasure because of poor control over ejaculation
  • Feelings of guilt, embarrassment or frustration

Diagnosis

Premature ejaculation is diagnosed based on typical symptoms. To understand your problem, your doctor will need to discuss your sexual history with you. Be frank and open. The more your doctor knows, the better he or she can help you.

If your sexual history fails to reveal significant mental or emotional factors that may contribute to premature ejaculation, your doctor may want to examine you. Your doctor may examine your prostate or do neurological tests (tests of your nervous system) to determine if there is a physical problem that could be causing premature ejaculation.

Expected Duration

Sometimes, premature ejaculation goes away on its own over weeks or months. Working to relieve stress or other psychological issues may help the situation to improve.

Other men have lasting difficulties with premature ejaculation, and require professional help. Some men respond to treatment promptly, while others struggle with this problem over a prolonged period. Effective treatment is available.

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent premature ejaculation. However, you should consider the following advice:

  • Maintain a healthy attitude toward sex. If you experience feelings of anxiety, guilt or frustration about your sex life, consider seeking psychotherapy or sexual therapy.
  • Keep in mind that anyone can experience sexual problems. If you experience premature ejaculation, try not to blame yourself or feel inadequate. Try speaking openly with your partner to avoid miscommunication.

Treatment

Behavioral therapy is one possible approach for treating premature ejaculation. Most commonly, the “squeeze technique” is used. If a man senses that he is about to experience premature orgasm, he interrupts sexual relations. Then the man or his partner squeezes the shaft of his penis between a thumb and two fingers. The man or his partner applies light pressure just below the head of the penis for about 20 seconds, lets go, and then sexual relations can be resumed. The technique can be repeated as often as necessary. When this technique is successful, it enables the man to learn to delay ejaculation with the squeeze, and eventually, to gain control over ejaculation without the squeeze. Behavioral therapy helps 60% to 90% of men with premature ejaculation. However, it requires the cooperation of both partners. Also, premature ejaculation often returns, and additional behavioral therapy may be needed.

Another possible treatment is prescription medication that helps to delay ejaculation. Delayed orgasm is a common side effect of certain drugs, particularly those used to treat depression. This is true even for men who are not depressed. When this type of medication is given to men who experience premature ejaculation, it can help to postpone orgasm for up to several minutes. Drugs used for this type of treatment include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) or sertraline (Zoloft); and tricyclic antidepressants, such as clomipramine (Anafranil).

Some men with premature ejaculation may benefit from drugs called phosphodiesterase inhibitors, such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis). A phosphodiesterase inhibitor can be used alone or in combination with an SSRI. One drug should be started at a time, preferably at a low dose.

Some men with premature ejaculation also benefit from reducing the stimulation they experience during sex. A number of creams are available that can partially anesthetize (numb) the penis and reduce the stimulation that leads to orgasm. Another option is to use one or more condoms. However, these techniques may interfere with the pleasure experienced during sex.

When To Call a Professional

Speak with your doctor if you consistently ejaculate before you want to. Remember, one instance of premature ejaculation does not mean that you have a condition that requires treatment. Your doctor may refer you to a sex therapist if premature ejaculation is causing major problems in your sex life or personal relationships or if you would like to consider behavioral therapy.

Prognosis

Many men experience a brief period of premature ejaculation, then improve on their own. Even for men who require medical treatment, the outlook is usually good.

Additional Info

American Society for Reproductive Medicine
https://www.reproductivefacts.org/

Sexual Dysfunction: What All Men Should Know

Sexual Dysfunction: What All Men Should Know

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Women Fitness Magazine

Sexual Dysfunction: What All Men Should Know : All around the world, millions of men secretly suffer from health problems that prevent them from experiencing a fulfilling sexual life with their partner. Whether it’s the inability to get erect, ejaculate, or a loss of sexual desire or stamina, these issues affect men of all ages and backgrounds but tend to manifest with age.

More often than not, sexual potency problems arise from underlying physical or psychological causes that must be treated to allow gentlemen to enjoy healthy and satisfying sex life. In that spirit, here’s a useful reference guide covering sexual dysfunction problems in men, along with what you can do if you ever suffer from one of these conditions.

What is Sexual Dysfunction?

Essentially, male sexual dysfunction encompasses all physical or psychological conditions that avert gentlemen from experiencing normal sexual activity. These typically involve bedroom issues such as having a difficult time maintaining an erection, ejaculating too early or too late, or simply not feeling the desire to engage in intercourse. They diverge in nature and gravity and have a different diagnosis, causes, and treatments. As such, understanding these problems will enable the patient to treat it effectively and durably.

Types of Male Sexual Disorders

When it comes to sexual potency issues in men, it’s important to analyze each condition individually to fully grasp its extent and select the most appropriate solution. Sexual dysfunction comprises three main types, including:

  1. Erectile Dysfunction

    Perhaps the most widespread sexual potency issue, erectile dysfunction (ED) is characterized by the inability to grow an erection or maintain one throughout intercourse. Needless to say that impotence can have a great negative impact on performance and self-esteem, but ultimately, it’s perfectly treatable. For your reference, it’s been estimated that nearly 1 in 2 American men over the age of 40 suffer from ED to varying extents.

  2. Abnormal Ejaculation

    Another common concern pertains to ejaculation or the act of ‘coming’. While there’s no standard duration that dictates how long a man should last in bed, ejaculating too early, too late, or not at all can pose problems in a couple’s sexual dynamic. On the one hand, premature ejaculation makes a man reach orgasm too early, typically in less than 5 or 10 minutes. Naturally, this can prevent the partner from having an orgasm themselves. On the other hand, delayed ejaculation (also referred to as male orgasmic disorder) involves experiencing late ejaculation, over 30 minutes in the intercourse, or non-ejaculation.

  3. Diminished Libido

    Reduced sexual appetite can also block men from having a fulfilling sex life. It’s characterized by a decreased interest or desire in partaking in intercourse, despite having the physical ability to (usually no erectile or ejaculation problem here). Diminished libido is typically a sign of a deeper psychological ailment, which brings concrete repercussions and prevents a man from enjoying a healthy and dynamic life. There’s a lot more to find out here on how to boost your sexual stamina and drive for your pleasure and that of your partner’s. Invariably, consulting specialized online guides can be an effective first step towards alleviating this debilitating condition.

Common Causes

In modern days, thanks to the advancements in the scientific and medical fields, we possess a much clearer understanding of what may cause gentlemen to experience sexual potency issues. These symptoms often come together and result in sexual dysfunction. On a physical level, low testosterone levels, high blood pressure, prescription drugs, smoking, alcoholism, or drug abuse can take an immense toll on a man’s sex life, along with existing conditions such as diabetes, nerve damage, or strokes. On a psychological level, stress, depression, performance anxiety, relationship problems, or past sexual trauma has been proven to cause performance issues.

Treatments

Fortunately, all these sex-related problems have proven and tested remedies. The Doctor or healthcare professional will typically start by asking questions relating to your sexual activity, frequency, and habits, which you should answer in all honesty and transparency to establish the right diagnosis. Next, they will proceed with a battery of tests (blood pressure, blood sugar levels, testicular examination, prostate check) to determine whether everything is in working order. They will then prescribe the appropriate solution, whether as medication or therapy, to be followed thoroughly.

All things considered, sexual dysfunction in men can take many forms and arise from a variety of physical or psychological predispositions. Regardless of what you’re dealing with, there’s no point in feeling shame or anguish; instead, focus on finding the cause of your ailment and seek the professional medical help you need to overcome it and start enjoying a fulfilling sex life once again. Remember that, the more proactive you are, the higher your chances of finding a permanent solution to your problem.